Travel purveyors are doing their best to ensure that turkey, “Star Wars” toys and 50-inch TVs aren’t the only things that have consumers licking their chops this week. Companies are dangling all sorts of hot deals on adventures and vacations to remind shoppers that the launch of the holiday shopping season isn’t just about things.
Studies have shown that travel is increasingly high on shoppers’ “want” lists, so it’s only logical that the industry would want to get in on the Black Friday, Cyber Monday action, said Sarah Gavin, a spokeswoman for Expedia.com.
“As consumers continue to shift purchasing preferences from goods to experiences, it’s no surprise that travel is staking a claim on major shopping moments,” she said.
The online travel agency has a long list of deals on tap, including 75 percent off a wide variety of hotels on Black Friday and an hourly sale offering 90 percent off four hotels in top destinations on Cyber Monday.
Here are a few of the best deals already announced. Links may not be live with details until the sales begin, and there are sure to be many more offers posted on Facebook, Twitter, on coupon sites such as at RetailMeNot and via email come Friday. Also, bookmark this story and check back, as we'll be adding new deals through Black Friday:
- Historic Hotels of America: From Nov. 27-30, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide will be offering up to 60 percent off at more than 50 member hotels. As a bonus, those who book during the sale will get a complimentary one-year family membership (value: $30) to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which offers up to 30 percent off best available rates on HistoricHotels.org throughout the year.
- Pacifica Hotels, which owns a long list of boutique hotels on the Pacific Coast, is celebrating Cyber Monday with 40 percent off rooms at 24 California properties for stays through March 11, 2016.
- Melia Hotels International, with 370 properties in more than 40 countries (including the Tryp by Wyndham brand and others) is offering its Melia Rewards members 35 percent off any stay booked from Nov. 26-Dec. 1 for stays from December through March, 2016.
- On Cyber Monday, Nov. 30, Red Roof Inn, with more than 400 properties nationwide, is planning to offer 30 percent off stays through March 31, 2016.
- As part of its “Cyber Season Spectacular,” from Nov. 26-30, Millennium Hotels and Resorts North America is offering 50 percent off room rates for travel between Nov. 26 through Feb. 29, 2016 (blackout dates apply). Millennium Hotels and Resorts has 14 hotels in 12 cities.
- Through Dec. 7, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, with properties in Hawaii, Fiji and other tropical destinations, is offering a Cyber Sale for travel through Nov. 22, 2016, with rates at some properties as low as $99 per night. Use the promo code CYBER.
- Starwood is offering Cyber Monday rates bookable now through Dec. 6 for stays until Sept. 6, 2016. Discounts of 25 percent off will be available at more than 1,000 hotels and resorts and as much as 50 percent at some select locations. Members of the SPG (Starwood Preferred Guests; free to join) will get an extra 5 percent discount when booking through the Cyber Monday sale.
- On Cyber Monday only, select Radisson Blu hotels in North America will be offering discounts of 40 percent off two-night stays (with some blackout days) from Nov. 30-March 31, 2016. Participating hotels include: Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago; The Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel; Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia; and Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown. Use code "BLU2015.”
- Westgate Resorts, which has 28 themed properties across the country, including in Las Vegas and Orlando, is encouraging deal seekers to sign up now to get early access to a sale that will run from Black Friday through Cyber Monday and offer rates equal to those offered to company employees.
On Nov. 30 only, Loews Hotels & Resorts will be is offering 20 percent off on stays at participating Loews properties throughout 2016.
Many individual hotels will be offering Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals as well, and some properties are adding fun sweepstakes wrinkles to the mix:
- The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, for example, will be offering rates starting as low as $99 per night (good for stays through January,2016, with some blackout dates) and five people who book their stays Nov. 27 through Nov. 30 will score upgrades to one of the property’s 17 Rock Star Suites, one of which usually goes for $5,000 a night. Another lucky person will win a New Year’s Eve package, including accommodations, dinner at the Japanese restaurant Nobu and two tickets to the hotel’s renowned party. (Use promo code BF2015).
- On Black Friday, guests who book a night at Denver’s Hostel Fish, an “upscale” downtown hostel, for a stay during the 2015/2016 ski season will be entered into a drawing for a package that includes a private room with a king-size bed, a luxury ride to Loveland, Colorado, and a Loveland Ski day that includes a full day adult lift ticket, a full day performance ski or snowboard rental package and lunch.
Other businesses that cater largely to travelers also are getting into the act.
- For example, Liftopia, is giving away gift credits ranging from $10 to $250 from Saturday through Monday at its Gnar-Bot site. Credits can be used towards discounted lift tickets and other mountain activities.
Travelers should also be on the lookout for some airline deals during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond:
- Beginning on Black Friday, Allegiant Air is offering two-for-one roundtrip tickets to Telluride, Colorado, from Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The promotion runs from Nov. 27-Dec. 18, and must be booked by phone -- (866) 237-5341. Travel must occur by March 27, 2016.
- Cathay Pacific is promising “spectacular flight deals and a surprise Asia Mile offer” on its website, beginning at midnight Nov. 27.
- Virgin America is offering a Cyber Monday deal of up to 25 percent off flights through 10 p.m. PT (1 a.m. ET). Use promocode: CYBERRIDE. Also: one traveler who books a flight on Monday will win the airline's “Ultimate Free Ride” package: free flights on Virgin America for a year, free Uber rides for a year and gold status in the carrier's mileage program.
Don’t give up if you don’t see or secure an airline deal right away, said Patrick Surry, chief cata scientist at Hopper.
“Last year, sale activity was quiet during Thanksgiving week, but then picked up significantly in the three weeks beginning Cyber Monday. We expect a similar trend this year,” said Surry. “The airlines often engage in tit-for-tat sales in a market over several days, so don't worry if you can't find anything to spend your money on during Cyber Monday. There will sales launched regularly leading up to Christmas.”
If you’re lucky enough to get a great travel deal during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you may have cash left over for new luggage. That would be a good thing, said Brent Shelton, online shopping expert for FatWallet.com.
“A hidden treasure for travel during Black Friday is luggage deals,” he said. “The majority of big box stores have full five-piece luggage sets for $50 and Target has Star Wars kids carry-on luggage for $25.”