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Why Travel Bargains Are A Big Deal On Black Friday And Cyber Monday

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Black Friday has swept through the UK in recent years: frenzied shopping, consumerist joy, utter chaos, and, of course, massive bargains.

For lots of us, Black Friday has become the day we try to buy up all of our Christmas/birthday/any gift we’ll ever need in the next year presents. It’s also the day we feel OK about splurging on ourselves (especially if we’ve been coveting a new phone/gadget/tech toy. Or a holiday).

Turns out, Black Friday isn’t just a day to binge-buy TVs and tablets - in recent years, every industry has gotten involved in the slash-price action, with everything from furniture deals to travel bargains cropping up. In fact, in 2017, 91% of UK stores took part by offering discounts, The Independent reports.

Last year, eagle-eyed travellers bagged deals on holidays around the globe, to exciting destinations like Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam, on Black Friday.

Sign up to travel company emails to be the first to know about the latest deals on offer (do it now as some companies begin their deals before Black Friday).

Also remember that deals tend to continue beyond Black Friday, which falls on November 23 this year, through to Small Business Saturday (November 24) and into Cyber Monday (November 26).

So turning that dream of lounging on a beach in Mauritius into reality starts now.

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Black Friday: A Brief History

In the States, Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s all about embracing family, togetherness, feasting and sharing moments and memories. What it’s not about? Stuff. Well, now it is.

Black Friday has been around longer than most of us realise, especially since it’s just become a thing in the UK in recent years. Since the 1950s, the day after Thanksgiving has been recognised as the start of the Christmas shopping season.

In 2005, Black Friday became the busiest shopping day of the year.

The term Black Friday never had positive connotations: it was first used in reference to the gold market crash in 1869, when two Wall Street tycoons drove the nation’s gold price through the roof and the stock market plummeted, taking the fortunes of thousands of unfortunate souls with it.

In the 1950s, police in Philadelphia used the term to refer to the scene of complete chaos on the day after Thanksgiving, when the city was enveloped in bedlam and traffic from shoppers and tourists eager to watch the big Army-Navy football game.

From 2005, Cyber Monday – the Monday after Thanksgiving, which sees people back at their desks after the festive weekend – became the online equivalent of Black Friday, the brainchild of savvy retailers who realised sales were increasing exponentially following Turkey Day.

They began offering shoppers massive online discounts and allowing retailers of all sizes a piece of the action, which only got people spending more. In 2017, Cyber Monday sales hit an unprecedented $6.59 billion. How much did your buys contribute to the total pot?

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Why Travel Deals?

Black Friday shoppers can potentially save hundreds (or even thousands) on long-haul destinations, ski season discounts and hotel and spa getaways on Black Friday this year, based on what airlines and package holiday providers offered in past years.

As any savvy holiday-maker will tell you, if you can be flexible about your dates, you can save a huge amount on airline and accommodation costs when booking a holiday, especially if you can travel last-minute, before the Christmas travel period begins towards mid-late December.

The travel bug shows no signs of abating – in fact, 2019 travel trends show we’re looking to be booking more getaways than before, but to a slightly different purpose.

For instance, travellers aren’t just looking for the instant-gratification, Instagram-envy holiday anymore: lots of people are seeking out more socially responsible and environmentally conscious holidays, that team personal fulfilment, new-skill building and helping those in the country they’re visiting.

Don’t worry, no one will judge you if you’re craving a holiday to a certain destination after some aspirational social media feeds have shown the light (and the food) elsewhere. You won’t be the first to have booked a flight to Hanoi just to get your hands on one of those delectable-looking Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches. Trust us.

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Top Tips To Make The Most Out Of Black Friday Sales

Even the most claustrophobic among us can bag some awesome Black Friday deals, without leaving the comfort of home: online deals often start from midnight, so be a night owl – or an early bird – and start shopping in your PJs.

Start following your favourite travel companies on social media to find out what the deals are going to be in advance. Keep an eye out for any additional codes online. Also, don’t despair if you can’t shop on the Friday – retailers, airlines and travel agencies have started to extend their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals further into the week.

Preparation is also key: make a list of a few destinations you’re eager to check out in 2019, and go from there. Will this be the year you finally visit the Mayan ruins in Mérida? Or see the elephants in Sri Lanka?

Maybe we’ll be seeing you there.