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Check Travel Prices Before Black Friday


Image: Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

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 travelers can book a trip to Tokyo for 40 percent less than normal on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and Skyscanner expects fares to be at a 20 percent discount on the Friday,” reports the New York Times. That’s a pretty good deal.

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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 Airfarewatchdog and 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 Nov. 27 this year. Cathay Pacific, Icelandair, Philippine Airlines and South African Airways have said that they will offer deals on Nov. 27, according to research from Hopper, and there are likely to be other deals.

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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 like Intrepid Travel, G Adventures, and Travel Talk Tours for discounts, too,” reports CNBC. Skyscanner is also tracking deals, and claims that booking a flight on Black Friday can save travelers a bit of money on domestic and international flights. 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.”

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Beware of the Fine Print

Just like with air fare, “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 $25 to $50 more per night.

Additionally, make sure you know what the cancellation policy is before you scoop up a seemingly sweet deal. NerdWallet reports some hotels are requiring as much as a 30 day notice to cancel and get refunded, while others require three days to a week. Additionally, “fully prepaid” rates “often mean you lose 100 percent of the cost if you can’t make the trip for any reason, including serious illness,” while others charge lesser penalties.

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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.

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