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Black Friday, Cyber Monday and All Those Travel Deals: Which Are Worthwhile (and Which Can Be Skipped)? We Have a Little List

According to the shopping experts who gab away on morning TV, TODAY will be the best day to shop if you're in the market for the usual gifts (sweaters, gadgets, toys, jewelry, what have you). But those shopping for travel will likely do better to wait until Friday or Monday. That's when the deals are popping, along with the marketing ploys masquerading as deals. We've sorted the wheat from the chaff for you, and will be adding to this list as the week goes on.

$7 Hotel Rooms Across the US and the UK. This doozy of a deal comes from the lodgings app HotelTonight. Beginning at 7am on Friday in the local time of whatever area you're interested in, hotel rooms will go on sale for just $7 bucks. At this stage, HotelTonight has about 100 properties in the mix, and they're all near shopping districts. Included are hotels in New York City, along the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, and near Union Square in San Francisco. The hotels are for Friday night only. If you miss out on those offers, know that the app (and you have to get the app to play; there's no HotelTonight website for deals) will also be peddling a large number of $70 hotel rooms throughout the weekend, for stays this weekend and into Monday.

Give a Bed and Breakfast Gift Card, Get a Restaurant Meal: The website will be giving away $50 gift card to those who purchase one of their $100 getaway cards, not a bad deal. Just be sure to use the code: MERRYGC. The offer starts Friday and goes through end of day Monday.

$20 Discounts on $100 Spa Gift Certificates: SpaWeek is the seller here, and the actual price of their gift certifcates—good at 8000 spas, including many hotel spas (the Four Seasons in Houston, the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale and many others)—is $79.99. The offer will go on sale Friday and stay up through the end of the year. And hooray: there's no expiration date on these certificates! You can go on Friday to for the discount. Go there earlier and you won't see it though.

Omni Hotels: I've been unimpressed by a lot of the hotel deals I've been seeing for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, since so many just offer a vague percentage off the "usual" or "rack" rate. Since those rates are rarely charged my guess is that the discount won't be much, if any, lower than you'd see on a regular hotel booking site. The Omni's offer seems different since exact prices are being quoted ($89–$169 for travel through January 31) and those rates are lower than this pricey chain usual offers. This one is already on sale at but must be booked by end of day on December 1.

Portable Chargers Cheap: It doesn't get much cheaper than a penny and that's the price powerskin will be charging for, well, chargers that usually cost between $49 and $59 a pop. Just go to and put the word "penny" when it asks for a code. This deal is good for purchases on Cyber Monday only and will only be valid for one device per email address.

NEW: $100–$500 Off Already Well-Priced Tours: The small group adventure company Friendly Planet will be knocking several hundred dollars off most of their tours for those who book on Cyber Monday. Since these tours tend to be among the best values on the market today, that makes this a super deal. Among the offerings: 9 days of a fly drive vacation in Costa Rica for $899 (usually $999); a 10-day China tour, including airfare from LA for $1599; a Kenyan safari, including air from NYC, for $2999. For full details, click here.

If I find any other deals worth posting, I'll be sure to do so. Watch this space!

(Photo by Powhusku/flickr)