The Thanksgiving holiday has been taken over by marketers, with retailers throwing open their doors on the eve of Black Friday (i.e., Thanksgiving, post-turkey) or reeling in online shoppers on Cyber Monday. To this lineup comes a new trend: Travel Tuesday.
When it bubbled into my consciousness, I was part irritated by the marketing ploy, part intrigued — because who doesn't want a travel deal?
Kyle Potter, editor of Minneapolis-based Thriftytraveler.com, said the relatively new concept is gaining steam. "But who knows what Dec. 3 is going to bring this year? Are airlines and hotels and online travel agencies going to play ball?"
Travel Tuesday likely sprung from the outdated notion that Tuesday is the best day to buy an airline ticket, Potter said. When airlines updated fares only every week or so, that may have worked. These days, fueled by smart computers, airfares are always changing. Plus, he said, airlines "aren't telling people when they slash prices; they just do it to undermine other airlines."
Hopper.com, an online travel site that is bullish on Travel Tuesday, notes that day "consistently offers the most significant volume of travel deals," according to its analysis of historical data. But the analysis of another travel site, Skyscanner, shows that Cyber Monday has been the best day to buy airline tickets, followed by Black Friday. Travel Tuesday came in third.
Those contradictions drove home a point that Potter made. "You can find cheap flights on every single day of the week, every week of the year," he said. His favorite place to shop has long been google.com/flights, which recently boosted searches by alerting users if a change of a few days or to a nearby airport could save money.
The bottom line: Don't limit a search for deals to Tuesday; look on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, too. But don't feel locked in. You could find deals down the road.
Send your questions or tips to Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.