By Amanda Mesa | Published on October 27, 2022
Every November, shoppers flock to brick-and-mortar and online shops to take advantage of Cyber Monday and Black Friday deals. Heavily discounted items run the gamut— from clothing, toys and household items to electronics, appliances and even cars. Material goods aside, this iconic day is also an opportunity to score the best Black Friday travel deals for your next vacation getaway.
The first step in planning a vacation is figuring out how to get to your destination. You'll want to assess what's available, your most affordable options and what makes the most sense for your family. If you're traveling with small kids, for example, you may want to avoid connecting flights. And if you're planning a romantic getaway, you may not want the stress of a long drive. A cruise makes traveling easy and fun — you only have to unpack once! — and you only have to consider how you'll get to your departure port.
Nabbing great Black Friday travel deals on cruises, flights and car rentals can make the vacation-planning process a breeze so you can focus on the fun stuff — just ask any savvy traveler. That said, with so many options to choose from, navigating Cyber Monday or Black Friday deals on vacation travel can feel overwhelming. To simplify the process and your search for savings, here's some useful advice for hatching the ultimate cyber travel deals game plan.
Cruise getaways remove much of the burden of planning, even if you still need flights or car rentals to get to your departure port. The best way to tackle Black Friday deals on travel is to know your goals before diving in. Before the big day, spend some time thinking about your ideal vacation. Is it a couple's getaway or a family trip? You can usually find specific deals for saving on all kinds of travel vacation experiences. For example, some cruise lines will sweeten the deal with Black Friday promotions where kids sail free, or onboard credits for value-adding experiences, like a romantic couple's massage or specialty dining. Plus, many cruise lines will offer discounted airfare to and from departure ports.
Next, think about where you want to travel, whether it's an exotic locale or chillier climate. Keep in mind that off-the-beaten-path places sometimes offer better value — and just as many interesting attractions or charm — as tried-and-true cruise destinations. Are you set on a particular city, country or region, or are you open to whatever's available for the best price? The latter approach will open the door to more savings potential, and you may end up falling in love with a place (or places) you wouldn't have typically considered. For example, if you're dreaming of exploring the Mediterranean, or getting in touch with your adventurous side on a cruise to Alaska, Royal Caribbean offers several itineraries that sail out of different departure ports. The same goes for cruises throughout the Caribbean. All you have to do is pick the port with the cheapest flights and let the cruise take you there.
Once you land on your ideal vacation spot, consider whether your dates are flexible. If you have some wiggle room in your travel dates, you may be able to nab more savings. Travel deals for last-minute, shoulder-season and midweek bookings are definitely a thing, as airlines, hotels and cruise lines lower prices to fill unreserved or hard-to-book seats, suites and staterooms.
Once you've listed all the boxes your ideal vacation should check, it's time to find to sniff out those great Black Friday travel deals, and explore your options. I recommend creating a budget and stick to it while you're shopping Cyber Monday or Black Friday travel deals. List the elements you absolutely have to book for your getaway, whether they include airfare, a rental car or hotel accommodations. In choosing to cruise for your travels you can likely knock at least two of those items off your list in one go.
You could also create a spreadsheet to house links to your pricing options. Then, you can quickly compare Black Friday travel deals and choose the one that feels most valuable to you. The spreadsheet can also act as a budget tracker, where you can add up what you've spent as you snag the best cyber travel deals for even more savings. Working with a travel advisor? They can take care of this leg work for you to make deal getting even easier!
After settling on your budget, draw up a short list of destinations that offer the kinds of experiences you want to have before Black Friday kicks off. This way, you can search for savings on travel to those places first rather than falling down a rabbit hole of discounts when searching for Black Friday travel deals.
If you're traveling with kids, keep the stress down by choosing destinations you can easily reach on a short, direct flight or a quick drive. Consider the activities you'll enjoy with your kids once you get there, too. For a family with young children, an island-hopping cruise through the Caribbean that offers plenty of outdoor activities might be a better choice than a tour of France's iconic wine regions.
This strategy also applies when planning a couple's getaway. There's nothing too romantic about spending hours in a car trying to get to your destination, or having to hop from hotel to hotel. Cruising is a great option here, too. You can choose from scenic sailings across the South Pacific, the Greek Isles or Scandinavia's dreamy, dramatic fjords — or book a romantic cruise to Alaska or the Caribbean. Luckily, you can usually find Black Friday travel deals on domestic and international flights, as well as cruises departing from ports around the world.
When shopping for Cyber Monday or Black Friday travel deals, pay close attention to any restrictions or limitations before booking. Some deals may include restrictions, such as nonrefundable rates or a specific travel window. It's important to know what — if any — policies you're agreeing to before you purchase. Booking a nonrefundable rate on airfare or hotels will often earn you heftier savings — though you are giving up the flexibility.
If you'd rather have the peace of mind knowing you can change or cancel your plans without penalty, it's worth spending a little more on a refundable option or an option that offers a future travel credit. Royal Caribbean checks all the boxes here, too. Depending on the length of your sailing, you can usually cancel up to 75 or 90 days prior to your cruise for a full refund outside your initial nonrefundable deposit. The cruise line also lays out all its terms and conditions in one easy-to-read FAQ page on its website, so you don't have to go searching for the fine print when making a reservation.
This year, consider adding an unforgettable getaway to your Black Friday shopping list. It's hands-down the best time of the year to score savings on airfare, hotels and cruises around the world. Finding the best Black Friday travel deals can be simple and stress-free with these expert tips.