Let's call Thanksgiving what it is, an obligatory dysfunctional family get together. You're forced to confront your entire extended family that gets to push all your emotional buttons. And the worst part? You have to spend an arm and a leg paying for it.
Want to get back someone of that money you spent traveling home? Follow the Travel Detective's plan: Don't go to the mall with your family on Black Friday. Instead, go online to score 2012 travel deals. This year the travel industry has more than just Black Friday deals: There are also pre-Black Friday deals, Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals. Mark your holiday calendar to take advantage of all these bargains.
Valid today through Cyber Monday (November 28):
Log on to Twitter for savings with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). On twitter as @IHG_Deals. IHG has launched their Gotta Get 100 offer. You earn a $100 flight credit if you book a two-night weekend stay in the month of November for travel any time between November 1, 2011 and April 29, 2012. This offer is valid for InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites in the US. The flight credit gives you $100 off your next flight on any airline, to any destination. Plus, if you retweet @IHG_Deal's message about the Gotta Get 100 promotion, you're eligible to win one of the 100 $100 gift cards, IHG is giving away every day until Cyber Monday.
Thanksgiving is the unofficial start of the shopping season as well as the skiing season. Valid today through Cyber Monday (though watch out because some deals will sell out). Liftopia is offering discount lift tickets to more than 150 resorts across the country. You can save anywhere from 10 percent to 81 percent on your next ski vacation.
Southwest Airlines Vacations started its Black Friday sale three days early. The deals include 50 percent off a Las Vegas vacation package that includes hotel, flights and even complimentary buffets at participating MGM resorts. New deals will flow through the weekend and up to Cyber Monday.
Valid on Black Friday (November 25) and Cyber Monday (November 28):
From 9 am to 9 pm on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Yuupon.com has travel deals all priced 90 percent to 99 percent off. Yes, you read that right. You can get 90 percent off an airline gift card. Or buy a $25 gas card for $2.50. No, this is not a typo. Other offers include a $10 stay at a three-star hotel in Scottsdale Arizona, 90 percent off Florida tours or 90 percent off Las Vegas shows. To be eligible for these offers, register for Yuupon's travel deal alerts and you'll receive the secret sale schedule on Thanksgiving. Use this web link only on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to book the deals.
Valid Black Friday through Cyber Monday (November 28)
In St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, the Bolongo Bay Beach Resort is running a four-day sale from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Save 50 percent off room-only rates in ocean view accommodations. It's just $150 per day for two people plus tax, resort fee and energy charge.
Travel any time from Black Friday until December 22, 2011 and it's valid on any length of stay.
Book at www.bolongobay.com or call (800) 524-4746.
Beginning at 12:01 am on Friday, November 25 and ending at 11:59 pm on November 28, Warwick International Hotels will offer 30 percent off at its five US locations: Warwick New York Hotel, Warwick Melrose Dallas, Warwick Denver, Warwick San Francisco and Warwick Seattle. Guests must use the special rate code WKBLK when booking travel from November 25, 2011 through February 29, 2012 (based on availability; blackout dates and special restrictions may apply). Reservations can be made at 800-203-3232 or via the Warwick website, www.warwickhotels.com.
Shell Vacations Hospitality has a Black Friday travel sale on 23 family resorts throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. Starting at midnight the day after Thanksgiving and ending at midnight on Monday, November 28, you can get up to 50 percent off vacation packages. Save up to 50 percent off rates starting at $65 at San Francisco's Inn at the Opera. Or the Orange Tree Golf Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona has discounts up to 50 percent off, with rates starting at $55. The Waikiki Marina Resort at the Ilikai, in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, has discounts up to 25 percent off, with rates starting at $119 for studio suites with full kitchens, free Wi-Fi, private lanai and easy access to Waikiki Beach. www.shellhospitality.com.
Valid on Cyber Monday Only:
The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts has a one-hour flash sale on Cyber Monday. The sale goes from 11:28 am to 12:28 am, during which the hotel will offer a 50 percent discount off the room price for all room types including suites. Booking dates are December 3, 2011 through March 31, 2012. Note limited blackout dates apply. The deal also includes a $50 gift card at the Corbu Spa & Salon. Booking code is CYBER11. Book online here.
Buy one night and get another night free at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. From 12:01 am to 11:59 pm on Cyber Monday, book Rosen Shingle Creek deal for travel for travel from Monday November 28, 2011 through June 20, 2012. www.rosenshinglecreek.com/cybermonday
The Mayakoba Escape Promotion at the Fairmont Mayakoba in the Mayan Riviera is 30 percent off on Cyber Monday. Receive 30 percent off overnight accommodations with rates that start at $199 per night, including the daily breakfast buffet, a $50 resort credit, complimentary margaritas when dining at El Puerto or Las Brisas and a complimentary room upgrade. The deal is valid for travel between November 28 and December 23 2011. www.fairmont.com/mayakoba
Red Roof Inn is hosting its second annual Cyber Monday 24-hour sale on November 28. Book from 12 am through 11:59 pm and use code VP+ 60827 to receive 15 percent off your next stay. www.redroof.com
The Trump Hotel Collection is running a Cyber Monday promotion. Take 30 percent off all suites that are booked on November 28, 2011 only. Available for travel January 1-March 31, 2012 at all Trump Hotel Collection properties: New York (Central Park and SoHo), Chicago, Las Vegas, Waikiki, Panama and Toronto (opening Jan. 31, 2012). Visit www.trumphotelcollection.com/Monday.
Valid from November 28 through November 30:
Starting at 12:00 am on Cyber Monday, Kimpton will launch a 72-hour sale for its 12 Washington, DC-area hotels. The deal features savings of up to 60 percent, letting you book a suites or specialty rooms for the price of a standard guestroom. For example, at the Hotel Palomar Washington, DC the Premier Spa Suite is regularly $349, and now costs $149 per night. Or the Hotel Monaco Baltimore has a one-bedroom Mediterranean Suite, regularly $249, now $149 per night. The sale will run from 12 am on Cyber Monday, November 28 to Wednesday, November 30 at 11:59 pm, or until room upgrades run out. www.kimptonhotels.com
Cyber Week Savings:
Get a cold-weather deal at Lake Placid Lodge with up to 50 percent off rooms. The sale starts mid-morning on Monday, November 28, and will run through noon on Friday, December 2. And you can travel any time in the next four months. Prices begin at $250 a night, plus you get $40 credit toward food and beverage and a 30 percent discount off Mountain View Cabins during the winter months. www.lakeplacidlodge.com
Plan ahead for a beach vacation. From Monday, November 28 through Friday, December 2, you can book a vacation in Bermuda. The Reefs is offering up to 25 percent off spring and summer travel. The deal varies: If you stay more than four nights from mid-March through April 30, 2012 you save 25 percent. From May 1 through July 31, 2012, you can save 20 percent. To learn more visit www.thereefs.com or call (800) 742-2008.