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Top 10 Tips for Traveling on Holidays

Top 10 Tips for Traveling on Holidays
© Provided by TravelPulse

By Patrick Clarke, TravelPulse

Hassle-Free Holidays

This holiday travel season is poised to be a busy one as more Americans opt to leave home after a year that was heavily impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened more than 2.1 million passengers at airports nationwide on Sunday, November 14, up significantly from just over 978,000 on the same day last year and not far off the pre-pandemic figure of nearly 2.4 million in 2019. The influx of travelers is compounding staffing shortages being faced by airlines, airports, TSA, hotels, car rental companies and other key players across the industry. Therefore, navigating the holiday travel period could prove even more challenging in 2021.

Here are some tips on how to ensure the most stress-free experience possible.

Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
© Provided by TravelPulse

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to advise that people delay any travel plans until they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition to added protection against severe illness, getting vaccinated and having proof in the form of your CDC vaccine card will also eliminate some of the hurdles travelers currently face when visiting international destinations, allowing them the freedom to bypass testing and quarantine requirements in some cases.

Read More: When Your Flight Is Canceled, Never Do This, Warns A Travel Expert

Mask Up

Mask Up
© Provided by TravelPulse

Face coverings continue to be required at airports and on planes, buses, and other public transportation in the U.S. so there's no excuse to be caught off guard by mask requirements this holiday season. Be sure to pack a few extra face coverings depending on the length of your trip.

Understand the Latest Travel Restrictions, Requirements

Understand the Latest Travel Restrictions, Requirements
© Provided by TravelPulse

Make sure you understand the latest requirements for travel to your destination, especially when traveling internationally. This helpful COVID Travel Map is an excellent tool that allows users to enter their travel details, including passport-issuing country, departure and arrival countries, and vaccination status, to get instant, detailed information on travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, testing rules, and documentation required for travel.

Check Your Flight Status Ahead of Time

Check Your Flight Status Ahead of Time
© Provided by TravelPulse

Whether it's the result of inclement weather, labor shortages, computer issues, or otherwise, flight delays and cancellations will happen this holiday season. That's why travelers are always encouraged to check their flight status before arriving at the airport to save themselves the time and cost of getting there only to be forced to wait around or go back home.

Read More: How to Speed Up Your Passport Application in the United States

Leave Yourself Extra Time

Leave Yourself Extra Time
© Provided by TravelPulse

After checking that flight status, travelers will want to give themselves plenty of extra time when hitting the road or skies this holiday season. Crowded airports and the anticipated staffing shortages impacting ticket counters and TSA checkpoints could spell long lines and increase wait times in some instances. Generally, TSA advises travelers to arrive two hours prior to their scheduled flight when flying domestically and three hours before an international trip.

Enroll in TSA PreCheck

Enroll in TSA PreCheck
© Provided by TravelPulse

One way to cut down on your wait time at the airport is to enroll in TSA PreCheck, which costs just $85 for the first five years of eligibility and now only $70 to renew online. The expedited line allows passengers to leave their shoes, belts, and light jackets on and their laptops, tablets, and liquids in their bags. In October 2021, 95 percent of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than 5 minutes to get through security.

Avoid Checking Luggage

Avoid Checking Luggage
© Provided by TravelPulse

Packing during the winter can be challenging but if you're able to avoid checking luggage, limiting yourself to a carry-on is another easy way to minimize hiccups at a busy airport as lost or delayed luggage is just another obstacle in the way of a memorable getaway.

Stay Hydrated and Don't Travel on an Empty Stomach

Stay Hydrated and Don't Travel on an Empty Stomach
© Provided by TravelPulse

Traveling can be hard on your body so be sure to drink plenty of water to keep those unnecessary headaches away and also make sure you eat something ahead of your flight or have a snack handy to avoid becoming hangry. Labor shortages have impacted the food and beverage offerings at many airports across the country. Therefore, if you're flying super early in the morning or late at night your options could be limited and airlines have also limited their in-flight service to minimize contact amid the pandemic.

Read More: The Most Popular Holiday Travel Destinations

Talk to a Travel Advisor

Talk to a Travel Advisor
© Provided by TravelPulse

Working with an experienced travel advisor is a surefire way to reduce headaches while saving yourself precious time this holiday season. A trusted travel professional can match you with the ideal trip based on your level of concern relating to COVID-19, trip type, priorities and interests and package your getaway to save you some of your hard-earned money. Having a travel advisor in your corner can also come in handy in the event of an unexpected flight cancellation or issues upon check-in.

Purchase Travel Insurance

Purchase Travel Insurance
© Provided by TravelPulse

Protecting your holiday trip has never been more important so be sure to at least consider purchasing a travel insurance policy that can reimburse you and or cover medical expenses in the event that something goes wrong. Ask your travel advisor about Travvy Award winner Allianz Partners, one of the most trusted names in the industry offering a variety of affordable policies tailored to travelers of all types.

See more at TravelPulse




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Travel Magazine: Top 10 Tips for Traveling on Holidays
Top 10 Tips for Traveling on Holidays
Traveling around the busy end-of-year season is always difficult, but 2021 will be even more difficult. Here are 10 tips on holiday travel.
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