You can plan your next great escape, even in turbulent travel times.
Hotels and cruise lines are offering Black Friday deals after the travel industry took a major blow during coronavirus shutdowns earlier this year.
More hotels and travel booking companies are offering deals up to 75% on Black Friday with free cancelllations during COVID-19. (iStock).
A number of budget booking websites are slashing prices of hotels and resorts across the United States and in the Caribbean. And with flexible cancellation policies during the pandemic, with the uncertainty of travel restrictions amid spiking cases, experts say there’s no financial risk to booking now, even if you have to back out later.
"Make sure to prioritize flexibility alongside price this year. Look for airline and lodging deals that have waived change and cancellation fees, should plans change," Kelly Soderlund, a travel trends expert with travel app TripIt, tells Fox.
"Many travel providers are offering credits instead of refunds, so determine a backup plan if the trip is canceled. The financial implications of travel credits could impact the when and where of an alternative trip," Soderlund adds.
Here are some of the smartest ways to save:
Budget travel booking website Expedia is expanding its sale to run five extra days this year through Dec. 1, with options like free cancellation should plans change during these uncertain times.
The e-commerce travel platform is offering 50% off select stays and an extra 12% off select hotels and activities. The site is also alerting users to properties with enhanced cleaning protocols and free cancellation options during the pandemic.
Luxury hotels in New York City, Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are being discounted by up to 75% off.
Marriott is now also offering up to 20% off stays at more than 5,000 hotels and 25% off to its Bonvoy members. The hotel chain will also give 15% off e-gift cards for future travel beginning Nov. 30 through Dec. 1, for those hesitant to commit to booking during the pandemic.
"Check local travel restrictions and health and safety guidelines for each destination you have in mind, especially as states and countries issue localized restrictions," Soderlund advises. "It’s also a good idea to arm yourself with a plan upon arrival should anything unexpected happen after your trip has begun."
Beach bound international travel
CheapCarribbean.com, a site that helps users book affordable getaways in destinations like the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, the Bahamas and Mexico, is offering up to 75% off more than 600 of its properties with beach vacations starting as low as $249.
One deal includes a three-night stay at an all-inclusive Cancun resort priced at $405 per person including airfare at the four-star Sunscape Akumal Beach Resort and Spa.
Those itching to hit the high seas again when safe may consider a $500 credit from Regent Seven Seas when booking now through Nov. 30. The credit is valid for sailings through the Mediterranean and Northern Europe in 2021.
And Norwegian Cruise Line is giving guests 30% off cruise fares for voyages departing from 2021 through 2023. Carnival is also offering travelers 30% off on any cruise fare before 2023. Travelers must book before Nov. 29.