An Insider’s Guide to Scoring Cyber Monday Travel Deals

AlamyBy Brendan Spiegel

While the day after Thanksgiving — a.k.a. Black Friday — may be the best time to stampede your way toward a new flatscreen TV at a discount, when it comes to booking a getaway, nothing beats the sweet travel deals that you can snag on Cyber Monday.

Market research firm IBISWorld predicts that Americans will spend more than $1.7 billion shopping online this Cyber Monday, which falls on December 2. But big-box retailers hawking everything from housewares to cold-weather wear aren’t the only ones offering plum discounts: In recent years, hotel chains have also gotten in on the action.

LearnVest spoke with Jodi Grundig, editor of Family Travel Magazine, to get her take on how to book the best Cyber Monday vacation deals.

LearnVest: Why is Cyber Monday a good time to book travel?

Jodi Grundig: It’s not just for tech products and toys anymore. Hotels, in particular, are offering a lot of great deals, trying to capitalize on the fact that people are already shopping. I’ve seen anywhere from 25% to 50% off. Some deals are for Cyber Monday, others are for Black Friday and some span the whole booking window in between. I saw some of these deals last year, but it definitely seems to have grown across the board this year.

Is it possible to get deals for holiday travel this year?

Grundig: Some deals are for 2014 and some are being offered for the beginning of this December. However, all of them have blackout dates-and Christmas through New Year’s is almost always included in that. You’re not going to find a hotel for the holidays, but you may find something for slightly before or after. I have also seen at least one deal for purchasing a gift certificate, which is nice because it offers flexibility and doesn’t have blackout dates.

What about Cyber Monday discounts on flights?

Grundig: It’s primarily hotels that are offering unusually good deals on Cyber Monday. Some airlines have seasonal sales-I saw that JetBlue Getaways just announced something-so there are good airline and package deals to be had out there, but not necessarily just on Cyber Monday. Just keep in mind that, with those deals, you’re typically getting a discount on the airfare. So if you’re looking for hotel savings, you’ll find those mostly from the hotels themselves.

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