• 22 October 2019

The festive season is almost upon us, and with it comes Christmas specials and the ever-anticipated Black Friday! 

Around the world, many savvy shoppers are on the edge of their seats. After all, Black Friday offers you amazing deals. It’s a great time to do some early Christmas shopping, or grab items and experiences that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. 

It’s also one of the best times to plan your next adventure.

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Black Friday

Here’s a quick rundown covering this important date on the retail calendar. We will take a look at the history of Black Friday, and how you can shop safely and smartly. First, let’s start with answering some of the obvious FAQs:

When is Black Friday?

Black Friday falls on the last Friday in November, following Thanksgiving in America. 

This year (2019), Black Friday is on November 29th.

Shopping malls fill up during Black Friday
Why is it called Black Friday?

Black Friday history is quite interesting. There are lots of myths about where the term originated. Some are quite dark, and others are more confusing. 

Fortunately, myth-debunking site, Snopes has found the origin:

It turns out the term was coined by the old Philadelphia Police Department’s traffic squad. The officers never looked forward to the traffic jam on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is when everyone would hit the stores to stock up for Christmas. 

More holidaymakers would also arrive from out of town on the day. Imagine the chaos on the roads with grid-lock traffic everywhere. That is why the cops started referring to it as Black Friday. 

The retail sector picked up on it and ran with it.

How does Black Friday work?

Every year, retailers run exclusive offers on their products and services. This time of year is seen as the beginning of the festive season rush.

It’s a win-win for stores and shoppers. Shoppers save some money and businesses get feet through the door. What’s on offer will differ from one store to the next.

Is Black Friday a holiday?

In some American states, it has been named a national holiday. This includes Arkansas, Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin. However, many American citizens take a day of leave to make a long weekend of Thanksgiving and shop for Black Friday holiday deals.

For the rest of the world, you’ll likely need to take a day’s leave if you want to do some Black Friday shopping. 

Celebrations before shopping for Black Friday specials
Thanksgiving celebrations before shopping for Black Friday specials
How long do Black Friday sales last?

The actual time of a Black Friday sale is usually no more than 24 hours, or while stocks last. So, if you’re shopping for new luggage, clothing, or tech accessories, best you get to them before someone else does. That’s what causes the notorious Black Friday mad rush in stores. 

However, if you bag a travel deal or a service voucher, such as a massage or even holiday accommodation, these usually last much longer than a day. Generally, you’ll pay for the deal on the day, and then have a specific time in which to use it. 

Black Friday shopping for travel 

Here are a few things to add to your Black Friday shopping list that will help curb your wanderlust:

  1. Luggage – this can often be really expensive. Thankfully, Black Friday offers the chance to get brand-new travel bags at a fraction of the usual cost. Keep your eyes peeled for your favourite luggage brand’s specials. 
  2. Flights – selected airlines, or third-party airfare booking sites, may just hold their own Black Friday specials. Since flight tickets are a large portion of the cost of travel, we suggest you check out any flight deals happening. 
  3. Travel tours – of course. Black Friday is the perfect time to book a coach tour, which can then be taken in the future. Spoil yourself or someone you love, or simply book a trip to tick off a destination from your bucket list. 
  4. Accessories – after you’ve found your perfect getaway, you can use some of the money you’ve saved to purchase a few travel accessories. A new camera or a fancy pair of sunglasses could be waiting for you at your nearest sale. 
  5. Travel outfits – if you’ve booked a trip to somewhere in winter, you may need a new winter coat or boots. If you’re lucky, you may find the perfect Black Friday deal offering you travel clothes at much lower prices than usual. 
Black Friday deals can give you that travel opportunity you’ve been waiting for!
Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

If you’ve heard of Cyber Monday, you may be wondering what this has to do with Black Friday. 

Cyber Monday follows after Black Friday. In 2019, it will fall on 2 December.

