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.”