They are starting to call it Cyber Sale Week.
From Black Friday to Cyber Monday to Travel Deal Tuesday, the sales and travel discounts are really unlimited. But only if you know where, and how, to look.
Most airlines, hotels and online travel agencies are participating in some way, but not every deal is really a steal.
Using historical trends, expert tips as well as predictive data for 2019, here’s how to snag the best sales this Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday.
Research, research, research.
As with any deal, it’s important to know what a ‘good’ price is before purchasing.
“Do your research beforehand in regards to your targeted location so you know what a good deal actually is,” said Jenna Phillips, associate director of sales and marketing at The Fontaine. “Oftentimes, the discount will appear large but the price is inflated or there are extra fees that make the ‘deal’ not worth it.”
Similarly, if you know the average price for a flight route or a hotel, you’re more able to pounce on a steep discount. Although Travel Deal Tuesday is traditionally the best day for flight and hotel discounts, if you’re looking for a very specific route and booking window, it might be worth it to pounce on a deal before December 3rdas it might sell out before Tuesday.
It is also worth mentioning that if you’re looking for the biggest discounts, it pays to be flexible. Airlines and hotel companies use this time of year to book their lagging 2020 inventory. If you’re destination agnostic you can scoop up much bigger savings than if you’re looking for a flight deal to Sweden in July.
Know your dream flight price…and wait until Travel Deal Tuesday if you aren’t seeing the price you want.
Travel demand drops right after Thanksgiving. While many companies start offering deals on Thursday or Friday, flight deals are historically packed on Tuesday.
“At the end of November, we see consumer demand for flights take a marked dip, as most travelers have already booked their trips home for the holidays and have yet to think about those for early 2020. As a way of incentivizing consumers during this post-peak period, travel providers begin to offer amazing deals,” said Patrick Surry, Chief Data Scientist at Hopper. “If consumers are looking to score a deal in the post-Thanksgiving sale period, Travel Deal Tuesday is the best day to find discounts on travel, particularly flights and hotels.”
According to Hopper, there will be 18 travel deals per second on Travel Tuesday, which is around twice the volume of deals that will be available on Cyber Monday. They also found that consumers planned 80% more trips on Travel Deal Tuesday than Black Friday and 40% more than on Cyber Monday.
However, if you’re looking to travel to the Caribbean or Asia, median airfare drops between 6 and 10 percent on Black Friday, according to Kayak. The online travel agency found the best deals to Europe on Cyber Monday, with median airfare down 11percent.
Sign up for emails and newsletters from your favorite travel brands.
Oftentimes brands will send promotional emails to their customers first and then post them online. This is especially true for boutique hotels and other luxury travel brands.
“Many niche travel and hotel companies will put their loyal customers first when it comes to announcing their deals,” said Greer Brody, director of brand partnerships at Gurney’s Resorts.
“If travelers are members of a specific loyalty program, they should check beforehand to see if there’s any properties offering a presale for members to book before it goes wide to the masses,” said Rakel Cohen owner of The Watergate Hotel.
Lindsey Amador, director of sales and marketing at Paradise Point Resort & Spa, recommends to sign up for hotels’ newsletters as resorts will often offer their preferred guests better booking windows.
Download your favorite travel apps.
Similar to offering deals to valued customers first through email, many travel companies will show their discounts on their apps first. Since many online travel agencies have only a certain dollar amount of discounts they can offer, the sooner you know, the better chance you have of scooping up some savings.
If you’re using an app like Hopper or Kayak, sign up for price alerts to a specific destination so that you are automatically notified of a price decrease. Google Flights and Skyscanner also offer good price alerts.
A lot of online travel agencies will offer biggest but time-limited discounts on their apps, said Mel Dohmen, senior manager of communications at Orbitz. Dohmen recommends downloading the app of your choice to look for app-only deals and promo codes. Make sure to use them as fast as possible as they may have limited inventory.
Look closely at the fine print.
As with any deal, you should read the specific stipulations. This is extra important for Cyber Monday or Travel Tuesday deals as many brands will have blackout dates around big holidays.
“Do your homework ahead of time,” said Lindsey Amador, director of sales and marketing at Paradise Point Resort & Spa. “Most cyber deals are non-cancellable and non-refundable, so for flights and hotel deals, make sure you know when you can get away.”
Go to your favorite airline’s website on Travel Deal Tuesday.
Although online travel agencies and flight deal aggregators will be offering deals on their websites, many airlines want to offer their savings directly to consumers. So if you haven’t signed up for their emails or followed them directly social media, check out their websites or social media handles directly.
Many airlines will offer steep discounts on specific routes, so try to remain destination agnostic. Some destinations that should be seeing steep discounts this year include London, Sydney, Costa Rica, Rome, Cape Town, Beijing and Barcelona, said Jesse Neugarten, CEO and founder of Dollar Flight Club.
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