Feeling the chokehold that airlines, stores, and gas prices have on you during the holiday season? With everyone squeezing you, saving around this time of year might seem like a pipe dream. In fact, there are several ways to save big despite astronomical Black Friday airplane tickets and Cyber Monday gasoline gimmicks. Here are a few of the best Black Friday travel deals 2017 is seeing along with how savvy Canadians are taking advantage of these savings.
Tip #1: Travel overnight
Kick off your savings by traveling overnight to save on a hotel room for the night! This absurdly simple travel hack can save you hundreds of dollars on both ends of the trip.
Tip #2: Go further with Black Friday travel deals
The smartest way to save during the hectic holiday season is to use your credit cards wisely. There are actually loads of benefits built into the average Canadian credit card, including Black Friday airline sales, you just need to know which ones to use and when. Look for cards with:
Use points that you’ve accumulated from your year-round purchases to pay for your Black Friday plane tickets. With the Starwood Preferred Guest card, for example, you can transfer points to air miles via 30 different airlines for free tickets. Other cards like the BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard will help you pay for your entire flight using the free air miles they give you upon signup after your initial purchase limit. BMO gives new members 3,000 miles, plenty to cover an entire trip.
In addition to finding Cyber Monday flight deals, get major savings even if you’re driving. If you’re putting gas into the tank anyway, why not get some money back? With cards like the Scotiabank Gold American Express card, you’ll get a tremendous 4% back on gas purchases up to $50,000 yearly, one of the highest cashback programs available in Canada. Also, get 4% back on groceries and dining out while you’re heading towards those exciting Cyber Monday travel deals.
Save big on your hotel accommodations with the right credit card, too. The same Starwood card gives you 25,000 welcome points. That’s enough to pay for five nights of stay free at a great hotel! Their redemption policy is also really flexible, with no blackout dates and more than 1,200 hotels to choose from.
Many of the better cards, like the Scotiabank Gold and BMO cards, also offer incredible travel perks like flight delay and cancellation insurance, lost luggage insurance, discounts on car rentals, and price protection on your Black Friday purchases.
Tip #3: Take Advantage of Off Season Airfares
Airlines know that everyone is vying for those precious last-minutes seats on their planes, so they charge a lot for Black Friday plane tickets. If you don’t have to travel during the busiest times, you’ll save a bundle on off season travel.
Here’s how to play the low season travel system. If you’ve got your vacation days building up or have the wiggle room to manage it, consider taking a longer holiday. With tickets starting at $200 and going upwards, it could mean the difference of several hundreds of dollars for you and your crew. Even traveling a day or two before the holiday season travel rush can save you a lot. Search for tickets a few days prior to the weekend, and see the prices drop.
Tip #4: Utilize package deals
Smart Canadians have learned the art of bundling their travel accommodations for maximum savings during the holiday season travel crunch. Frequently, airlines will create partnerships with other travel-related businesses to give their customers some amazing discounts. By combining flights, hotel accommodations, car rentals, and even purchases, you can get some of the best Cyber Monday travel deals 2017 has to offer. Spend less, get more; it’s the only way to travel.
Tip #5: Skip the extras
Cheap flights can be hard to come by for the typical Canadian traveler, but that doesn’t mean savings aren’t available…if you know where to look for them. If you have to spend a lot on your Black Friday plane tickets, minimize the costs by avoiding any extra frills. For example, a suitcase can run between $25-$30 per person/per flight, quickly adding up. Consider leaving your extra baggage at home and packing light in a carry-on, instead. Also, avoid in-flight perks that can add considerably to your tab, and weigh your luggage, so you’re not hit with a hefty overweight charge.
Holidays can be pricey, but they don’t have to break the bank if you know how to play the system. Use these tips, and save more this holiday season.