Monthly Archives: November 2016

2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Travel Deals


Photo courtesy of Friendly Planet Travel

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are not just about TV sets, clothes, toys and home appliances. Travel deals are also up for grabs, and all that’s needed is a solid Internet connection (and maybe an alarm setting).

I did some Google searching and found some great Black Friday/Cyber Monday travel deals that might be too good to pass up. I’ll add any new announcements as they come up. So go ahead and take a look.

Tour Companies

G Adventures is offering number of deals on their sailing, active, rail and wildlife adventures, and more, with their cyber sale starting from 12:00 a.m. EST Friday, November 25 through 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, November 28.

From now through December 2, 2016, Contiki is taking 30 percent off of trips to destinations in Europe, Asia, U.S./Canada, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand for travel now through December 31, 2017. Also during November, Millennial travelers can save 15 percent on select trips with promo code, BLACKNOVEMBER.

Gate 1 Travel is having its annual Black Friday sale November 23-25. All Gate 1 Travel, Discovery Tours and Signature Collection packages will be discounted at that time. Customers can book online using the promo code on new bookings only all three days or by calling 1-800-682-3333 on November 23 and November 25. Limit one promo code per reservation.

Here is a list of Gate 1 Travel’s Black Friday deals:

  • Spend $500 or more and receive $50 off with the promo code BKFY50
  • Spend $1,000 or more and receive $100 off with the promo code BKFY100
  • Spend $2,000 or more and receive $250 off with the promo code BKFY250
  • Spend $4,000 or more and receive $500 off with the promo code BKFY500
  • Spend $10,000 or more and receive $1,000 off with the promo code BKFY1000
  • Spend $20,000 or more and receive $2,500 off with the promo code BKFY2500

Friendly Planet Travel is having a Cyber Monday sale with savings up to $1,110 per person (or $1,400 per couple) on 60-plus international tours and packages. Destinations include Cuba, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Dubai, South Africa, Iceland, Prague, Myanmar, Cambodia, and New Zealand. The sale starts at 12 a.m. ET on Monday, November 28 and lasts 48 hours.

Go Ahead Tours is having Black Friday savings of up to $600 per person on all their tours, with this promotion valid from Friday, November 25 through Sunday, November 27. Only on Black Friday, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., “morning doorbuster” specials will let travelers customize their experience with either getting $75 off an excursion or $125 off a tour excursion. As for Cyber Monday, travelers can still save up to 25 percent off all tours when they book online at Go Ahead Tours’ website.

Intrepid Tours is having a Cyber Monday sale from now until Monday, November 28. Get 15 percent off an adventure departing between January 15 – June 30, 2017.


Marriott is having a four-day cyber sale from Friday, November 25 through Monday, November 28 and is said to offer savings on staying in various destinations within the U.S. and other countries.

IHG is putting on a cyber week sale from Monday, November 28, starting at 8 a.m. through Friday, December 2, at 8 p.m. ET, featuring discounts on hotel stays and special IHG Rewards Club point offers.

NYAH, Key West is having a Cyber Monday special offer of $129/night. Valid travel dates run from May 1 through September 30, 2017; Minimum two-night stay required. The special is for the NYAH 4-single bedroom type only; blackout dates apply. Use promo code CYBER upon booking.

Lark Hotels  is having Cyber Monday specials for 25 percent off stays at their Stowe, Vermont property, Field Guide, from March 1 through July 31, 2017. The deal includes plus one beer per guest and an appetizer to share at onsite restaurant, Picnic Social. Visit and add the code CYBER upon booking.

Search Engines

Travelocity is having a Cyber Monday sale on Monday, November 28, with up to 75 percent off savings on select hotels.

Orbitz is holding a Cyber Week with travel deals between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with discounts on hotels and specials on flights and hotel/flight packages.


American Airlines is having a Black Friday sale with a variety of vacation destinations to choose from. Book now through November 28, 2016, and enter promo code BLACKFRIDAY for travel now through September 30, 2017. A minimum spend of $1,300 is required.



What I’m Thankful For as A Traveler


Creative Commons photo / credit cea+

Recently, for an assignment, I compiled a list on what travelers should be thankful for, and it got me thinking more about the subject. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what as a traveler I feel most grateful about.

Here are my five examples.

  1. Ride sharing services. I was skeptical of using Uber for a long while, and didn’t sign up for it until this summer. Mainly it was because while I’m in New York City, my transportation options are plenty. In other places, it’s a different story. Two assignments this year took me to cities where spotting a cab was a challenge or not even possible. Plus what I like about Uber is that I can see who’s coming to pick me up (I’ve had drivers pulling over, claiming to be my ride, when they weren’t) and get an estimated rate.
  2. Free or discounted museum admission. I love visiting museums – even planning time for them in my trips – but after a while their price of admission can eat through my budget. So I appreciate museums and other public attractions that don’t cost a thing to see, or even have pay as you wish options. There are also ones that offer free days or evenings to state residents (like ones in Chicago such as the Field Museum) or extend these offerings to everyone (my favorite is NYC’s Museum of Modern Art’s free Friday nights.)
  3. Third-party search engines. Flying can get expensive, but we’re got some outside options. Thanks to sites like Google Flights, Travelocity, Orbitz, and Expedia, we can search for rates on flights and most likely get a price break on costs. For example, this summer, I used one site for booking my return flight from Stockholm back to New York and got a good deal ($598). At the airport, I discovered that I was able to check in my two bags at no additional charge. (I didn’t know they were included in the fare). What a good surprise. Also consider sites like Secret Flying, which publish flight deals and error fares (computer glitches resulting in our price favor).
  4. Hospitality workers. Flight attendants, housekeeping, and front desk clerks have probably encountered just about every type of traveler out there – good and bad. But they keep us going. I’ve made it a habit to not just say thanks but to show it. I always acknowledge good customer service, via Twitter or in person. At hotels, I always make sure to tip too, leaving a few bills on my nightstand. People I know who work in hospitality tell me that this simple gesture can make a staffer’s day, so let’s show all these hardworking people some love.
  5. More voices in travel communities. As a travel writer, nothing makes me happier to see more content being published by experts in various niches. From women travelers, to accessible travelers and budget travelers, to even baby boomers and LGBT, these sources are showing that travel is not restrictive. Our styles vary, and these writers, bloggers and vloggers get it and are giving solid advice on making our dreams of seeing the world happen.

Let me know what you would give thanks for.

JetBlue Goes Retro With Palm Springs Service

Here’s another e-mail bag item. Off and on, I get news about airlines opening pop-up shops to celebrate new routes or developments. The latest one to do so, I hear, is JetBlue.

Today and tomorrow, November 11 and 12, JetBlue will celebrate the revival of its seasonal service to Palm Springs by going all out retro. The carrier has opened up a temporary Time Travel Agency in New York City’s SoHo district that transports visitors back in time with a Mod Mid-century feel. Find decor and service reflecting this Golden Age of Flight (probably sadly missed) and get the chance to win some swell prizes too.

The address for this Time Travel Agency is at 138 Wooster Street. It’s open Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12, from noon to 8 p.m. Sounds groovy.