Today is Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year. Traditionally geared to Christmas shoppers and holiday merchandise, it has become a day for every merchant, including travel companies, to offer something special.
But though the travel industry is marketing its deals as Cyber Monday sales, most of them won’t be booked online. For some of the best offers, you’ll need to pick up the phone.
Editors of TravelPulse.com have selected the following offers to give travelers an idea of where they can go and how far they can stretch their dollars to get there.
MSC Cruises may not be a familiar name, but a very large shipping company called MSC owns it. (You’ve undoubtedly seen their containers mounted on 18-wheelers.) They're offering discounted rates and up to $200 shipboard credit on select sailings in the Caribbean, Bermuda and Europe when booked through Dec. 1. Rates average close to $50 per person, per day, and include all food and most onboard activities.
Norwegian Cruise Line is offering shipboard credit of up to $250 to people who book a cruise through Dec. 2. Fares on the Norwegian Getaway, the company’s newest ship, start at $509 per person, double occupancy, for a seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. Caribbean cruises on the Norwegian Epic, now in its final season from Miami, are priced from $379.
Las Vegas continues its evolution with the introduction of the newSLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Through Dec. 5, you can book at 50 percent off the best available room rates. In an unusual move, this offer has no blackout dates, but it must be redeemed online and scheduled for between now and Aug. 31. A wide open travel window gives travelers the ability to pick and choose from a variety of dates.
Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile is offering 25 percent discounts on standard guest rooms (starting at $97), corner king guest rooms ($122) and one-bedroom executive suites ($147) for stays between Dec. 7 and March 7.
A Couple of Additional Points
The Hyatt Chicago offer is typical of suppliers and destinations that want to attract travelers in their offseason. Despite potential weather issues in the winter, a hotel price for under $100 per night can sway people to enjoy everything from the restaurants to the Navy Pier to the museums on a long weekend stay. Just pack accordingly and be prepared to spend time indoors.
There are many other offers that aren’t unique to Cyber Monday. The travel industry looks to fill ships, rooms and resorts with targeted incentives tied to specific time frames or even individual departures. The more flexible you are, the more likely you can grab a deal on an out-of-favor cruise or a week at an all-inclusive resort.
But all of this research can be overwhelming as you search for the right offers for your next trip. A search on Sunday evening for Cyber Monday Travel Deals returned 51 million results on Google. That’s a lot to sift through … for just the first couple of pages … and that’s before you get down to the various sites and the many other options they’ve listed. Also, many of these deals are non-refundable, so you should consider travel insurance.
One final thought: given the number of deals out there, it’s always best to consult a travel agent for professional advice on any Cyber Monday deal.
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