The stages of searching for Black Friday travel deals

black friday travel deals

In recent years, airlines, hotel chains, and travel websites have become increasingly competitive during the post-Thanksgiving sales week. Even though error fares and extravagant sales are available year-round, this is the weekend that everyone hopes they’ll snag the deepest discounts. Having nothing booked for 2019 (and feeling a ton of restlessness over it), I decided to get in on the action.

Stage 1: Sky high expectations

If I haven’t booked two round trip flights to another continent for $500 I’m going to consider this weekend a failure.

Stage 2: The extensive research

Snagging a good deal on Black Friday is all about research. You can’t buy it if you don’t know it’s coming. And you need to be one of the first 100 people to buy to get that crazy discount that they just email blasted to 83,000 people. Fuck!

Stage 3: The comparison game

Wow! There are a lot of totally mediocre options out there. Paris for $600! London for $400! I’m pretty sure that’s the average price of those flights year round… And they leave from… New York? It’s too bad I don’t live there.

Maybe there will be better deals on Cyber Monday.

Stage 4: Doing the math

Oh cool, I could fly to Singapore for $400. But the flight departs from a neighboring country. I guess that’s not too far. How much is a flight from here to the departing city? Oh… $350. So, the regular price of a flight to Singapore from where I live.

I don’t even wanna go to Singapore.

Stage 5: Frustration

Can hotels.com stop emailing me coupons for 8% off? That’s not a Black Friday deal; that’s a slap in the face. Well…I guess I’ll book a hotel. Might as well. Something with free cancellation just in case. It is 8% off…

Maybe there will be better deals on Travel Tuesday.

Stage 6: Checking out

I’m gonna buy something this weekend dammit! Even if it’s a trip to a place I’ve already been. Or to a place I don’t really care about visiting. Or full-price tickets that are not even a little bit on sale. I mean whatever, I have a few hundred dollars that I’m obviously not going to be able to use to go to the Maldives. So fuck it.

Stage 7: Post-Black Friday shock

Well, I saved some money this weekend. I feel pretty good! Let me just make sure everything looks ok on my credit card. Wait, waaaa… How did I spend $1000? Um…

“Hi, I’d like to report fraudulent charges on my account.”

2 thoughts on “The stages of searching for Black Friday travel deals

  1. It is pieces like this that keep me reading your blog posts. I am very familiar with the atrocities committed by Pol Pot upon his own people. I wonder how many younger Americans have ever seen the film of “The Killing Fields”? They should. They should also know that the amateur “actor” who played the role of the person that film is based upon, Haing S. Ngor(playing the role of Dith Pran) was himself a victim. He survived three terms in Cambodian prison camps, using his medical knowledge to keep himself alive by eating beetles, termites, and scorpions; he eventually crawled between Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese lines to safety. He won an academy award for his performance but one wonders how much he was acting and how much he was re-living. He was reluctant to play the role but did so because he recalled that he promised his late wife to tell Cambodia’s story to the world.
    After surviving all of that and then telling his story to the world, he lived in the U.S. until 1996 when he was gunned down by gang members in L.A. because, after handing over his gold Rolex watch willingly, he refused to give them a locket that contained a photo of his deceased wife. Gotta’ love this place.

    One final thing. As someone very familiar with Vietnam also, there are three films that are pretty accurate of what went on there…and all are difficult to watch. Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, and Platoon. Every American should be required to watch these. A few years ago I was talking with Tom Berenger and he told me that he had recorded extensive interviews with every actor in Platoon while on set, as well as the director, producer, cameramen, carpenters….basically everybody involved in the film. All of those recordings are just sitting in a trunk in his house collecting dust. It would be one hell of a documentary!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights with us. Life goes on but I wonder how we can keep from making the same mistakes if we don’t even know our history. A new poll shows 1/3 of Europeans know little to nothing about the Holocaust.(sighs)

    1. I have not watched the Killing Fields. I’ll make a note of it though it sounds harrowing.

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