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We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! As always, we’re thankful for a lot of things, including our online community. We appreciate all the support and love, and are so grateful for the opportunity to share our posts and videos with you. With the holiday shopping frenzy in full gear, we wanted to share our top travel Black Friday deals for 2018. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but includes travel-related products and services that we personally have used and enjoyed, and can recommend without hesitation.
Favorite Black Friday & Cyber Monday travel-related deals for 2018
1. G Adventures and Intrepid:
G Adventures and Intrepid are two group travel companies that I personally recommend to those looking for a small group travel experience. I personally have used G Adventures on two trips — one to Panama, and the other to Southeast Asia. Both experiences were outstanding. They not only handled all the logistics, which was particularly handy when doing border crossings with visas. They also provided local tour guides who understood the language and culture, and were able to help maximize our experience. Both companies promote responsible and sustainable travel too, which is important to me. I also appreciate that while they are structured tours, they do give you some flexibility and free time to explore on your own. You’re often allowed to choose which activities you want to do. I’ve made some great friends on these trips from all over the world, and I highly recommend them if you’re a single traveler looking to meet new people while exploring.
If you’re looking to learn a new language in 2019, I highly recommend the language programs at Fluenz. I’ve used their Italian and Spanish program, and both were top notch. I’ve been meaning to do a review of Fluenz, but in the meantime, if you have any interest in learning a foreign language, I recommend checking out their language programs. They offer Spanish (both from Spain and Latin America), French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Mandarin. Their approach to language learning is different than some of the other popular language programs. However, I thought their program was a great balance between teaching me useful phrases that I could use immediately on trips, while also providing the building blocks to master the language. I had a chance to test out the Italian that I learned this past summer, and I was surprised at how much I was able to retain and use during my trip.
While taking a class or getting private instruction is still the best way to learn a language, I honestly think that combining Fluenz with a free language app like Duolingo can give you a lot of language skills in a very short amount of time.
Also, if you’re looking for a more involved learning experience, Fluenz has a new immersion program that allows you to get a full language experience for a week. I’ve been considering it, especially since I want to improve my Spanish.
While all the major travel booking sites are offering discounts and deals, it seems like Expedia might have one of the most aggressive sales this year. They’ve announced that have coupon codes that offer an extra 75% off selected hotels and 50% off flights. I recommend visiting their Black Friday and Cyber Monday page to see the latest deals.
Like Expedia, Hotels.com is giving out coupon codes between November 23rd and 26th, 2018. They’ve announced that the mystery coupon codes will provide between 7% to 99% discounts on hotels. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re planning an upcoming trip and need to book a hotel.
Just like last year, REI announced that they are closing their stores on Black Friday and encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors with their #OptOutside hashtag. I think it’s admirable that they’re encouraging people to get outside and enjoy the day rather than sitting behind a computer or waiting in line at stores. REI is also offering 30% off their classes and events that are booked between November 24 and December 2, 2018. All you have to do is use their discount code OUTSIDE30.
For those of you into outdoor or adventure activities, REI offers awesome classes. For example, in Los Angeles, REI is offering beginner and advanced courses in kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, wilderness survival, and much more. Fiona and I have taken a few of their outdoor courses, and they’ve always been valuable.
BONUS: Travel Deal Tuesday:
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday tend to get most of the attention, it’s worth mentioning that the Tuesday after Thanksgiving tends to be the best day to pick-up travel deals. This is especially the case for airline tickets. For those of you looking to book a flight, I recommend searching for fares on Travel Deal Tuesday. Even better, you may want to use an app like Hopper which can help track flight deals. All you have to do is enter your departure location, destination, and your dates of travel. The app will actively monitor ticket prices and advise you when to buy based on historical trends. It’s a great way to automate the process and notify you as soon it finds a great price.
Additional shopping reminders
Below are some quick reminders for those of you that are points and miles enthusiasts (aka nerds).
1. Check online shopping portals:
Most airlines, hotels, and credit cards offer a portal where you can potentially earn extra points. It’s definitely worth checking them to see if you’re able to get additional cash back or points, especially if you’re shopping online.
Two sites that I use and recommend are EV Reward and Cashback Monitor. To use these sites, all you have to do is enter where you plan to shop, and the site then shows you which program gives you the best bonus.
2. Check AMEX and Chase offers:
If you’re an American Express cardmember, check your AMEX offers for any potential discounts. Chase recently rolled out their version of offers too, so you can see them in their mobile app. We’re planning to do a video on it in the near future, so stay tuned!
3. Pick the best credit card for your purchase:
Check out our recent rotating bonus categories video for the latest quarterly bonuses, especially for purchases at department stores, Amazon, wholesale clubs, and with Chase Pay. Also, if you’re buying from a company that is based outside of the US, make sure you use a card with no foreign transaction fees to avoid any additional charges.
Are you looking for any specific travel deals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Travel Tuesday? Let us know in the comment section. Also, let me know if you have any favorite deals that you’re chasing.