The Holiday Shopping Spree: What Is Travel Tuesday?

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is often touted as the best day to snag flight deals. But is it really the case? Or is this invented holiday like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, designed to hype discounts but not necessarily to provide good values? In this edition of SmarterTravel, we dig into the data to find out what’s behind Travel Tuesday and whether it actually offers savings on flights.

The Holiday Shopping Spree: What Is Travel Tuesday?

In a time when it’s become common for retailers to create “holidays” solely to lure consumers with discounts, the concept of a dedicated day for travel providers to hawk their wares has grown in popularity. Travel Tuesday, observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (and the charitable day of Giving Tuesday, for what it’s worth) attempts to harness some of the consumerist energy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and offer deals that are actually worthwhile.

Invented by the travel booking app Hopper six years ago, Travel Tuesday is a day that offers about 50% more deals than the entire week after Thanksgiving and even more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year, the site saw 68 deals per second and sent out 12 million deal alerts on that one day alone. On average, people who scored Travel Tuesday deals saved $52 on domestic flights and $160 on international trips.

This year, travelers can expect a similar frenzy of travel deals. Airlines and booking sites are incentivized to slash prices on Travel Tuesday as they struggle to fill empty seats during what’s typically a slow month for them. And, because it’s hard to impulse-buy a rice cooker on Black Friday but easier to commit to buying a vacation, a glitzy marketing campaign and the promise of a bargain are often all that’s needed to lure shoppers in.

So, if you’re thinking of traveling in 2023 and want to get the best deal on airfare, be sure to check your travel dates on Tuesday this November. But keep in mind that deals are also likely to be available throughout the year, depending on when you’re flexible and what destinations you’re interested in.

Ultimately, there’s no such thing as a bad deal if the trip is what you want and can afford. But if you’re looking for a great value, the smartest way to book travel is to be flexible and use tools like Skyscanner’s cheapest month view or Hopper’s price alerts. This way, you can focus on your destination and leave the hassle of trying to save money to the days when it’s not in the cards. Happy traveling!