This is the day when sales are launched exclusively on eCommerce stores. It gives online retailers a chance to offer deals. In doing so, it also allows customers the opportunity to purchase without waiting in long queues or fighting off other shoppers. 

Cyber Monday has become increasingly popular as the online shopping space has grown. Shopping for specials on this day means you can grab all your deals during your lunch break at work, all from the comfort of a chair. 

Cyber Monday travel deals are looking particularly exciting at the moment. Now’s the time to score an affordable holiday to one of your bucket-list destinations.

How to ensure Black Friday success

So, how can you make sure that this year’s Black Friday frenzy doesn’t pass you by? There are a few ways you can keep up-to-date on the situation, and make sure your Black Friday strategy is soundproof. 

1. Sign up for notifications

Many retailers are aware of how eagerly their deals are anticipated. So, they start newsletter sign-ups in advance. This means you’ll be notified once the sales go live and are able to wishlist your favourites. Some will even offer early access or discounts to anyone who has signed up. 

2. Know what you’re looking for 

While you want to be able to shop cheap deals and never-again specials, you also don’t want to over-do it. It’s a good idea to have a list of things that you need or want before Black Friday begins. That way, you won’t be tempted into buying a horse and carriage simply because it’s 50% off. 

3. Research prices beforehand

Make sure that what you think is a deal, is actually a deal. Just because it’s Black Friday, doesn’t necessarily mean that everything on offer is priced lower than usual. This is where doing your research beforehand and knowing what you’re wanting to buy will come in handy. 

You can check the usual price and be sure you’re getting a good deal. 

Research prices beforehand!
Research prices beforehand!
Black Friday tips and tricks

While Black Friday is an exciting event, full of price drops and huge savings, there are unfortunately some opportunistic people who try to take advantage of shoppers. 

Here are a few tips to keep your hard-earned cash safe when shopping this festive season:

  • Keep your bags close when moving through busy malls or standing in long queues. Black Friday brings out thousands of shoppers each year, which unfortunately can offer pickpockets the opportunity to steal. 
  • Avoid joining the mob. Each year, there are a few stores, especially in the States, that have a crowd problem. People push and storm the shops to grab deals before they sell out. Don’t join in with this chaos, it’s not worth the fuss or the injuries. 
  • Be wary of fake websites. Spelling mistakes and pixelated images? Steer clear. Also, look out for ‘.org ‘or ‘.net’ domains operating as eCommerce sites. This is rarely the case.
  • Pay by credit card or Paypal. This provides protection in the event of a dodgy deal. Be wary of sites that ask for direct bank transfers only.
  • Make sure the sites you use are safe. No https in the URL – no sale. Sites that use ‘http’ instead of ‘https’ are not secure enough to be trusted with your credit card details. 
  • Don’t shop online on free, public WiFi. There are too many ways that your details can be scammed. Rather use your mobile data, 3/4G, or wait until you can connect to your own, secure WiFi.

These are just a few of the ways to stay safe during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The most important thing is to listen to your gut and keep your head on your shoulders.


Whichever specials are on your wishlist, we suggest you mark your calendar for this year’s Black Friday. We have a feeling it’s going to be a big one, full of exciting sales. 

Just make sure you have a budget planned, and that you enjoy your shopping spree wisely. Done right, Black Friday can be the start to a joyous festive season. 

Good luck to all the Black Friday shoppers. 

Related: We have our very own Black Friday campaign! This is exciting news for globe-trotters on a budget. Cash in on Expat Explore travel deals like never before. 

Keep an eye on our site and Facebook page for more information!

Questions & Comments



5 Easter family holiday break getaway ideas

Easter is around the corner and it's time to plan the annual break. You've worked really hard and deserve this two-week holiday. Are your little ones as excite ...

10 Romantic getaways for a luxury couple’s vacation trip

Couple's vacations provide the perfect setting to bond with your significant other. They're a fun way to spark up some romance and discover an exciting new des ...