Let’s give up pretending it’s a single day, shall we? Black Friday now sprawls over more than a week, and savvy travel fans can make big savings.
That’s not to say savings are guaranteed, however.
Buyers need to beware with Black Friday. Just because the words ‘discount’ or ‘25pc off’ are attached to an offer doesn’t make it great value.
Before you book, check what blackout dates and T&Cs apply. Is the discount taken from a reasonable rate, or a package bumped up just for the occasion? Consider wiping your cookies or using a different browser for comparison, too.
When can you travel? Mid-November to mid-December is traditionally a low demand period, as is the second week of January onwards – so expect steals there.
Ultimately, it’s the amount that comes out of your bank account that counts, and that needs to reflect value. Here’s my pick of the offers for 2017.
Fly Away: Air fares from €9.99
Ryanair is running Black Friday travel deals daily until Sunday, November 26, with one-way fares from €9.99 and 20pc off 20kg check-in bags. Check its website early each morning to beat the crowds. ryanair.com.
Aer Lingus’ Black Friday offers go live on November 23. They include up to 30pc off selected European routes, for travel from December 1 until January 31. It’s also got a cool €100 off US West Coast round trips to LA and San Francisco (travel from January 8 to March 21) and €30 off East Coast round trips. aerlingus.com.
WOW air is offering low fares to six US destinations in a ‘Purple Friday’ flash sale. Discounted rates start from €129.99 one-way on flights from Dublin to Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Miami. The sale routes are available for travel between December 1-10 and January 20 to May 15 next year. wowair.ie.
CityJet has 25pc off flights if you use the code ‘BREAKAWAY’ when booking. It’s valid to November 27, on select dates with 12+ days advance purchase. cityjet.com.
Top Tip: You can get early warning of discounts by signing up for airline newsletters or checking their Facebook accounts… nabbing deals before the masses.
Loop Dreams: Airport shopping
The Loop (Dublin & Cork Airport’s shopping plazas) is offering 15pc off everything from Black Friday to Cyber Monday (24th – 27th) – online only. At the airports themselves, the offer is available on Friday, November 24 only. theloop.ie.
Top Tip: The Loop’s prices are 15pc cheaper on average than high street shops, but Jo Malone and Chanel are excluded from the Black Friday promo.
Package Holidays from €69pp
Cassidy Travel says it has city breaks from €69pp (we’ve confirmed the price for a two-night trip to Edinburgh, with flights, from November 28). cassidytravel.ie.
It’s also offering €300 off a three-night break to Disneyland Paris for a family of four during the February mid-term break. The package includes flights, 3-star accommodation, three days of park passes and airport transfers from €1,599 (down from €1,899).
Camino ways has €25pp off all 2018 bookings, in addition to a 10pc early bird discount… equating to €93.50pp off a classic, seven-night Camino trip (expect to pay from €592.50pp, including seven nights’ B&B, five dinners and luggage transfers, but excluding flights). See caminoways.com/black-friday-camino-voucher.
DirectSki.com is offering ski holidays in Andorra from €299pp, a saving of some 50pc. Offers are valid until Sunday 26th November (flights, hotel and transfers are included, but you’ll need to tack on ski rental, lift passes and ski lessons to the price). directski.com.
Joe Walsh Tours has €100 off its seven-night pilgrimages to Fatima and Medjugorje for travel between May and October 2018. Holidays start from €499pp. joewalshtours.ie.
Crystal Ski has a €50pp discount across Europe on all Winter 2017/18 dates. The offer is available until Monday, November 27. crystalski.ie.
Other Black Friday travel deals see Topflight (topflight.ie) offering savings of what it says are to €450pp, and TUI and Marella Cruises (tuiholidays.ie) flagging discounts of up to €100 per booking (subject to specific dates and terms). Kanes Travel(kanestravel.ie) is also offering €50 gift vouchers for €25 (valid for travel in 2018 only).
Top Tip: Note that discounts are often subject to minimum spends. See itaa.ie/offers for more Black Friday travel deals from ITAA members.
Hot Hotels: Save up to 50pc
Dublin’s Castleknock Hotel is offering up to 50pc off accommodation on selected dates until March 2018. castleknockhotel.com
O’Callaghan Hotels has a 50pc sale across all of their hotels for stays in December, January and February. Rooms at hotels like The Mont Clare and Davenport in Dublin start from €79 (room only). The sale is only bookable on Cyber Monday (November 27th), however – starting at 9am. ocallaghanhotels.com.
The CLIFF group is offering 10pc off all package vouchers over €100 from its three hotels (Cliff House Hotel, Cliff at Lyons and Cliff Townhouse). The discount is running from Thursday, November 23 to Wednesday, November 29. CLIFF.IE/vouchers.
Great National Hotels have 20pc off hotel stays and 20pc extra free on gift vouchers in its Black Friday travel deals. 21 hotels are participating, and the offer is valid until Tuesday, November 28. greatnationalhotels.com/black-friday.
Limerick Strand Hotel is offering 15pc off best available rates. The discount is available from midnight Thursday, November 24 to midnight on Cyber Monday. strandhotellimerick.ie.
Flynn Hotels will host a 72-hour Black Friday Sale from Friday to Sunday, November 26. Rooms start from €69 B&B for two people. flynnhotels.com.
In Borris, Co. Carlow, the Step House Hotel is offering 20pc off all B&B bookings for available dates until March 28, 2018 (stephousehotel.ie). The Keadeen in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, also has a 20pc discount valid until January 31 (keadeenhotel.ie).
Among the hotels offering 10pc off in Black Friday
travel deals are Westport’s Wyatt (wyatthotel.com; use promo code ‘BLACK’) and Cork’s Castlemartyr Resort (castlemartyrresort.ie).
Treacys Hotel Group has dinner and B&B deals with a glass of Prosecco from €44pps, valid January to April of next year. treacysgroup.com.
Top tip: It’s not just hotels themselves offering savings – Hotels.com for example, has up to 50pc off during ‘Cyber Week’.