Black Friday is coming, and bargain-hunters are sharpening their elbows.
As more and more airlines, hotels and package holiday companies jump on the bandwagon, how can you get the best Black Friday travel deals?
First off, approach travel bargains in the same way you would any other shopping – only buy something that you really want, check that the savings really do compute (i.e. a 50pc discount might be calculated from a higher rack rate that’s never really used) and double check any blackout dates before paying out.
We spotted a few hotels advertising Black Friday rates that are suspiciously similar to their regular low season prices, for example – so check that your discount actually is a discount before you get the credit card out.
Here’s our pick of the best Black Friday bargains. We’ll be adding to the list as different deals are announced, so keep an eye on this page…
Flights: €100 off transatlantic fares
Aer Lingus is offering discounts all week, with up to €100 off round-trip transatlantic flights – you can get to Los Angeles from €169 one-way from Dublin, for travel between January 8 and March 22. aerlingus.com.
Ryanair has a different deal available each day as part of its ‘Cyber Week’ sale, with eight consecutive days of bargains on offer (e.g. €30 off return fares, or lead-in prices from €7.99). It’s also offering 10pc off of all check in bags on bookings made this week. ryanair.com.
WOW air has a ‘Purple Friday’ sale with flights from Dublin to Iceland from €49.99, and Dublin to US destinations like Boston, Chicago and Toronto (via Reykjavík) from €119.99 each-way. The deals are available to midnight on November 25, but bear in mind that the rates don’t include seat selection or bags. wowair.ie.
FYI, Skyscanner.ie has a dedicated page on Black Friday deals, and its research into 2017 data showed that 11am is the best time to score a Black Friday bargain.
*Our Tip: Some flight discounts only apply if you book them as part of a return trip. This may not always be the cheapest way to fly – it’s always worth shopping around for prices on both legs.
More: Pól Ó Conghaile: Six sneaky escapes within an hour of Dublin
Hotels: Up to 45pc off rooms
Both Clayton Hotels and Maldron Hotels are offering 15pc off B&B stays booked from November 21–26, for stays up to February 28. There’s an additional €10 off room rates if you sign up to their sites, claytonhotels.com and maldronhotels.com.
The InterContinental Dublin is offering 25pc off room-only rates this Cyber Week, for bookings made from November 23 – 30. intercontinentaldublin.ie.
The Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone is offering 30pc off rooms booked between November 19 – 27, for stays up until the end of August 2019. radissonblu.ie/hotel-athlone.
Lough Erne Resort has a Black Friday offer of £99 per room for a midweek stay in a luxury lodge guest room, with breakfast and spa access, for stays Sunday – Thursday from January 3 – March 28 (which is up to 45pc off). The offer is bookable until November 23. It also has a 50pc discount on all room upgrades during the sale. lougherneresort.com/black-friday.
Flynn Hotels is offering up to 25pc off on B&B rates from Friday, November 23 to Sunday 25, bookable to March 2019. It has a similar deal on Cyber Monday, November 25. flynnhotels.com
Amber Springs Hotel in Gorey, Co Wexford, is offering 20pc off stays of two nights or more, across all available dates except July and August, bookable from November 23 – 26. ambersprings.ie.
The George Hotel in Limerick is offering 30pc off reservations made between November 23 – 26, including B&B, room-only and package rates. Use the code BLACKFRIDAY on its website. georgelimerick.com.
The House Hotel in Galway is offering an overnight stay with dinner, cocktails in The Yard and breakfast for €129 per room, available to book from November 20 – 25, for stays Sunday – Friday up to February 28. thehousehotel.ie.
*Our Tip: Before booking with a search site like hotels.com or booking.com, try contacting the hotel directly. It may beat the rate, as it won’t have to pay the hefty agent’s commission.
More: 25 Christmas hotel breaks in Ireland: Skip the stress with our 2018 guide!
Package Holidays: Up to 63pc off
Sunway will have Black Friday travel deals online on Friday with discounts of up to 45pc, including a seven-night break in Fuerteventura from €269pp. Sunway.ie
Camino Ways is offering €25pp off all holidays, using the code BLACKFRIDAY18. Bear in mind you can also use this in conjunction with a 10pc early bird discount. The offer is available up to November 23. caminoways.com.
TUI has Black Friday deals running until Monday, 26th November. It’s offering €50 off bookings (use the code BF50), €100 off Mexico holidays (BF100), and €100 off Marella Cruises (BFCRUISE100). tuiholidays.ie.
TrekAmerica has up to 30pc off selected tours this winter, if booked between November 21-26. For example, you can save up to €524.70 on a Florida Christmas, New Orleans New Year tour, departing on Christmas Eve. trekamerica.co.uk.
Celebrity Cruises (above) is offering savings of 50pc off cruise-only fares for second guests in a booking, along with free Classic Drinks Packages and up to $200 onboard spending money for bookings made between November 22 – 26, on selected 2019 European and Arabian cruises. celebritycruises.ie.
Turquoise Holidays is offering 50pc off a luxurious Maldives break, with seven nights half-board at Six Senses Laamu costing £2,290pp (€2,573pp) including flights from Dublin with Qatar Airways. This is based on travel between April 21 and September 30 of next year, and is bookable only from November 23 – 26. turquoiseholidays.co.uk.
Emirates Holidays, which partners with airline Emirates to do flight and holiday packages, has discounts of up to 63pc on trips to Dubai (based on a three-night stay at the five-star Atlantis The Palm from €899pp). The offers run until November 30. emiratesholidays.com.
Small group adventure tour operator Intrepid Travel has 20pc off over 1,000 trips worldwide for 2019 departures. The sale expires on November 28, and is valid for tours departing January 15 to December 15, 2019. IntrepidTravel.com/Cyber-Sale
G Adventures has discounts of up to 35pc, including a trip to Everest Basecamp reduced by over €400 to a starting price of €812 (excluding flights). gadventures.co.uk.
See itaa.ie/offers for more Black Friday travel deals from ITAA members.
*Our Tip: Many travel agents and tour operators will offer discounts via their newsletters and Facebook pages… note, however, that many discounts are subject to minimum spends.
Airport Shopping and other tips
Fancy a bit of Duty Free? The Loop at Dublin Airport has up to 50pc off of high street prices on selected lines this week, across perfumes, cosmetics, skincare and more. You can also shop online, and collect in up to three months time. theloop.ie.
Cheap hostel stay? Generator Hostels has 25pc off its hostels in Dublin and other European cities when you book two nights or more between November and March. generatorhostels.com
Black Friday ski deals? DirectSki.com has a seven-night package to Chamonix in the French Alps departing January 19 from €299pp. That’s a saving of up to 50pc on the brochure price, based on five people sharing a the 3-star, self-catering Residence La Riviere. Austrian deals start from €349pp. directski.com.
Crystal Ski (crystalski.ie), meanwhile, has ski deals from €349pp.
All that commercial frenzy leaving you cold? In a bit of a Black Friday backlash, Stena Line has created a Round Up Campaign running to November 27, in which passengers can round up their on-ship purchases, with the surplus money donated to Mercy Ships. The charity delivers free healthcare to developing countries.
NB: All prices subject to change/availability.
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