After last year’s pandemic disruptions, families everywhere are looking forward to hitting the open road and once more reuniting with distant loved ones. However, you might be a bit rusty at the travel game if you’ve spent most of the past year or more in semi-quarantine.
You will need to take a few extra precautions and make allowances for the massive crowds you’re sure to encounter. Make all that hustle and bustle energizing, not frustrating, by heeding these six tips for holiday travel this year.
1. Seek Out Package Deals
Your kids probably have as much cabin fever as you do, if not more. Plus, you might not relish the idea of more close confinement together in a hotel room after spending time in quarantine. Fortunately, the pandemic means you might be able to take advantage of killer deals if you plan your trip right.
For example, you might be able to score considerable discounts on deals like adjoining rooms, letting your children have their space while you enjoy a little adult privacy. Other lodging establishments partner with area entertainment venues to offer package discounts. You might find that you can afford to take the entire clan to see “The Nutcracker” after all if it comes with the price of your stay.
What if you plan to stay at grandma or grandpa’s house? You might still need to rent a car along with your plane ticket. Check out some of the best travel sites, but do so in incognito mode. That way, cookies can’t track your plans, raising prices accordingly.
2. Pick the Best Time to Fly
You will probably pay more to fly during the holidays. However, you can still score bargains if you are flexible with your times and dates.
In general, it’s less expensive to fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday as fewer weekend warriors flood the airport. Business travelers typically come and go at the beginning of the week. You might save a few dollars by selecting red-eye, but first, make sure that doing so won’t cost you more elsewhere. For example, it’s generally cheaper to take an airport shuttle than an Uber to the departure gate, but not all such services run 24/7.
3. Consider Various Lodging Alternatives
If you have a relative with whom you plan to stay, you don’t have to worry about the cost of a hotel. However, you have more options than ever regarding where to stay if your family members lack a spare room.
For example, you can often find great rates on sites like VRBO and Airbnb. Better yet, you might enjoy amenities like a kitchen for preparing meals, saving you money on takeout during your trip.
If you’re into the great outdoors, please don’t overlook glamping as a lodging choice. You won’t shiver on the ground in a tent. Your accommodations might include a vintage Airstream or a yurt complete with a luxury bathroom.
4. Carry Hygiene Supplies
Airlines and lodging establishments are doing more to protect your safety. However, it pays to safeguard yourself and your loved ones with the right supplies. You will need to wear a mask on the plane and airport — doing so is still sound advice for any indoor space you share with strangers.
Likewise, you can carry as many wet wipes as you like. Airlines do not count them toward your liquid quota in your carry-on luggage. Use them to wipe down your seat, tray table and hands — pay attention to details like your seat belt buckle and the touch screen entertainment system.
It’s a wise idea to keep a mask and a small container of hand sanitizer on your keychain once you reach your destination. That way, you’re prepared no matter where you may roam.
5. Respect Those With Health Conditions
You might feel secure attending various gatherings with or without a face covering. However, please be aware that other family members or guests might have health conditions that make attending the festivities stressful. If your host requests that you mask up at their home to protect someone immunocompromised, please don’t make a fuss. It’s a small price to pay to hang out with those you love.
Likewise, please don’t plan any last-minute visits to folks who informed you they are still under quarantine. As much as you might want to see someone, it’s more critical to protect their health.
6. Finish Your Shopping Early
Are you one of those who waits until the last minute to finish your shopping? You might want to rethink your strategy this year if you hope to have a gift for everyone at the much-anticipated reunion.
Supply-chain issues could mean empty store shelves upon your arrival. Instead of taking a risk, select your gifts in advance and have them shipped to your destination. Plan on mailing them early to ensure they get there on time for the big day.
6 Trips for Holiday Travel
This year, you can feel more confident about visiting your loved ones during this magical time. Follow these six trips for holiday travel and enjoy your trip.