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10 Amazon Prime Day competitor deals for travelers

Oct. 11, 2022
9 min read
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If you know me, then you know there are few things I love more than avoiding shopping at full price, which is why I am particularly excited about this week.

Tuesday marks the start of this year's second Amazon Prime Day, officially known as the Prime Early Access sale, which runs over the next two days. Starting Oct. 11 at 3 a.m. EDT, through 2:59 a.m. Oct. 12, Prime members have access to Amazon sales: Think of it as a precursor to Black Friday, with exclusive savings for Prime members only.

But there's no need to fret if you are not a Prime member; there are other ways to save. In fact, multiple retailers, including Target, Best Buy and Nordstrom, are currently running competition sales ahead of Black Friday, the traditional sale of all sales which occurs the day after Thanksgiving.

For example, all eligible Target products purchased from Oct. 6-Dec. 24 offer a holiday price match guarantee if the item lowers in price throughout that period. During Ulta Beauty's Gorgeous Hair Event, currently running through Oct. 22, you can save 50% off Daily Beauty Steals for three straight weeks, which I partook in this weekend by restocking my favorite travel-size shampoo and conditioner.

In preparation for the next two days, we've rounded up 10 of the best competitor deals for travelers from other retailers where you can save even more money.

Tech and accessories

Apple Watch Series 8 GPS 41mm, $349 at Walmart

Apple Watch Series 8 GPS. WALMART.COM

The one accessory I wear every day, without fail, is my Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4, which I've had for three years now. I love it so much that I am considering upgrading my older version. I'm looking at the Apple Watch Series 8, which is currently on sale for $349, marked down from $399. The sport band is on sale in four colors — midnight, red, silver and starlight (white).

Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable (1 meter), $18.97 at Walmart

Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable. WALMART.COM

One of my favorite ways to explore a place when traveling is by walking through the various neighborhoods a city has to offer. I love tracking my steps via my Apple Watch. I can only do this if my watch is charged, which is why I always pack my Apple Watch charger in my suitcase — you'll need to charge this watch daily as you do with a phone. A 1-meter charging cable is currently available from Walmart for just under $19, compared to its usual price of $27.98. Just remember to pack a USB-C power adapter compatible with Apple devices, such as this one, also currently on sale from Walmart.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Bluetooth Smartwatch, $339.99 at Target

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. TARGET.COM

If you are not an Apple person but are very much a watch person, consider an alternative — the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Bluetooth Smartwatch, available in black and silver for $339.99, marked down from $379.99. With a round stainless steel face, this watch offers a slightly more upscale look than Apple's sport band watch. It includes many of the same tools as the iOS device, such as an auto workout detector and advanced run coaching, while also being water resistant. Plus, with some cool features lacking from the Apple Watch, like body composition analysis and a multiday battery, this watch is one to consider for your next trip or day-to-day wear.

Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds, $99.99 at Best Buy

Apple AirPods (2nd Generation). BESTBUY.COM

Is there anything worse than boarding your flight and realizing that you either forgot your headphones or they're not charged? The answer for many of us, is no, given the prospect of our seatmate striking up a conversation, fueled by the lack of headphones. Headphones are essential for any traveler, and Apple's AirPods are known for providing hands-free access to your iPhone thanks to a wireless connection, high-quality audio and five-hour battery life. Although these are certainly not the newest or longest-lasting AirPods available, their $99 price tag allows you to save $30. As is the case with all AirPods, these include a charging case.

Apple AirTag (4 Pack), $99.99 at Target

Apple AirTags. AMAZON.COM

We would be remiss in failing to include a holy grail Apple product in this tech roundup — the Apple AirTag. If you've been living under a rock, AirTags are widely used, among TPG staffers and readers alike, to track bags, suitcases and other items you don't want to lose when traveling, or in daily life.

To use, simply attach the Bluetooth tracking device to anything you own to passively keep track of its location. Your AirTag will ping when there is a nearby Apple device, whether it be your iPhone or someone else’s iPhone or iPad. If your checked bag is attached to an AirTag, it will ping its location off that iPhone and report the location back to you, which you can view in the Find My app alongside your iOS devices.

