6 things to know if you want to travel on vacation
The holidays are fast approaching, and if you still feel like going somewhere, really all over, there are a few things to consider. Most will tell you that you should have booked yesterday, but that’s not really helpful, is it? We spoke with our travel expert Carie Skerritt from Dream Vacations for advice. Here is what she said.
1. Inventory is scarce
Resorts, hotels and other accommodation options are already full. Skerritt says inventory is limited this year due to social distancing and health protocol guidelines. Add to that all the other travelers who have already booked. If you find availability, expect to pay a premium.
2. Don’t expect last minute deals
In years past, waiting until the last minute could get you a nice place at a decent price. For the reasons mentioned above, don’t expect the same this year. It’s hard to imagine that there won’t be all deals, but Skerritt says it’s not the holiday season to risk it. Bloomberg reports that “there won’t be enough open inventory for a luxury resort to justify lowering its prices,” particularly during holiday weeks.
3. Book your plane tickets now
If you have to fly instead of driving to your destination, the price of tickets will only increase between now and the holidays, so buy them ASAP. In addition to pricing issues, finding the time and day you want to travel will also become increasingly difficult.
4. Book your rental car now
It’s like it was a while ago, but does anyone else remember the spring breakup? Car rental companies did not have enough inventory to process their reservations. If you need a rental car, book it now and have a back-up plan. Also consider joining the car rental company’s rewards program. They are likely to make sure they get their cars first.
5. Consider traveling before or after the holidays instead.
Want to avoid the above hassles? Instead, consider traveling before or after the holidays. Disney is offering up to 30% off select cruises throughout the holiday season. Skerritt also recommends looking at other times of the year when you’ll get more for your hard-earned money.
6. Book non-stop flights
Whether you decide to travel before, during or after the vacation, Skerritt recommends booking non-stop flights whenever possible. Since the holidays are the busiest time of the year for travel, there are often delays, or worse, hundreds of cancellations. Not having a stopover eliminates the risk of missing a connecting flight due to delays and allows you more flexibility so you don’t have to spend the night at the airport.
7. Don’t over-pack
This tip is valid once you have booked your flight. “The number one thing people wish they had done on every vacation is not to overload,” Skerritt explains. With so many people traveling during the holiday season, a checked bag is more likely to get lost. Skerritt suggests packing carry-on baggage and a personal item. “Keeping your luggage with you means you know where it is at all times,” she says. Here are some packing tips if you need help downsizing.
8. Consider COVID Travel Restrictions
If you are planning to travel abroad, keep in mind that each country has its own travel restrictions. Check the Department of State’s travel advisories and visit the country’s website for specific instructions on travel authorizations. Multi-country travel is not recommended at this time due to different regulations. However, if more than one country is on your itinerary, be sure to review the travel requirements for each. Skerritt also advises understanding the expense COVID testing adds to your trip.
Pro tip: While it has been difficult to do this this year, Skerritt recommends booking 6-9 months in advance where possible. “To be completely honest, I recommend my clients not to travel if they haven’t already booked because the same vacations will be cheaper any other time of the year,” Skerritt explains.
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