Last year, we discovered that traveling during a pandemic is hard. Besides the extra expenses, mandatory testing, and red tape, many points of interest were closed to the public for most of the year. However, 2021 promises to be a much better year for travelers, now that COVID vaccines will be soon available and the end of the pandemic is in sight! 

If you’re itching to get out of town, you’re not alone in your wanderlust. Maybe that’s why National Shop for Travel Day – a day dedicated to (you guessed it) shopping for your upcoming adventures – may very well gain quite a bit of traction this year. After all, the second Tuesday in January (the 12th in 2021) is the perfect day for travel shopping, and I’ll tell you why. 

Why Celebrate Shopping for Travel?

Now wait a minute, you say. National Shop for Travel Day sounds like a sales gimmick created by travel businesses. 

Technically, you’re not wrong. But neither should you write off National Travel Day. 

This national day was created in 2018 by Travel Tech, “the voice of the travel technology industry.” Travel Tech members include your favorite travel companies, like Expedia, Airbnb, and Trip Advisor. Obviously, they’re hoping to make a sale on National Shop for Travel Day. But, as experts on shopping and travel cost trends, they also know that the beginning of January is the best time for YOU to save money on travel. 

Travel computer shopping

According to Skyscanner, flights are anywhere from 16%-36% cheaper in January than they are in other months of the year. Particularly in early January. If you wait until March to book those spring break or summer tickets, you’ll end up paying over 50% more than the yearly average for your tickets. And, as you have probably heard, there may be a price advantage to booking on Tuesdays, as U.S. News reports. 

So if you’re planning to travel by air in 2021, National Shop for Travel Day is the ideal day to do it. 

How to celebrate

Based on the flight savings benefits, the most obvious way to celebrate National Shop for Travel day is to book your tickets for your upcoming trips, even if they are far into the future and contingent on COVID-19 being a non-issue (we’re feeling optimistic here). 

Geoff Williams with U.S. News suggests that planning a trip months in advance has great financial benefits. For one thing, you’ll have the chance to research and plan a realistic budget, which helps you to make a saving plan to cut back spending before your vacation and limits unplanned spending during your vacation. 

Early planning also means you’ll be able to book tours, hotels, etc. long before you leave, which leaves you more options to choose from and helps you avoid that spike in prices from heightened demand as vacation season begins. 

While you’re at it, why not allocate some of your Christmas money and gift cards toward your travel clothing, luggage, and accessories, to use when the day comes? Some travel-related packages from Etsy or Amazon will be a ray of summer sunshine on a cold January day!

While this day might not offer the same savings benefits of Black Friday or Cyber Monday (yet), it’s still a shopping holiday worth observing. After the year we just went through, a few purchases for upcoming travel might be just what you need to remind yourself that better days are coming. 

You can give your Insta followers the same reminder, too. If you post about your travel purchases, you can use the #nationalshopfortravelday hashtag and give some encouragement to your fellow travel aficionados. 


Aside from January’s usual airline price drops, you might be able to score some other National Shop for Travel Day deals. In past years, for example, Grand European Travel and Encore Travel have offered discounts on tours and services. Although I haven’t seen any advertisements for deals in 2021, you may find some discounts on January 12th if you follow the #nationalshopfortravelday hashtag on social media. 

Happy Saving!

Observing Shop for Travel Day on the second Tuesday in January is a great opportunity to save money on airline tickets and make travel plans. But this year, it’s so much more than that. It’s a reminder that 2021 offers a light at the end of the tunnel for grounded travelers, and that it’s not long before we’ll get to explore new frontiers once again.

Computer and camera on travel. Remote work

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