With many months of isolating, quarantining, and spending time cooped up at home, Americans are experiencing travel fever more than ever before. The COVID-19/ Coronavirus pandemic has really put a damper on 2020 travel plans which has led to great hopes of lavish vacations in 2021.
Are you longing to plan your next getaway but are fearful of the implications of traveling during a pandemic? We’re here to put your mind at ease.
It’s still possible to enjoy a relaxing vacation if you take the necessary precautions and plan ahead. Keep reading to find out the 8 important tips to keep in mind when booking your trip. These will help you greatly reduce your financial and physical risks so you can enjoy a stress-free holiday.
Tip #1: Book Your Travel Directly with Travel Suppliers
Avoid getting sucked into large online travel agency websites! When booking your travel, we recommend booking directly with travel suppliers. Booking with your airline and hotel/cruise ship gives you much more flexibility to reschedule or cancel your vacation. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic in the case that you contract the virus before your trip and need to cancel last-minute.
It’s also a good idea to use a credit card to hold your reservation rather than pre-paying for your room. In many cases, hotels give you the option to cancel with no charge 24-48 hours before your arrival.
Tip #2: Buy Your Travel Insurance from an Online Comparison Website
Buyer beware! Travel insurance from an airline, cruise company, or travel company does not include protection if the travel supplier goes bankrupt.
As we’ve learned in recent months, COVID-19 has put many travel suppliers at risk of bankruptcy. If your cruise line or airline goes bankrupt, you could be at a major financial loss. Buy your plans from an online comparison website like TripInsurance.com to avoid this risk! Our plans offer bankruptcy protection.
Tip #3: Buy your Travel Insurance within 14 Days of Booking your Trip, and Purchase a Plan with Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) Coverage
Even if you’ve carefully planned your vacation, there are many variables during the COVID-19 pandemic that could cause you to cancel your trip. These may include:
- Contracting COVID-19
- Being quarantined due to exposure to someone with COVID-19
- Border closures
- Fear of traveling
These unexpected events could be a costly blow if you don’t have the right insurance plan!
At TripInsurance.com we offer ‘cancel for any reason’ coverage with all of the plans in our Best category. This gives you the best protection for your travel investment. If you cancel your trip for a covered reason, our plan will pay for 100% of your cancelation penalties. If you have to cancel your trip for an uncovered reason, these plans will still pay for 75% of the cancelation penalties.
Tip #4: Use Travel Vouchers
If you’ve had to cancel a trip due to the pandemic, you may have received a travel voucher. But, did you know your travel vouchers are insurable? This means you can still use your travel vouchers during the COVID-19 pandemic without financial risks!
If you are forced to cancel a trip you’ve booked with a travel voucher, plans with ‘cancel for any reason’ coverage will pay 75% of the value of the voucher.
Go ahead and use those vouchers (with the right coverage, of course)!
Tip #5: Choose The Right Destination
Before booking your trip, it’s crucial to check for travel restrictions in your desired destination. Keep in mind that travel restrictions could also change on a whim. That’s why it’s best that you’re covered with travel insurance in the event that you are suddenly restricted from traveling to your vacation location.
It’s also a good idea to do some research on the other COVID-19 restrictions in your destination. If your particular country of interest is struggling with high case numbers, their laws may be very restrictive. This could prevent you from enjoying the vacation of your dreams and leave you cooped up in your hotel room.
In the event that sudden restrictions would inhibit you from enjoying your trip, our ‘cancel for any reason’ coverage would certainly come in handy. You’ve invested a lot of money in your trip. Don’t let it go to waste on a disappointing vacation.
Tip #6: Upgrade Your Vacation
Many hotels, cruise ships, and airlines are offering significantly lower prices to encourage people to travel. Now’s the perfect time to level up your vacation! Invest in a larger hotel room, a cruise suite with a balcony, or even business class on the airplane.
Not only will these upgrades give you a more luxurious vacation experience, but they will also give you more space for physical distancing!
Due to COVID-19, it’s a good idea to avoid communal spaces such as breakfast areas, gyms, and other public spaces as much as possible. This could mean spending a lot more time in your room. It’s definitely worth the investment to splurge on your accommodations in case you spend more time in your room than you had planned.
If you’re on a cruise ship, we especially recommend booking a room with a balcony. In the event that your cruise ship is quarantined, you’ll be glad to have access to some fresh air!
Tip #7: Book a Non-Stop or Direct Flight
Many people don’t know that airports are actually riskier than airplanes when it comes to COVID-19 transmission. When traveling by air, you have a greater chance of catching COVID-19 in the airport than in the airplane.
Because of this, we recommend trying to book a non-stop or direct flight rather than a flight with layovers. It’s also a good idea to limit the time you spend at airports as much as possible. Just be careful to arrive in enough time that you don’t miss your flight!
Tip #8: Sanitize Your Airplane Seat & Hotel Room
It’s safe to say that most airlines, hotels, and cruise lines have greatly increased their cleaning protocols to keep their guests as safe as possible. However, there are still a few precautions you can take to improve the safety of yourself and your family.
Airlines now allow passengers to bring a 12 oz bottle of hand sanitizer or alcohol on board to disinfect your seating area. Be sure to take advantage of this new policy and give your seat a thorough wipe before settling in for your flight. We also recommend bringing several pairs of rubber gloves in case you need to use the bathroom. Discard your gloves after using the restroom and use hand sanitizer instead of touching the sink.
When choosing your hotel, do your research and ensure that the hotel is taking appropriate measures to keep guests safe. Even if you choose a hotel that is known for their thorough cleaning process, it is still a good idea to re-sanitize your room once you arrive. Spray everything that may have been touched by a previous guest or housekeeping with 91% alcohol. Once this is complete, we recommend minimizing the amount of times that housekeeping cleans your room and respraying your room with disinfectant each time a staff member enters your room. This will ensure that you always have a clean space to rest.
TripInsurance.com is Here to Help you Minimize Travel Risks
With the right precautions, it is absolutely possible to enjoy a safe and relaxing vacation to your dream destination. Keep these tips in mind when booking your trip to help you minimize health and financial risks and feel confident with your travel plans. On top of sanitizing and wearing a mask, travel insurance is one of the most important ways to protect yourself! Our cancel for any reason coverage with our Best Category plans will ensure that you are covered for anything that the pandemic throws at you. Talk to our travel insurance experts today for more information.