I’ve just realised I never posted the link to my latest video!
What started out as a work trip to Istanbul and LA (I make radio docs for those of you who don’t know!) turned into an amazing getaway to Napa and Yosemite in California.
Now, with work paying for my flights, that was all taken care of but as for the day to day… Jeez. What happened to the days when the US was a cheap destination? It was PRICEY! Yet, we still managed to find a way to do it for less…
The wonderful thing about being obsessed about finding travel deals is that when a brand you know and love gets in touch and says things such as ‘we’re offering up to 75% off hotels for Black Friday, does that interest you?’ it’s the easiest decision in the world.
So here is a post brought to you by yours truly – and Expedia.
Here’s the deal. On Friday 23rd November at 9am, they’ll be releasing a hotel coupon from here that could see you saving up to 75% off (fan me down, lads).
This can only be used on their app so make sure you’ve got it downloaded and ready to go at 9am before someone else (read: me) swipes a bargain from right underneath your nozzle.
As I’m also in the market for a hotel or two at the moment (when am I not?), I also got thinking about all the things that can help make Black Friday shopping an ease and not an effort. Starting with…
1. Mark your calendar
This year, Black Friday lands on Friday 23rd November however some brands may start to trickle out the deals a few days before and after.
The best way to get a good deal is to prepare and have a think about where you’d like to go.
On my list at the moment is:
Santiago in Chile
Cape Town in South Africa
The Azores in Portugal
(so HOLLER AT ME if you see any deals for these come up)
So, what we all need to do before Black Friday is research those destinations a bit more:
Who flies there?
What routes do they take?
Will I need a visa?
Will I need to get injections?
When is a good time to visit?
Sure, you might find a proper cheap flight but if you find out you’re there for monsoon season and your £100 visa won’t even come back in time, you’ll be gutted.
3. Get ready
As you may need to pounce on a deal, it’s definitely worth asking yourself the following questions:
How much time can you take off?
Check your holiday allowances and remember, if you haven’t booked Christmas off yet (and you’re on a standard UK full time contract), you’ll need 4 days to take off between 22nd Dec – 1st Jan.
Can you get the time off work?
If you’ve got some dates in mind, it’s worth putting some feelers out with whoever controls your holiday allowance. In the very least, check when you definitely couldn’t take time off to avoid disappointment.
Who would you go with?
Be it a mate or a date, get them on board now. That, or just embark on your own solo adventure which makes things a hell of a lot easier to organise!
Do you have everyone’s details?
Get all the travellers passport details ready to go!
How much can you spend?
This is really important because sales are EXCITING and before you know it, you’ve plonked £400 on your credit card that you can’t really afford. If you’re travelling with others, agree on your budget, and factor in a maximum price you’d go to if you find something proper lush.
Do you have the money?
Most sites will need you to put the full amount onto one card so if you’re going away with someone else, make sure you’ve got enough to cover the cost
4. Bookmark, follow and download
Now you’ve got an idea of where you’re going, it’s time to bookmark websites, follow social media accounts and download apps in preparation.
A good trick on Twitter is to create a list of airlines, hotel groups and comparison sites, which will compile all their social accounts in one place.
If I was being coy, this is where I’d slip in the old ‘oh, did you know Expedia are up to something fun too?’ trick but I feel like I’ve blown that already. So, all I’m gonna say, again, is UP TO 75% OFF ON THEIR APP! DOWNLOAD IT NOW!
5. Check that you’re actually getting a deal
Check the location – nobody wants to stay 25km from where they intended
Check the reviews
And lastly, check what price it usually retails at
Right, I’m off to limber up for Black Friday morning. Do come and join me on Instagram where I’ll be sharing what I discover!
This is the second time we’ve used Love Home Swap (remember that insane New York apartment with the Emmy Award? Yeah, that one was one of them too) so to say we’re impressed is a total understatement. I really love how not only the quality of homes on the site are proper BANGIN’, but also that there’s nice ‘community vibes’ – because no one’s there to make money out of you. Everyone’s just after the same thing – somewhere nice to stay.
In this video, I’ll break down how we found this particular apartment and how we used Love Home Swap’s clever ‘points swap’ feature to stay. We also go to our friends’ incredible Barcelona wedding, get a chronic hangover (standard) and properly explore the neighbourhood of Eixample.