While AirTags are not included in October's Prime Early Access sale, you can find them for their regular price at a variety of retailers, including Target ($99.99 for a pack of four or $29.99 for one).

Wasserstein Apple AirTag Holder PU Leather Keychain (2 Pack), $15.99 at Target

Wasserstein Apple AirTag holder. TARGET.COM

One of the best things about the AirTags is their size, slightly larger than a quarter, but that does make it easy to lose or drop them by mistake when shoving them into your purse or elsewhere. To protect yourself from losing an affordable yet essential item, consider purchasing an AirTag holder, such as this keychain and protective case cover from Wassertstein, on sale for $15.99, reduced from $39.99.

Its chic design, available in brown and blue, helps keeps your AirTags protected from dust and scratches while easily attaching to your bag, keys and other important items.

Wasserstein Pet Collar AirTag Holder for Apple AirTag (2 Pack), $14.99 at Target

Wasserstein pet collar AirTag holder. TARGET.COM

If you are worried about keeping track of your furry friends, look no further than the Wasserstein Pet Collar AirTag Holder, on sale at Target for $14.99, down from $29.99. Similar to the above AirTag holder, this one is designed to attach to your pet's collar.

Luggage and backpacks

Freeform Carry-On Spinner, $159.99 at Samsonite

Freeform Carry-On Spinner. SAMSONITE.COM

Samsonite products are tried and true, which makes the Freeform carry-on bag, on sale for $159.99 through Oct. 18, marked down from $200, hard to pass up. Plus, you can save an extra 15% on your purchase by using the code "FALL15" if you purchase by midnight PDT on Oct. 12.

As the newest lightweight offering from the luggage giant, the expandable suitcase, measuring 21 1/4 by 15 1/4 by 10 inches, is marketed as a carry-on suitable for international travel, but be sure to check the specific luggage requirements of your airline. With a limited 10-year global warranty and weighing 6 1/2 pounds, this extremely lightweight suitcase features 360-degree spinner wheels and a Transportation Security Administration-compatible lock.

Voltage DLX Carry-On Spinner, $151.99 at Samsonite

Voltage DLX Carry-On Spinner. SAMSONITE.COM

For those looking for a carry-on for domestic travel, consider Samsonite's Voltage DLX carry-on, on sale through Oct. 18 at a reduced price of $152, plus an extra 15% off using the code "FALL 15" for purchases made by midnight PDT on Oct. 12. With a built-in USB port, this suitcase is ideal for business and leisure travelers alike. Measuring 22 by 14 by 9 inches, it adheres to most carry-on policies for domestic carriers, including American, Delta and United. Bonus points for the bag's integrated WetPak pocket, which helps you keep liquids and toiletries contained without fear of leakage.

Marc Jacobs Quilted Backpack, $129.97 at Nordstrom Rack

Marc Jacobs Quilted Backpack. NORDSTROMRACK.COM

For my fellow carry-on-only travelers out there, having a good backpack to bring on board is absolutely key. From one of my favorite attainable designers, Marc Jacobs, comes this black quilted backpack which, at 11 by 6 by 14 inches, will fit under the seat in front of you. This bag is not only practical, with dual adjustable shoulder straps, but it also elevates your travel style with its smooth transition from the plane to your hotel and everything in between. Grab yours now, currently half its usual price at Nordstrom Rack.

Bottom line

If you shop the above brands and stores, or score any other deals, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a credit card that maximizes your online purchases, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited for 1.5% cash back on non-bonus spending, or the Blue Cash Everyday Card® from American Express for 3% cash back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year and then 1% after that.

Be sure to read on for the best credit cards to use for the specific retailers mentioned:

Rest assured, this week's Prime sale and the others mentioned in this guide are just the start of sales to come this holiday season. We will be sure to update you on the must-have travel products with each one.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.