Even if you’re not traveling just yet, you can shop for future travel.
(This is an updated version of a story we prepared for NBC News)
A gift-season mantra the past few years has been “skip the things; give experiences and trips instead.”
But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most travel adventures have been put on hold.
Does that mean you should ignore the travel and hospitality-related deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year and stick to sales on slippers and sweatpants instead?
Definitely not. Studies show that thinking about and planning trips makes people happier. And that happiness may get a boost from the deals many travel companies offer during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Travel Tuesday this season.
Many companies are expanding the purchase window. Others are loosening restrictions on how and when deals can be used.
If you decide to shop for travel during this Black Friday/Cyber Friday/Travel Tuesday season, experts recommend joining frequent travel programs and signing up for email alerts for brands and destinations you are interested in. Many deals are offered to club members early and often include a bonus member discount. You can always unsubscribe later.
And while many deals may seem to be more generous than usual, be sure to check for blackout dates, cancelation rules, and other conditions.
Some deals to get you started
Amtrak has rolled out its “Track Friday Sale.” Book November 27 through November 30 to get 50% off on coach fares nationwide for travel from December 8, 2020 – April 30, 2021. In past years the discount has been 30%, so this looks like a great deal.
Many cruise lines, which have been hard hit by season-long cancellations, are offering deals as well. Hurtigruten for example is offering savings up to 50% off per person on select 2021 and 2022 itineraries to destinations that include Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica, and more.
Attractions and destinations
Orlando has a web site dedicated to Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals at theme parks, attractions, resorts, and shopping. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has a long list of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals available to book now.
LEGOLAND New York Resort, set to open in New York’s Hudson Valley in 2021, is offering a Black Friday deal (November 26 – December 1) offering 60% off retail on an unlimited admission pass good for a decade and including a wide array of other perks.
Many travel booking sites, hotel brands, and destinations are offering site-wide discounts on stays.
Priceline is offering more than $5 million in travel deal email alerts and flash sales through December 1 to its VIP members (signing up is free) and giving 1000 lucky VIPS a coupon for 99% off hotel Express Deals.
Red Roof guests can save 40% off bookings made November 27 through November 30 for stays through January 31, 2021.
The Cyber Sale from Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants offers 25% off Best Flexible Rates booked through December 7 for stays through September 7, 2021. The boutique brand will also donate $5 per night to charitable partner No Kid Hungry.
Members of the ALL-Accor Live Limitless loyalty program will be able to find deals up to 40% off accommodations + 2x Reward Points. This is for stays at select Fairmont, 21c Museum Hotels, Sofitel, Swissotel, and sbe properties around the world from November 26-30, 2020 for stays December 7 to March 14, 2021.
And Provenance Hotels’ 13 boutique hotels from Boston to Seattle, New Orleans, Nashville, Palm Springs, and Portland, OR is offering fully changeable rates starting at $59 per night through November 30 for stays December 1, 2020 through December 2021.