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The travel industry is already rolling out Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for those whose holiday shopping lists include experiences, reunions with friends and family, and bucket list adventures.
“Sweaters are nice, but what people really want this holiday season is a warm embrace from family and friends,” said Mike Daher, the vice chair of U.S. transportation, hospitality and services for Deloitte.
With 42 percent of Americans planning to travel from Thanksgiving to mid-January, Daher doesn’t anticipate that travel sites, airlines, hotels or other attractions will extend many promotions and discounts for travel during the holiday season. But that doesn’t mean eager travelers won’t be looking for bargains now and into the new year.
“Although holiday travel demand is expected to reach 2019 levels, travelers are still very hungry for deals as a result of widespread consumer inflation,” said Brett Keller, the CEO of Priceline. “Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are now even more important than ever as consumers are looking for ways to save money.”
Travelers are still very hungry for deals as a result of widespread consumer inflation.
As they did last year, many companies are kicking off their sales early. Flexibility is still the watchword. But while some properties are offering their best deals, others may be pulling back a bit from last year’s fire sale offers.
The Nines, a Luxury Collection hotel on the top floors of the historic former Meier & Frank department store building in downtown Portland, Oregon, is offering its deepest discounts ever. From Black Friday through Cyber Monday, king rooms, regularly $289, can be booked for $199, while the presidential suite can be had for $1,999, instead of $4,299, for stays from Dec. 1 to March 31.
“We want travelers back in Portland so they can see how we’re thriving,” said Kasey Connor, the Nines’ director of sales and marketing. “A great deal can be the determining factor for any traveler on the hunt.”
The Caribbean island of St. Lucia has more than 30 hotel and villa deals for Cyber Monday. Discounts at some properties may be slightly less in percentage than they were last year, but there are still extremely generous deals, said Colette McDermott, the marketing manager for St. Lucia’s tourism association.
Travel Deal Tuesday, on Nov. 30, is a growing “holiday” when many travel brands roll out bonus deals and offers.
Travel Deal Tuesday, on Nov. 30, is a growing “holiday” when many travel brands roll out bonus deals and offers. Based on its analysis of historical pricing data, the booking travel app Hopper found that the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has consistently offered the most significant volume of deals that week.
Hurtigruten will offer 50 percent off most of the expedition cruise line’s destinations online from Nov. 22 to 30. The cruise line has also lowered its deposit requirement from 20 percent to 10 percent for the sale.
Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s new adults-only cruise line, is offering 20 percent off voyages on Black Friday/Cyber Monday for both Scarlet Lady’s Caribbean voyages and Valiant Lady’s European voyages.
Tour operators, such as the luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent and EF Ultimate Break, which offers Gen Z- and millennial-tailored group travel experiences, will offer Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals on adventures through 2022 and beyond.
Xanterra, which owns or operates lodges in Yellowstone, Zion, Glacier and Death Valley national parks and the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, will offer a “Book Your Bucket List” sale from Nov. 23 to Nov. 30.
For those who book from Nov. 26 to 30, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will offer up to 50 percent off the best available rates at its urban properties and up to 30 percent off at its resort properties, exceeding last year’s discounts.
Viceroy Hotels & Resorts discounts will be up to 35 percent across the brand, with flexible cancellation policies.
Graduate Hotels, with locations in 30 university towns in the U.S., as well as Oxford and Cambridge in the U.K., plans a Cyber Monday sale with discounts of up to 50 percent. Book by Dec. 3 for stays through March 31.
Finding the best deals during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy can be stressful, so experts recommend writing up a wish list of destinations and travel times and doing some homework on current prices to recognize the deals.
Sign up for newsletters and frequent travel programs for airlines, hotels, destinations and online travel agencies to get early bird offers, which often come with extra discounts. Check to see whether the destination you want to visit has a Black Friday or Cyber Monday landing page that shows all the deals in one place. And before you hit “buy” on any booking, check the cancellation and change rules, which may be more restrictive than they were last year.
Harriet Baskas is an NBC News contributor who writes about travel and the arts.
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