When I think of Black Friday deals, one terrifying image comes to mind: I’m standing at the front of a line the minute the doors are unlocked, and thundering crowds trample me as they are reaching for the latest iPhone. This may seem hyperbolic, but last year people actually died on Black Friday.
That’s just stupid.
For the record, I would never participate in such hedonism. There’s always the more civilized Cyber Monday if you’re looking for a deal.
That said, last year, I scored an amazing deal (60% off!!) at the Chicago Athletic Association for our stay in Chicago last February and I was pumped. Before then, I didn’t pay attention to these types of sales, but with the rising popularity of the American post-Thanksgiving shopping tradition in Canada, I discovered there are tons of hotel deals to take advantage of.
Here’s a heads up on how to find the best hotel deals on Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
First things first: do your research
Before getting online and booking a bunch of hotel stays — which will probably be non-refundable — do a little poking around. If you have a set destination, great! Do a little comparison shopping: Make sure you get an idea of what hotels in that area cost on a typical weekday and on a weekend. Otherwise, how will you know you’re getting a good deal?
Expedia is advertising over 1000 Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals (up to 90% off) so you’ve got work to do!
If you don’t know where you want to go, no sweat! Let the deal dictate you destination for a winter escape or your summer vacation. Found a $99 per night beachfront property in Miami? Book it!
Don’t forget, always check review sites like TripAdvisor once you do find a hotel deal, just to make sure it’s not a hole in an awful location.
Check multiple websites
Most OTAs (online travel agencies) like Expedia and Hotels.com will be advertising Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales with savings 75-90% off. Do a quick check on several to make sure you are getting the best deal, and don’t worry if you see the dubious “only 3 rooms left at this price.” That’s just a tricky little mechanism to get you to book quickly.
Be sure to check the hotel’s direct website as well. Many hoteliers, especially smaller boutique spots, won’t always advertise their best deals on OTAs .
For the big chain hotels, Starwood‘s properties are already on sale, with up to 35% off. Marriott is offering 25% when you book between Nov. 25-28, and so is Hyatt if you book by Nov. 29. IHG‘s sale starts (and ends) on Cyber Monday Monday.
When to book
Unlike deals at physical stores stores, many hotels and airlines promote sales for a full week, on now through Cyber Monday, Nov. 28. Keep in mind the best deals will only last for a short time on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, sometimes for only for a few hours.
Make sure to stay connected all day, via your phone or by computer. Many hotels have flash sales with ridiculously good savings — I’m talking $10 room nights for central London, UK hotels — that only last for an hour between 6am-7am on Cyber Monday.
Being flexible with your dates also helps find a better deal.
The deals I found so far
For 2017, I’m planning trips to Thailand, Turkey and back to upstate New York/Vermont, and hoping to relax in Miami.
Here’s what I’ve found so far for my travels.
Adam and I stayed at this hotel last weekend, and we definitely want to experience the beautiful 1000 Islands in nicer weather. This charming hotel opened in 2014 and is right in the St. Lawrence River. At $99 per night, when regular room nights run from $149-$199, the savings on this one are up to 50% off!
I’m a huge fan of Kimpton hotels on the whole, and they are having a sale on all their hotels, but I’ve always wanted to spend a romantic weekend in Vermont. The Kimpton Taconic, a gorgeous quintessential boutique inn, is having an anniversary sale on Monday, Nov. 28 from 11:28 a.m. to 1:20 p.m, offering book one night get a second free. Book online or call 866-518-8465.
Miami has been high on the list for awhile, and I’m hoping to spend a long weekend there this winter. Circa 39 is a hip newly-renovated art deco hotel on Miami Beach and perfect for quick winter getaway. They ar offering 25% from Nov. 25 and 28 for a wide range of 2017 stays. Online booking code: PROCYBER.
My best friend is getting married on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand this March, so Adam and I are planning to spend some time in Bangkok before hand. We’re staying at the Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit, who are offering up to 35% off as part of the Starwood cyber sale.
I’m planning to spend another summer working on the archaeological dig in Turkey, so I’ll want a fancy hotel to relax in after a month in the dirt. Part of the Morgan’s Hotel Group, this chic hotel is settled in the hip Karaköy, a section of the trendy Beyoğlu neighbourhood. This is part of wider sale with up to 50% off 2017 dates.
Happy shopping and safe travels!!