You might not think of airlines offering deals Black Friday and Cyber Monday — usually the deals are on appliances, clothes and tech, right? But if you have a trip in mind and want to save a bit on airfare, research from different travel companies indicates you might want to check out the deals set to occur over the next week.
Hopper, a travel price comparison app, “predicts that travellers can book a trip to Tokyo for 40 per cent less than normal on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and Skyscanner expects fares to be at a 20 per cent discount on the Friday,” reports the New York Times.
While the above deal is specific to the US, Australian travel merchants are also expected to get in on the action. For example, Expedia is offering 75% off hotels and 50% off flight packages, globally.
First, though, check prices now. That way, you can make a better comparison and a more informed purchase. Because airfare changes on the daily (and sometimes from one hour to the next), it can be difficult to get a handle on what a good price for a flight really is, particularly to a destination you’ve never been before. You can set alerts on sites like Skyscanner, as well, to really get an idea of what a good price is.
Wait for Travel Tuesday
Some airlines will be offering discounts on what’s become known as “Travel Tuesday,” according to CNBC, which will take place November 27 this year. Cathay Pacific, Icelandair, Philippine Airlines and South African Airways have said that they will offer deals on November 27, according to research from Hopper, and there are likely to be other deals.
On Black Friday itself, you might be able to find good deals on tours and hotels. “It’s worth keeping an eye on tour operators for discounts, too,” reports CNBC. Skyscanner is also tracking deals, and claims that booking a flight on Black Friday can save travellers a bit of money. So, again, look now so you can make an educated purchase.
But should you hold off on a deal on Friday or Monday to see if it has a better price on Tuesday? That depends. “My advice is that if you find a sale that piques your interest on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, pull the trigger,” Kelly Soderlund, a content manager at travel booking company Hipmunk, told the New York Times. “If you’re waiting for a lowered price to a particular destination — and a sale fails to manifest — Travel Tuesday could be your best bet.”
Beware of the Fine Print
Just like with air fares, “deals” on hotels usually cover the bare minimum, with a lot of strings attached. More hotels are tacking on additional fees to their daily rate, according to NerdWallet, to cover things like WiFi, daily newspapers, etc. This won’t be reflected in the price you see on travel portals, and could cost you a bunch more per night. (Also be wary of exclusionary dates and holiday surcharges.)
Additionally, make sure you know what the cancellation policy is before you scoop up a seemingly sweet deal.
Overall, this next week does seem to be a good time to book travel, if you have a particular trip in mind. So do some research now, set fare alerts and scope out the prices over the weekend and next Tuesday.