6 things to know before making holiday travel plans this year
In a typical year, millions of Americans take to the roads and skies during November and December to visit friends and family, head somewhere warm, or take a long-awaited vacation. However, 2020 is not a typical year. Between changing travel restrictions, health and safety considerations, and shifting priorities, there’s a lot more to navigate. To help mitigate holiday stress, take a look at this round-up of the top tips for travelers considering a holiday trip.
1. Look for fares or rates with built-in flexibility. Flexible options are more plentiful than ever thanks to many travel providers changing up their policies. Filter for “free cancellation” or “reserve now, pay later” to find flexible stays and make sure to select a refundable room type. Also, make note of any deadlines to cancel for a full refund, and avoid any super restrictive airfares that prohibit changes.
2. Start watching airfare prices now. You might be surprised to see how cheap Thanksgiving airfares are right now, as many airlines try to entice travelers into planning a trip. Expedia data shows, ticket prices increase as the holidays get closer, so it’s worth booking a refundable/flexible ticket early if the price is right for you. Either way, setting up a price alert and being flexible with your travel dates will help ensure you don’t miss a great deal.
3. Research health and cleanliness measures. Want to know what your hotel is doing to ensure the safety of guests? You can find health and safety policies for more than 400,000 hotels and vacation rentals right on Expedia.com and use the “Enhanced cleaning” filter to narrow search results to find the option that gives you the most peace of mind.
4. Factor in the popularity of your destination. While there might be fewer holiday travelers this year, some destinations—particularly domestic beach and ski resorts—are expected to be in-demand as travelers opt to stay closer to home. So, if you’re headed somewhere like Florida, Hawaii, Lake Tahoe, or Vail, you may want to stake out your accommodations early. Look at booking a refundable rate so you can change your plans if needed.
5. Consider alternate travel dates. One upside to remote work and/or school is that you can do it from anywhere. Take advantage of the flexibility and avoid the typical busy travel days (like the day before Thanksgiving) or stay at your destination longer than usual to maximize your trip.
6. Stay up to date on travel advisories and restrictions. With COVID-19, travel and safety restrictions are continually changing, and it’s important to comply with all official guidelines. Staying up to date on your destination’s quarantine rules, closures, and how to stay safe while visiting is essential. This way, you can focus on the magic of the holidays instead.
What trips are you dreaming about this holiday season or for 2021?