Travel during the Christmas holidays can be stressful with extra crowds and often densely packed airplanes. With COVID, holiday travel takes on an even more stressed environment. However, it’s also a chance to visit family and friends, and maybe spend the holiday in a new destination. The holidays are celebrated worldwide, and they may not be as meaningful in some destinations. However, foreign travel allows travelers to experience Christmas celebrations shared across the globe. Here are a few tips that may help you navigate traveling during the holidays with less stress.
Plan accordingly and know your flight times. In addition, prepare for extra airport crowds. Most airlines advise getting to the airport 2 hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international trip. Typical airport rush hour times are between 5 am to 7 am and 4 pm to 6 pm. If you plan on traveling around those times, adding some extra airport travel time would be wise.
Another way to plan for holiday travel is to pre-register for many travel programs that help the travel process go more smoothly. TSA Pre-check helps to expedite screening at the airport. It sure helps not to have to remove shoes, belts, laptops, or light-wear jackets as you go through security. Clear is another program that can help expedite the screening process. Unlike TSA Pre-check, verification is done through eyes or face, making for a touchless process.
Many foreign destinations now offer travel registration. Part of any travel research is the know before you go tips available on many country websites. This research helps travelers know of any visa requirements, but in this time of COVID, it is beneficial also to be aware of any health travel guidelines for your destination.
As with any travel you purchase, travel insurance is vital for any unexpected travel delays or interruptions. Now more than ever, it’s essential that your travel insurance include COVID medical insurance. Travel insurance not only protects the traveler in the event of a COVID infection, but many foreign destinations now require it before allowing entry into the country.
Many travelers are unaware of the protections they can receive from their government when issues arise in a foreign country. US citizens can find helpful safety and general information about foreign destinations on STEP, The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. It also helps the embassy, friends, and family contact you more easily in an emergency.
These travel tips can be helpful all year round, but especially during the travel holidays, it’s essential to be well prepared. Are you planning on traveling this holiday season? Are you prepared and ready? I’d like to know.