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Taking the Kids -- and taking advantage of Cyber Monday family travel deals

By Eileen Ogintz, Tribune Content Agency on

Have you done your homework?

"If you're looking for a travel deal that will get you to a specific location during set dates, it's probably not going to happen!" says, which has become a go-to source for Cyber Monday deals, including those offered by airlines.

A tip: Apps can be your friend. Download the Skyscanner app before Cyber Monday to set up Price Alerts to all your favorite destinations to get notified of Cyber Monday deals on your desired routes. Download the Expedia app for app-only coupons, as much as $100 off select flights and 75 percent off select hotels.

"Instead of having a specific destination or hotel in mind, think about what type of trip you want (i.e. warm weather), and be ready with options. Miami could be just as good as Cancun or the Caribbean, or vice versa," suggests Expedia spokesman Alexis Tiacoh, who notes that Expedia's Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have become "our biggest event of the year."

Cyber Monday was created by retailers back in 2005 to encourage online shopping. It took several years for the travel industry to jump on the bandwagon but now everyone from small resorts and tour companies to mega hotel chains, cruise lines and airlines dangle the best deals of the year, some you can use immediately and some for all next year. For example, the Fairmont Austin will celebrate their tree lighting Sunday, Dec. 1 and is offering a Black Friday through Cyber Monday sale with 50 percent off their best available rates.

That's good news for the 55 percent of Americans who report they don't use their earned vacation, according to a new survey from the Family Travel Association, in large part because they say they can't afford to get away.


The other good news: The timing is perfect to give a vacation rather than more stuff to the family. Here are nine ideas, and you will find more at

A BUCKET LIST FAMILY REUNION CRUISE. Gather the grandkids on an Alaska cruise on Holland America Line, honored this year by 2019 Cruise Critic’s Cruisers’ Destination Awards as the number one cruise line in Alaska. You only need a $25 deposit and you will also get free gratuities on veranda cabins during the Cyber Sale Nov. 27 through Dec. 3.

Save more than $700 on weeklong Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on MSC Caribbean cruises, and also get free drinks, Wi-Fi and gratuities when booking between November 26 and December 4. Another plus: Be among the first to visit the cruise line's new eco-friendly private island in the Bahamas.

THEME PARK FANS can save big time with Orlando hotel and ticket deals, as long as you book by Dec. 8. Come for the holidays or give the kids a 2020 trip as their holiday gift! LEGOLAND fans won't want to miss the more than half-off deal on the parks' annual Gold Pass. From Tuesday, Nov. 26 (starting at midnight) through Cyber Monday, buy the pass for an unprecedented $99.99 and use for admission at more than 30 Merlin Entertainment attractions.


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