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Black Friday Travel 2017: Flight and Hotel Deals Will Be Under $50
Update: Black Friday deals are now live! Click here to see sales on airfare, hotels, and more. Come back again on Cyber Monday too when more deals go live.
What to Expect From Black Friday Travel Deals
Travel deals can be tough to pin down. Plane ticket and hotel room costs vary based on where and when you’re going, so you don’t have an MSRP to compare when you’re booking. Finding the best bargain can be more about picking the right time and location for your trip than getting the right price.
But that doesn’t mean you won’t find vacations at bargain prices during Black Friday season. If you’re flexible about travel dates and destinations, you’ll see plenty of deals.
Read on to find out where and when to shop for the best Black Friday travel deals, and what kinds of deals to look for. Then, consider signing up for the DealNews Select newsletter to keep track of the latest deals in your inbox, or download our app to have them at your fingertips.
The Cheat Sheet: Black Friday Travel Predictions
Discounts to Expect
- Starwood and Hyatt hotel stays for 30% to 60% off
4 Quick Tips You Need to Know
- We often see 4- and 5-star hotel chains offer discounts for those who book directly through their sites.
Want more details on how, what, where, and when to buy travel deals this Black Friday? Then check out our full analysis below.
Shop for Travel on Cyber Monday
You’ll see a number of deals the week before Black Friday and the week after Cyber Monday, but the best sales come on Cyber Monday itself. That’s when you’ll find the most Editors’ Choice deals. Thanksgiving and Black Friday aren’t far behind when it comes to top-shelf deals, but most of these sales will last a few days. Browsing the travel sites on Cyber Monday means you’re more likely to see the highest concentration of good offers.
Don’t wait too long to book, either! None of our Editors’ Choice deals lasted longer than nine days last year. One particularly short-lived deal was worth jumping on, as it took up to $300 off hotel and vacation packages at BookIt. The sales moved more quickly on Cyber Monday; if you see a great deal on Monday, be sure to pounce.
Score Serious Hotel Savings
About a third of travel deals this Black Friday season will be for hotels. Since the hotel is one of the biggest vacation expenses, getting a good deal here can really cut your vacation costs.
Hotel deals tend to focus on high-end properties, so plan to look for 4- and 5-star properties. You can expect flat discounts (either a percentage or a specific dollar amount off) from hotel booking sites like Expedia and Hotels.com, as well as major hotel chains like Starwood and Hyatt (where you should look for deals offering between 30% and 60% off).
You’ll also find offers for individual properties with low per-night prices. Last year, we saw two off-the-Strip Las Vegas hotels going for as low as $18 per night! You’re likely to find these on your favorite travel aggregator site. Just be aware that the lowest prices will only be available on certain dates.
All-inclusive hotels and resorts, which include meals and sometimes other amenities, are also common Black Friday deals. Just remember, if you’re paying for these extras even at sale prices be sure you’re going to make use of them. Don’t let sale prices trick you into paying for more than you need.
Save a Bundle on Flights
While hotel deals are more common during the Thanksgiving holidays, airfare is a close second. Look for domestic flights starting at $20 each way, with deals available from almost every airline. Last year Frontier offered the lowest fares, but Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest, and United all offered domestic roundtrip airfare for under $100.
You’ll pay more for international travel, with fares to Mexico and South America starting at $100 roundtrip, fares to Europe from $200 roundtrip, and fares to Asia from $500 roundtrip. While Delta and Southwest offered good international deals, you’ll primarily want to look to international carriers like Emirates, Norwegian, and WOW Air for these deals.
Just be aware when shopping that the sale price advertised may not be the price you’ll get. Your actual fare depends on where you’re traveling from and when you’re traveling.
For example, consider last year’s lowest airfare offer: one-way domestic flights on Frontier Airlines for $19 each. While that’s a very appealing price, it was only valid for flights from Atlanta to Orlando, Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago. If your destination wasn’t on that list, you would wind up paying a lot more for your ticket.
It’s Not the Time to Rent a Car
Last year we found only a single sale on rental cars over the Thanksgiving holidays. If you need a rental car for your next trip, it’s worth checking to see if any agencies are having Cyber Monday sales but don’t count on scoring a deal.
Check What’s Included
Even if it looks like you have a great price, you need to double-check what is and what isn’t included before you buy. If you’re buying a package or an all-inclusive deal, consider whether the price is worth everything that’s included. If the value just doesn’t add up, it’s probably best to look at individual deals and build your own vacation package.
Unexpected fees can also eat into your budget. Airlines are the most common source of travel fees, with the price often going up for every checked bag. But hotels have their fees, too, with charges for WiFi, parking, and more. Even seemingly all-inclusive packages, like an all-inclusive resort or a cruise, may charge you for alcohol or premium coffee drinks.
Unless you’re sure of what you’re getting, you could wind up paying more than you bargained for.
Your Travel Dates May Not Be Available
Unlike buying a television or a toaster, travel deals tend to come with restrictions. They may only be available on certain dates or at certain locations, restricting when and where you can go. Of last year’s best Black Friday deals, 14% were last-minute requiring travel before the end of December. Still, most offers let you travel through spring or later.
Watch out for minimum stay requirements, blackout dates, and deals available only for specific days or destinations. These are common for travel deals and can ruin your would-be vacation.
While you can’t change what the sales offer, you can make your vacation plans more likely to match a travel sale. Because everyone typically wants to travel on weekends, flights leaving on Friday and returning Sunday are usually the most expensive.
Similarly, hotels are less expensive on Mondays through Thursdays. Travel during the holidays is steeper, too. But if your schedule lets you plan a vacation that skips weekends and holidays, you’re more likely to run into sales.
What are you hoping to see with travel deals this year? Let us know in the comments, or check out all our Black Friday predictions below.
The Complete Black Friday Predictions
Excited for Black Friday deals? Consider subscribing to the DealNews Select newsletter to get a daily recap of all our best deals; you never know when a Black Friday price will be released! You can also download our app, or check out all our features for more buying advice.