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While traveling on Black Friday (or any time during the holidays) will likely require paying top dollar, you can at least book future travel — perhaps a vacation for 2013 to relax after the shopping frenzy — around Black Friday weekend. There are plenty of ways to use the holiday sales to your advantage, and below we've listed tips and advice about what you can expect from travel sales during this time.
Last year, Virgin America had its lowest base fare of the year in November during a Black Friday sale. Likewise, JetBlue listed its second-lowest base fare of the year around Black Friday. Other airlines, such as Southwest Airlines and Spirit, also used the holidays to cut rates, but we noticed that the fares they offered resurfaced again later in the year. So, as far as airfare is concerned, our archives show that Virgin America and JetBlue generally save their best flight deals for the Black Friday time of year.
For hotel stays, we recommend keeping an eye on deals from Hotels.com and Expedia, both of which had special sitewide sales last year that took up to 50% off standard hotel rates. Vegas fans (and we know there are plenty of you out there) should also look out for sitewide sales from MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment. Last year the latter discounted 50% off all of its hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Keep in mind that not all rates were the lowest of the year, but seeing a sitewide sale from any hotel resort — especially a casino — is a rare find.
This year's hospitality sales will likely also include discounts on posh and international hotels — although they might be somewhat limited. For instance, last year Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide took 15% to 35% off its international fleet of hotels, which includes the W, St. Regis, and Westin. However, they were the only name-brand hotel chain to offer such a promotion.
We mentioned earlier that not all airfare deals will be at all-time lows on Black Friday. However, when it comes to vacation packages that include flight and hotel reservations, many airlines offer more aggressive coupon discounts during Black Friday weekend than they do the rest of the year. American Airlines, for instance, offered $100 off any flight and hotel vacation package last Black Friday, which was their second-best offering of the year. Southwest Vacations also cut 50% off select vacation packages during its Cyber Monday sale.
Ultimately, there are plenty of outstanding travel deals to be had around Black Friday. Just make sure to take advantage of them as soon as you can, as many of them are 24- and 48-hour sales only.
Summary: Black Friday Predictions for Travel
Photo credit: Fabulous Finds