5 Tips for Holiday Travel
Do you dream of a white beach Christmas? With the holidays coming, many families are starting to give experience gifts, such as family vacations, instead of big piles of presents. We have partnered with our friend, Corinne Stevenson, co-owner of Outfitters Adventure Travel in Lititz, to answer all of your holiday travel questions. Whether you already have plans for a holiday vacation or may be planning for the future, we have you covered with our top 5 tips for Holiday Travel!
Our number 1 holiday travel tip? Expect delays! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve rank in the top 10 busiest times of year to travel. Travel and Leisure Magazine estimates that over 47 million people are expected to fly U.S.- based airlines during the Christmas season. That’s not even counting the International airlines! Give yourself extra time to get to the airport and to go through the security process. Especially if you live anywhere in the north where weather could be a factor.
NEVER assume you will get a great deal if you wait until the last minute to book your trip! This is especially true during the holidays! Even during non-peak travel times, last minute trips certainly do not guarantee the best price. If you are planning to travel over Christmas, be sure to book your trip a minimum of 6 months in advance. By planning ahead, you increase your chances of getting the best prices, best availability and better chances in securing your top choices! If you have waited until the last minute to book your Christmas vacation, you can expect to pay a little more for your flights and plan to be VERY flexible. Flexibility will give you your best options for top choice locations.
Do Your Research:
If you are planning to travel out of the country, do your research and be aware of religious and cultural norms for the city you are visiting. Some countries may shut down certain attractions in observation of a holiday. For example, at Easter time, resorts in the Dominican Republic will shut down motorized water sports and some excursions during Holy week. They may even limit playing loud music or offering casino services. If these activities were must-haves for your vacation, you may want to reconsider either the country or time of year you will be traveling.
Get Travel Insurance:
Minimize the stress of traveling by purchasing travel insurance! Travel Insurance plans cover many of the “what if” scenarios you may run into when traveling. What if your child gets really sick the day you are supposed to leave for vacation and you have to change your travel dates? What if you are in a car accident on your way to the airport and have to delay your vacation? And if bad weather delays your flight and you have non-refundable tickets to a concert you won’t get to see? Travel insurance can* cover you in all of these situations. Travel insurance can even take the place of your major medical insurance when you are in a foreign country. *Talk to a professional Travel Planner about the best insurance policy for your trip as they can be very different from provider to provider and policy to policy.
Use a Travel Agent:
With so many travel options, vacation planning can be stressful and overwhelming! Let go of the stress by using a travel agent to book your family vacation. If anything were to go wrong or change during your vacation, your agent is the person who will do the research and get you re-booked quickly and painlessly. Booking through a travel agent is also one of the best ways to get a great price! Agents are some of the first to know about special deals and have access to promotions the general public might never hear about. And the best part… using a travel agent doesn’t usually cost you additional money. Agents are typically paid a commission from their vendors, not their clients.
If you have additional questions regarding vacation planning, consider contacting Corinne Stevenson with Outfitter Adventure Travel! She can help you plan your vacation and keep you on budget! For additional vacation funds, consider our Holiday Loan Special! With rates as low as 5.99% APR and a short repayment term, a vacation could be the perfect gift to yourself this Christmas season! Visit our website for complete loan details!
From all of us at Blue Chip FCU, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We look forward to working with you this coming year to help you achieve all of your financial goals!