Plaza Premium Lounge, Vancouver International Airport
Source: Plaza Premium
Frequent travelers know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday can deliver savings on everything from airfare and hotel stays to cruises, attraction passes and bucket list tours. But the challenge is finding the true deals in the holiday sales heap.
“The best advice I can give to navigate travel bargains is unromantic, but effective: Sign up for emails from online travel agencies and tourism boards,” said Devon Nagle, head of communications for Priceline. The travel site is promising to offer more than $2 million in travel deal email alerts and flash sales between Nov. 29 to Dec. 2.
“Signing up for more emails isn’t a bucket-list life goal for travelers, and I get that,” said Nagle, “but the deals are very real, and it’s worth the effort to sign up for them.”
Unsubscribing later is always an option.
“And this may sound cliche,” said Youngsoo Choi of Niagara University’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Management, “but in order to identify whether the travel deals you see are truly the best deals or not, there is no other way than doing your own homework before you make actual reservations.”
He urged Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers to check and recheck airfares or hotel rates multiple times in advance.
And don’t worry if you’re too busy to shop or read your deal-filled email on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Travel booking app Hopper analyzed its historical database of over 25 billion to 30 billion flight and hotel prices and found that last year more flights were discounted on Travel Deal Tuesday than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
When you do get down to shopping, keep in mind that while some offers are already available, some promotions and links may not go live until the respective sales begin. In many cases blackout dates and restrictions may apply, so be sure to read the fine print.
Here are some offers to get you started.
Getting from here to there
Look for Amtrak’s Track Friday Sale, to go live at Amtrak.com on Nov. 29. Last year’s deal offered 30% off nationwide train travel well into the new year.
Many airlines will be offering discounts and flash deals as well. To catch them, make sure to follow a few favorite airlines on Twitter and other social media sites and join their frequent flyer programs so you get email announcements sent to insiders.
Until Dec. 2, Air France is offering current and new Flying Blue loyalty program members triple miles on most U.S. to Paris flights purchased for travel Dec. 7 to March 31, 2020.
Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus will offer $100 off on round-trip economy fares and $200 off on round-trip business class flights from the U.S. and Canada to Europe booked between Tuesday, Nov. 26 and Tuesday, Dec. 3 for travel between Jan. 1 and March 8, 2020.
According to Hopper, many other airlines, including Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and TAP Portugal will likely launch sale offers on Cyber Monday or Travel Tuesday.
Airport lounge passes on the cheap
Plaza Premium Lounges has a walk-in offer for holiday flyers.
From 5 a.m. Nov. 29 through midnight on Monday, Dec. 2, travelers flying out of Toronto or Vancouver can get 25% off a two- or three-hour lounge stay and 35% off two- and three-hour lounge stays in their airport lounges in Winnipeg and Edmonton.
Places to stay
It seems that just about every hotel and resort is courting travelers with deals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday this year.
Savvy shoppers will be able to snag great lodging deals, but pay attention to the fine print on the offers. Some deals are non-refundable, have blackout dates and narrow stay windows or other restrictions.
As with airlines, you can often get the best deals if you are a member of a property or chain’s free-to-join frequent stay program. And, keep in mind that discounts often don’t apply to local and state taxes and resort and amenities fees, which can be quite steep.
Here are some offers that caught our attention:
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort’s Cyber Deal, underway now through Dec. 3, offers Honors Members up to 30% off a Hawaii vacation. Valid for stays Nov. 28, 2019 through June 30, 2020.
For its Black Friday Meets The Mile High deal at The Curtis in Denver, the hotel is linking its holiday booking deal to Denver’s elevation of 5,280 feet. The hotel is offering discounted rates of $52.80 per night for dates in December and January booked from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
Virgin Hotels in Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas are celebrating Cyber Month. Discounts of up to 30% off best rates will be available Dec. 2 through Jan. 2, 2020 for stays between Dec. 2 and June 1, 2020. As a bonus, each hotel will choose a winner each day to be upgraded to a penthouse suite.
Source: Hotel Curtis
MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas, including Bellagio, Aria and MGM Grand, have lined up Cyber Week deals up to 35% off regular rates, plus 5% more for M Life Rewards members, from Nov. 25 through Dec. 4, 2019. Look for many more Sin City offers on visitlasvegas.com.
Pacifica Hotels, which owns boutique properties on the Pacific Coast, will offer 40% off room rates during its Cyber Monday sale. The hotel’s Passport Program participants get early access to the sale on Friday, Nov. 29. The deals cover stays from Dec. 2 through March 14, 2020.
If you book on the HotelTonight mobile app, use the code HTDEAL25 between Monday, Dec. 2 and Tuesday, Dec. 3 to get 25% off one hotel stay.
And double-up on discounts at Hotwire’s mobile app with promo codes that can be used on top of discounted hotel bookings made between Nov. 27 and Nov. 29. Use code HWBF for $10 off $100 hotel bookings; HWBF40 for $40 off $300 hotel bookings and HWBF70 for $70 off $500 hotel bookings. On Cyber Monday, use promo code HWHOTDEALS for an extra 11% off $100 Hotwire Hot Rate Hotels.
Packages and tours
Cruise lines and tour companies will also have special offers during this holiday shopping weekend.
Travelers looking to experience bucket-list cruise destinations such as Antarctica, Alaska and Norway can take advantage of Hurtigruten’s deals of up to 50% off select 2020 and 2021 itineraries. Sale dates are Nov. 27 through Dec. 4. Offers include expedition voyages aboard the line’s MS Roald Amundsen, the first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship in the world.
Source: Abercrombie & Kent
Abercrombie & Kent’s holiday sale offers discounts of $1,000 to $3,900 on a wide variety of adventures to destinations such as Vietnam, India, Peru and Kenya. Their sale runs from 9 a.m. EST, Dec. 2 through 5 p.m. EST, Dec. 6.
Deals on attractions
While you’re grabbing airfare and lodging deals, be on the lookout for discounts on attractions and amusement parks in cities you plan to visit.
Source: LEGOLAND New York Resort
Now through Dec. 8, use promo code GIFT to get an additional 10% off the deals and discounts to more than 50 theme parks, attractions, activities and dinner shows at Visit Orlando.
From Saturday, Nov. 30 through Monday, Dec. 2, use promo code CYBERMONDAY to save up to 15% on Go City passes, which offer discounted admission packages at popular attractions in more than 20 cities.
And in advance of the July 4, 2020 opening of Legoland New York Resort, the price of the park’s highest tier annual pass, the Gold Pass, will be on sale for $99.99 instead of $209.99 from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
The pass can’t be activated until the Legoland New York park opens but waiting will be worth it. The pass not only offers year-long admission to this new Legoland resort, but admission to more than 30 other Merlin Entertainment attractions around the country, including Legoland resorts in California and Florida, Legoland Discovery Centers, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life Aquariums.
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