Tech Matters: How to prepare for Travel Tuesday
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are well-known days to score savings on your holiday gifts, did you know that travel-related things like airline tickets, hotels and cruises have a dedicated savings day too? It’s called Travel Tuesday and falls on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.
Because these are big-ticket items that may be impossible or pricey to return, you’ll want to do more preparation than you would for a Black Friday deal on a robot vacuum. So here’s your guide to making the most of Travel Tuesday.
Like with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, retailers aim for a sense of urgency or what marketers refer to as FOMO — fear of missing out. They’re banking on holiday shoppers seeing big discounts on things like TVs and laptops and snapping them up while not paying attention to model year and features. They aim to move inventory and you want to save money, which is fine as long as you know exactly what you want. Further, stores want you to buy additional items on impulse, unable to pass up a “great deal.”
So it is with Travel Tuesday. The best advice is to plan ahead. Focus on where you want to go in 2024 – pick some options that are agreeable to your travel mates so that you can choose among available deals. Stick to your list. Determine dates, and again, it would be smart to include several options, along with the number of travelers and your budget. Families who have decided to replace individual gifts with a family vacation take note. If you’re expecting adult children to pitch in for the trip, make sure everyone is on board and comfortable with their share of the expense.
Once you’ve set your destination, timing and budget, research current travel prices. Google Flights is a good source for determining the cost of tickets throughout the year and across most major airlines. Get prices for accommodations whether that’s a hotel or an Airbnb. I’d research both so that if a great hotel deal became available, I could compare it to the cost of a selected Airbnb.
Add the travel providers’ websites to your document for quick access and follow their accounts on social media in case a company posts or teases a deal on social. Put your research into a spreadsheet and keep it handy for holiday shopping. You’ll be able to see immediately if a travel deal is good based on your figures and avoid an impulse buy.
You’ll be happy to know that major brands participate in Travel Tuesday. Last year, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines and Aer Lingus offered deals on airfare, while Marriott, Hyatt, Virgin Hotels and others had specials for accommodations. Cruise lines offered steep discounts, including Seabourn where customers saved 15% off a stateroom and received additional perks.
With Travel Tuesday growing in popularity, you’ll have to be extra vigilant to avoid scams. Always go to a provider’s website from your search window, not from a link in an email or one on social media. This is not the time to try out a new app or website or buy from an unfamiliar account on Instagram. Stick to brands you know and trust and their official online channels.
Most travel deals are offered over several days so you’ll likely have more time than just Tuesday to do your shopping. Some will start on Black Friday and last into December. However, inventory may be limited and deals can sell out before the sale officially ends. Don’t let the pressure get to you: Missing a deal is better than buying one that doesn’t fit your criteria.
Before you click “buy,” check the fine print for any restrictions. The most common limitation is the time frame. There may be blackout dates or short travel windows. There may be extra fees such as baggage fees on discount airlines that will make a flight the same cost as one on a major airline, or resort fees, service fees and city taxes at hotels. Note the provider’s cancellation policy and any associated fees. Once you have your travel selections, consult your fellow travelers to confirm the arrangements. Now you can buy — bon voyage!
Leslie Meredith has been writing about technology for more than a decade. As a mom of four, value, usefulness and online safety take priority. Have a question? Email Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.