Cyber Monday isn’t just about shopping for electronics, clothing and other tangible gifts. It’s also evolved into more travel deals than you can possibly enjoy in 365 days. While shopping online for travel is fun, navigating the hundreds and thousands of deals to find the perfect one for your family vacation — and deciphering which one fits your budget and your vacation plans — not so much fun. Read on for 6 tips for navigating Cyber Monday Travel Deals.
Navigating Cyber Monday Travel Deals
Travelers can use Cyber Monday to jumpstart their vacations for the next year or choose last minute trips for this year. Hundreds of travel deals are available, from hotel discounts to Disney family vacations to cruises and pre-packaged getaways. Cyber Monday is a virtual traveler’s buffet of vacations — and many of these deals actually kick off on Black Friday and continue through the weekend for even more days of travel shopping, often extending into December. Finding the best travel deal can be tricky because it’s relative to where customers want to travel and when they want to go.
But as enticing as these travel deals might be, how does a traveler sort through all the Cyber Monday deals? Those intriguing deals might seem a value, but smart travelers are better served by shopping around BEFORE buying. Plan in advance and keep a close eye on the fine print.
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Before wheeling and dealing with your hard-earned vacation dollars, take a look at these top 6 Tips for Cyber Monday Travel Deals.
1. Start a bucket list of travel.
I’ve always been a fan of lists, so ask yourself, “Where do you want to take your next family vacation or romantic getaway?” Whether your bucket list includes a family vacation to Walt Disney World, an exotic spa getaway to Thailand, or a romantic couple’s getaway to The Broadmoor, add it to your list. Dream big! Cyber Monday Travel deals can make your head spin. Once you’ve begun your bucket list, do your homework and research a general cost of traveling.
Have your list next to your computer (or Smart Phone or iPad) and start browsing. Compare the costs and the fine print (blackout days, departure dates, etc) to the actual cost without the Cyber Monday discount. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can narrow down and hone in on your perfect travel deal.
2. Shop around.
Even when the advertised price is listed as a deal, do price comparisons. A quick search on a hotel’s website, Expedia.com or Orbitz.com, will confirm whether it really is a good deal.
3. Look closely at what’s included in the package.
Once you uncover a deal that interests you, be sure to read the fine print and exclusions. Typical exclusions include holiday and other blackout dates. Some deals offer specific days that may not include a weekend or an off-season time of year to cut down on the cost of the accommodations. Fine print might include additional fees, such as resort fees, taxes, etc., which might turn your great deal quickly to no deal at all. After reviewing all the details and you still think it’s an opportunity you can’t pass up, then book it!
4. Flights can be a deal breaker.
Snagging Cyber Monday travel deals for a romantic international getaway may not be such a great deal when you add on two round-trip airfares at an additional cost of $2,000.
Do your homework and search for flight schedules and pricing before booking packages non-inclusive of air. Search on Kayak.com, a website offering comparison searches of flights. You can also set up airfare alerts on AirfareWatchdog.com, so when the price drops, you’ll be notified right away.
And be sure to read how to travel for free using points and miles.
TravelingMom Tip: Not included on many flight search engines is Southwest Airlines! Be sure to include a separate search for Southwest’s affordable flights which include two FREE checked bags per passenger.
5. Be flexible and keep an open mind.
Remember: the world is your oyster! Shoppers looking at Cyber Monday travel deals shouldn’t just limit their search for deals to domestic destinations. Tickets and vacation packages for international trips can be the ultimate deal.
After all, isn’t traveling all about the journey? Sometimes, it’s best to let go of all preconceptions and just have fun. The best way to save is to be flexible in terms of dates and destinations. Start watching prices several months before you travel. Who knows? Your newly discovered Cyber Monday travel deal might turn into your new favorite place to visit!
6. Shop for travel deals all year.
We don’t want to encourage obsessive travel deal shopping without regard for smart purchases that fit your actual travel needs. However, in addition to Cyber Monday, according to Oyster.com travel experts don’t rule out other opportunities during the year to find travel deals. Keep your eyes open for other sales throughout the year especially during the fall and winter. Surprisingly, some of the best deals are offered during holiday weekends, such as Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day and even Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Finally, let go and just book it! You’ve done your homework. You followed our tips. Just go for it – and enjoy your Cyber Monday Travel Deals!
Can’t wait until Cyber Monday to book your trip? Read these budget travel tips for an affordable family vacation.