Millions of Americans are being asked to give up Thanks Giving travel this year, as the pandemic remains rampant through much of the world. As 50 million passengers prepared to travel across the country, the disease prevention centre at Johns Hopkins University called it a "pivotal moment in the control of the pandemic" and that it was "not too late" to delay plans for travel.
However, there's one tradition that is being encouraged, and few travellers will complain about being exported from the States: the Black Friday Sales.
The weekend following Thanks Giving is normally used to get travellers booked onto impulse trips and lock in holidays for the coming year. After a year in which travel has been written off and trips postponed – it's an opportunity for both holidaymakers and operators to fill up the calendar for 2021.
It is not just in the States where the phenomenon exists. Black Friday, Cyber Monday , Click-a-thon Tuesday have long since been a presence in the minds and booking behaviour of Kiwi holiday planners.
According to a survey by Booking.com 52 per cent of New Zealanders book their travel through special promotions and seasonal sales, with the November sales a key time for planning future trips.
With the disruption of this past year's pandemic cancellations and difficulties around travel insurance, many deal hunters will be more cautious about the fine print before committing to future bookings. Fortunately most operators have included 'peace of mind' clauses – such as no risk cancellation and reassurances for Covid-related disruption.
Here are some of the most appealing offers to tempt you back to start filling next year's diary.
Cut price Sail
Cruise ships want you to come back. With several extensions to 'no sail orders' and pleasure cruises having not returned to New Zealand for almost a year – passengers are looking for extra reassurances when booking future cruises.
On top of a 60 per cent off Fijian cruises, Blue Lagoon is offering flexible dates and has said all bookings will be fully refundable in event of disruption. The current offer is for 4 and 7 night itineraries aboard the MV Fiji Princess, up until December 2022.
Norwegian Cruise Line is preparing to re-launch itineraries around Australia and New Zealand for next summer and tempting passengers back with $4200 worth of added extras. Passengers booking on by December 10 will be given a free drinks, wi-fi and speciality dining packages for sailings - along with credit for shore excursions and reduced rates for additional guests.
Airline seat sales
Webjet is already selling Black Friday sales with 10 per cent savings off of flights, packages and gift cards.
For those planning to travel a little further afield - Qatar Airways is already offering a 30 per cent discount on fares on their BLACKFRIDAY promotion code, on travel between now and September 2021.
With destinations as far afield as Paris, Manchester or Johannesburg and guaranteed flexibility of unlimited date changes, it might be time to plan a little further afield.
Domestically the local carriers have been a little quieter.
JetStar and Air New Zealand normally release a raft of last minute specials on Friday.
Jetty has launched a 24 hour flash-sale with fares from $19 between Aukland and Wellington and additional dollars off for
Air New Zealand doesn't apper to have followed the crowd with a seat sale this year.
Previous Friday stunts included £1 seats on the London to LAX route, as it phased the trans-Atlantic route out.
However, Air New Zealand is keeping its Black Friday deals close to its chest – but you can always sign up for email reminders, to be first in line and avoid missing out on cut-price fares when they drop.
NZ for less
While international travel is still a tough sell, a trip around New Zealand is among the safest trips to take. To help you find the perfect wheels to get around, Motorhome Republic is offering up to 50 per cent off Spaceship campervans and up to 15 per cent off Maui or Britz motorhomes.
For those linking up travel plans Airport Rentals has collected a bunch of car rental deals from 10 per cent off Europcar and Thrifty, to help you explore further.
Third off hotel and bach bookings
Looking for holiday accommodation Booking.com is offering 30 per cent.
Website Wotif has matched the deal offering 30 per cent off hotels such as Auckland's Hotel Grand Windsor and the Edgewater Wanaka, for travel between now and November 2021.
International coach tour operators Trafalgar is offering $750 dollars off a selection of 'best of' routes next year. Including Best of Ireland, Scotland or Hawaii from $ 4745 to $4955pp when booked before December 3.
Contiki group tours is offering 30 per cent off tours internationally for 2021 and 2021.
For a $99 deposit there are a range of options with some huge savings, if you're willing to take a chance. While it's anyone's guess what the state of travel will be in two years' time, a short hop across the ditch to the Australian Outback might be the safest bet. A four-day trip around Uluru for $696 might be just the trip you need to reset your fascination with international travel.