Read the fine print so you know your options if you need to cancel

By Eileen Ogintz
Tribune Content Agency

Are you ready? Not for the holiday hoopla, but for something that in these troubled times can give everyone something to look forward to — and make your gift- giving easier.

Black Friday-Cyber Monday is nearly upon us complete with many great travel deals whether you want to take the kids to an all-inclusive resort, gather your siblings for a river cruise, the entire family for a bucket list trip to Alaska or Africa or share a white-water experience with your teens.

If you have a favorite travel brand, follow them on social media for the inside track.

Be ready to book (and make sure everyone in your group is ready) as soon as the deal goes live. Read the fine print so you know your options if you should need to cancel or change the dates. Protect your investment with travel insurance.

Alaska Ketchikan Waterfront.
Alaska Ketchikan Waterfront.

If Alaska is on your mind: Holland America Line is offering up to 30 percent off on select sailings booked between Nov. 17 and Dec. 1. Select cruises also include prepaid stateroom crew appreciation, resulting in an added value of up to nearly $700 per person depending on the length of sailing. Guests can save on iconic cruise itineraries such as the 7-Day Alaska Inside Passage.

Salmon Falls Resort in Ketchikan is famous for world-class salmon fishing and adventure excursions and is offering 30 percent off rates starting at $945 per person, per night for their all-inclusive adventure packages, which includes lodging, meals and activities, including fully guided fishing, bear viewing via float plane, eco-kayaking, ziplining and much more. The deal must be booked between Nov. 16 and Dec. 4, 2023 and is valid for stays between May 1 to Sept. 30, 2024. Click here (Black Friday) and here (Cyber Monday link).

How about Hawaii?‘Alohilani Resort in the heart of Waikiki is offering 30 percent off (rates starting from $225 per night). Deal must be booked between Nov. 16 and Dec. 2, 2023 and is valid for stays between Nov. 16, 2023 and Dec. 23, 2024. How to book: click here (Black Friday) and here (Cyber Monday) .

The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club also in Waikiki where we stayed last year is offering a 21 percent savings off one-room bungalow, one-room bedroom, and two-room bedroom. Book Nov. 17 to Nov. 30 for stays until Dec. 31, 2024.

The Surfjack Hotel in Waikiki HI
The Surfjack Hotel in Waikiki HI

You can give back with a booking. If you are traveling without kids (or grown kids), Sandals Resorts and the family-oriented Beaches Resorts are giving guests up to a $750 air credit and up to a $250 resort credit on vacations of seven nights or more at select properties, including the new Sandals Dunn’s Rive r in Jamaica; Sandals Royal Curacao; and Sandals Saint Vincent debuting in 2024. Bookings can be made with the promo code GOB2023 between Nov. 13, 2023 and Dec. 21, 2023 for travel through Nov. 3, 2024. For every booking made between Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday (Nov. 23 to Nov. 28), $50 will be donated to the Sandals Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Sandals Resorts International, to support its ocean conservation efforts, specifically the expansion of coral nurseries throughout the Caribbean, which hosts 10 percent of the world’s coral reefs.

I love river cruises because the boats are small, there are no long bus rides to sightsee, and they are all-inclusive. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, with sailings in Europe, Egypt, South America and Asia, is bringing back its 12 Days of Christmas Event this year. A new offer will be unveiled each business day for 12 days, with the first deal unveiled on Black Friday. The offers will include 50 percent off popular cruises. Guests can also expect new Cruise & Air combo savings of up to $3, 000 USD on select journeys, including in Italy, Portugal and the Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu, Peru.
Machu Picchu, Peru.

Perhaps you have always wanted to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland or explore your Irish heritage. Brendan Vacations, the experts in Celtic travel, are offering 2024 travelers the chance to book an elevated experience through Ireland and Scotland with a bonus of $250 off per person for private chauffeur and deluxe self-drive trips or $200 off per person on self-drive and locally hosted rail experiences.

Gift your college and post- college kids a trip with Contiki, the social travel company for travelers 18 to 35. The company is offering savings of up to 25 percent on more than 60 trips — everywhere from South Korea to South Africa and Europe. Tours led by expert trip managers include accommodations, transportation and most meals. Book Nov. 17 through Nov. 30, 2023.

If you have always wanted to sail across the Atlantic in luxury as travelers once did, Cunard’s Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale will offer discounts of up to 40 percent off launch fares with fares from $799 (USD). The offer is valid across 191 voyages, including their famous transatlantic crossings, Alaska, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Asia, Northern Europe, Mediterranean and more. Book between Nov. 16 and Dec. 4, 2023, for 2024 or 2025.

Celebrity Cruises wants its guests to “Have It All” this season as the cruise line announced today one of its biggest Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals ever. From Nov. 10 to Dec. 5, travelers who book a cruise on Celebrity can get 75 percent off a second guest as well as up to $300 in on board credit for nearly all itineraries through April 30, 2026.

Our group of 22 plus guides on the OARS Salmon River trip
Our group of 22 plus guides on the OARS Salmon River trip

I’m a fan of whitewater raft trips because, besides the adrenaline rush, you are treated to time in a spectacular back country without all of the work such a trip usually entails. We loved the OARS Salmon River trip last summer. OARS will be offering 20 percent off a selection of multi-day river trips in the West (including trips on the Colorado, Green, Salmon, and Rogue River among others) Nov. 21 through Dec. 3, 2023. Sign up to receive emails at or follow us on social media for details.

You will also find deals for what you need to travel. Gift a new spinner suitcase from Briggs & Riley ( love their lifetime guarantees) with discounts up to 32 percent. Purchase between Nov. 22 and 27. Gift those traveling with a baby a gift card for BabyQuip that offers rental gear available at more than 1,200 locations. Save 10 percent off (max savings $30) Nov. 19 through Nov. 28 with code: GIVING.

Phew. You just saved a lot of time and money on your holiday gift list.

(For more Taking the Kids, visit and also follow TakingTheKids on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where Eileen Ogintz welcomes your questions and comments. The fourth edition of The Kid’s Guide to New York City and the third edition of The Kid’s Guide to Washington D.C. are the latest in a series of 14 books for kid travelers published by Eileen.)

©2023 Eileen Ogintz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.