Black Friday-CyberMonday deals for travelers

AP News
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Posted: Nov 24, 2014 8:54 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Planning a trip? Check out deals being offered by the travel industry as part of Black Friday and CyberMonday promotions.

But do your homework, cautions Pauline Frommer, editorial director of Frommer's.

"I think they're a mix when it comes to travel," she said. "I've seen a number of excellent deals over the years, but just as many — if not more — silly promotions, so-called deals that really have more to do with getting a particular hotel, chain, tour company or cruise line noticed than they do with saving people money."

On the other hand, she says, "savvy travelers, who check to make sure that what they're getting is actually a deal, can sometimes score big."

Many hotels and resorts — from Atlantis in the Bahamas to select Vail Resorts properties — are advertising promotions, as are some tour companies. BedandBreakfast.com is offering a $50 Restaurant.com gift card free with a $100 BedandBreakfast.com Getaway Gift card purchased between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1 with the code MERRYGC. The Trump Hotel Collection is offering 30 percent off all suites booked between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1 for stays Jan. 1- March 1, 2015. And Gate 1 Travel is offering discounts of at least 10 percent on purchases between $500 and $10,000 made with a promotion code online Nov. 27 and by phone Nov. 28.

Some cruise sites and companies are advertising deals, but Cruise Week editor Mike Driscoll thinks "there's nothing really out of the ordinary being offered beyond what has been seen in the last two months." Which doesn't mean you can't find bargains — but they're not just Black Friday-CyberMonday deals. "Due to lingering overcapacity, there are still bargains to be found for close-in Caribbean sailings and that continues through March departures," Driscoll said.

George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, is encouraging travelers to take a look at what's out there. "In past years, the deals have been highly discounted compared to regular sales, but usually the actual travel window is limited and availability might be limited, so we recommend monitoring airlines and hotel companies on Twitter and opening email when the cock crows," he said, adding, "The early shoppers will get the deals."