Everybody knows shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday will get you the best deals on almost anything, right? Maybe not. When it comes to travel, your best bet might be to exercise a little patience and hold out for Travel Deal Tuesday, which may be shaping up to be the Black Friday for airfares.
Travel Deal Tuesday is a newer concept when it comes to the holiday sales cycle. It takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (one day after Cyber Monday). That’s November 28 this year. If you have travel plans, then now is the time to shop for tickets.
The origin of Travel Deal Tuesday
Airfare-finding app Hopper, which also predicts future airfare prices, crunched the numbers from last year and found more than double the normal fare sale activity on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It looked even deeper and discovered historical evidence for big sale activity on that day over the past several years. So Travel Deal Tuesday has quietly been a thing for a while, but it’s now getting wider recognition.
Why this is such a big day
Thanksgiving is a hugely busy holiday for air travel, so it can be hard to find good rates around the time of the celebration. Once that’s all wrapped up, the demand for travel eases up, especially since most people have already booked their December flights. That means airlines are offering good deals to encourage people to book new trips.
How good are the deals?
Hopper said it can predict future airfares with 95 percent accuracy up to six months before departure. The company offers up some predictions for U.S. average deal prices for Travel Deal Tuesday and they sound pretty great. Hopper expects to see some round-trip flights in the range of $566 to Paris, $356 to Puerto Vallarta, $594 to London, and $736 to Tokyo. That means your dream trip may be closer than you think, but it also bodes well for domestic travel bargains if you just need to jet across the country to visit family.
Tips for snagging a flight bargain
Now that you know to look out for great airfares on Travel Deal Tuesday, it’s time to get your game plan together.
As usual, airfare bargains can be very dependent on when you want to fly. You’re more likely to grab a killer price if you have some flexibility in your dates. In a similar vein, you may be able to save if you’re willing to put up with making connections along the way rather than flying direct. Look at your options and see how much you’re willing to compromise in search of a deal.
Use a price-watch service:
The Hopper app’s “Flex Watch” feature is a personalized deal finder that alerts you when destinations you are interested in go on sale. Sites like Google Flights and Kayak also have price-tracking features that will notify you when an airfare bargain is up for grabs.
Set up your airfare alerts in advance or get them going on the morning of Travel Deal Tuesday so you can focus on your day and not feel like you have to check prices every few minutes. If a deal looks good, jump on it. Discounted fares can sell out quickly.
Use your travel rewards:
Do you have a travel-rewards credit card? Your Travel Deal Tuesday bargain could get all the sweeter if you have rewards to redeem. Check your balance and work your rewards into your cost calculations.
If you’re so over the usual holiday shopping and instead are looking for cheap airfare so you can get away from it all, the Travel Deal Tuesday is made for you. Just be ready to grab that deal while you have the chance.
Don’t let the TSA ruin your day
Before you go to the airport, make sure you know what you can pack and how to get in touch with the TSA to get your pre-flight questions answered.