Traveling During the Holidays: 7 Insider Tips You Should Know

The holidays are a perfect time to travel. For many, it means time off from work to relax with friends and family. But sometimes, those friends and family live far away. In those cases, the holidays also mean air or land travel. If that’s the case for you, you probably already know airports can get hectic around the holidays. That’s why we assembled some travel tips that will help ensure your travel experience goes as smoothly as possible.

blue circle with white number 1 in middle Plan for Downtime

It seems counterintuitive to plan for extra time when you (or you and your family) will just…hang out. Because of that, we often get through an entire vacation without ever having taken much of a break, and a trip that was meant to be rejuvenating actually leaves us needing extra time to relax when we get home. You can avoid that by scheduling out time for everyone to just lay low during holiday travel. It can just be a few hours or an evening, or even a full day—whatever feels best. Find out if travel insurance can cover your Airbnb booking in case you unexpectedly have to cancel your trip. 

woman sitting on beach chair on beach sand reading a book

All that matters is that you set that time aside as if it were an actual event you have to schedule other things around. Trust us. You’ll be glad for some downtime –especially during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. If you’re looking to vacation somewhere warm this holiday season, check out this list of destinations south of the equator we think you’ll like.

blue circle with white number 2 in the middle Carry Your Essentials With You

If you plan on checking a bag when traveling this holiday season, we highly recommend bringing all of your essentials with you in a separate carry-on. Why? Given the holidays are so hectic and in many places include snow, the chances your luggage will get lost or you’ll miss a connection and have to stay overnight somewhere dramatically increase, especially since the pandemic. Check out our list of TSA-approved carry-ons for your next trip.

woman carrying duffle bag walking near marina

If you have travel insurance to cover you in those situations, you’ll be fine in terms of essentials (like a toothbrush or contact solution), but it might be more difficult to track down personal items like medication That’s why it’s a smart idea to pack your medications and other essentials in your personal item or carry on. Need some other packing tips? Check out this packing checklist we created. If you’re interested in getting coverage before your trip, you can get a free quote here to help you get started. 

Pro-tip: We also highly recommend packing an extra shirt or sweater in case the airplane gets cold. An extra hoodie will do the trick of keeping your body and head warm. 

blue circle with the white number 3 in the middle Check Travel Requirements

If you’re traveling internationally during the holidays, it’s especially important to make sure you are prepared to meet the travel requirements of your destination country. Requirements range from showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test to mandatory quarantines and required purchase of travel insurance. Not being informed about your destination’s (or even airline’s) requirements could be a costly mistake. 

paper documents on a table

Most travel insurance policies treat COVID-19 as a covered medical event. That means if you test positive for COVID-19 before your trip and need to cancel your trip, a comprehensive travel insurance policy could reimburse your nonrefundable trip cost. If you contract COVID-19 during your trip, on the other hand, benefits like Medical Expense, Trip Interruption, and even Travel Delay could apply. Here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 and travel insurance coverage to help ease your mind when it comes to ever-changing travel requirements.

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blue circle with the white number 4 in the middle Be Patient and Flexible

The travel world continues to be ever-changing and one of the best holiday travel tips is to remain patient and flexible. You might experience longer waits in the airports or a change of plans along the way. Give yourself some extra time while traveling to get through security and come up with an alternative plan if your trip gets derailed. Even having alternative transportation and hotel plans can ease your mind moving forward in case something were to fall through. If travel tends to make you anxious and even more so during the holidays, check out these tips on how to travel stress-free.

a line of travelers outside an airport

blue circle with the white number 5 in the middle Get More Than Just COVID-19 Coverage

You might be thinking that travel insurance is a good idea, but don’t opt for airline or cruise-offered travel insurance. Instead, you can get better coverage at a more affordable price by comparing policies on Yonder Travel Insurance. Most travel insurance policies offered by airlines or cruise companies only cover events related to COVID-19 illness and at the most only the cost of your flight. 

people in a business meeting using a laptop

However, with comprehensive policies on Yonder, you can insure your entire trip cost including airfare, hotels, tours, charters or anything else that’s a nonrefundable cost to you. Plus, with delays and lost baggage more prevalent during the busy holiday season, a comprehensive travel insurance policy could reimburse you for your unexpected costs due to delays and losses out of your control.

blue circle with the white number 6 in the middle Avoid Layovers When Possible

Because of how crowded airports are around the holidays, the fewer of them you can be in, the better.  When booking flights, it always seems worth it to save a couple of dollars on that flight with a two-hour layover in the opposite direction of where you’re headed, but when the time to travel comes, you’ll regret it—we promise. If you can, look at tickets three days in advance to find the cheapest one-way ticket possible, so you can get on the plane and stay there until you reach your destination.

airport terminal section of an airport

blue circle with the white number 7 in the middle Prep Your In-Flight Entertainment Before Boarding

Despite the fact that some planes offer Wi-Fi and free movies, not all airlines provide in-flight entertainment. As soon as you book your airfare, check out the airline’s offerings to see what’s in store for your flight. Then, think about what you’ll need to stay entertained while in the air —especially if you’re traveling with kids. Trust us, you don’t want to get on a flight of any length with any number of kids who don’t have anything to entertain them. Whether you’ve loaded a few movies onto an iPad or packed books or toys, just make sure you think about it in advance, so you aren’t scrambling to download before you lose service while leaving the gate. 

young child looking out airplane window

Have other tips to share with fellow holiday travelers? Tell us about them on Instagram with @insureyonder, tweet us, or comment on Facebook

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