Holiday season is quickly approaching and it’s going to look a lot different this year. Possible spikes in COVID-19 cases has us wondering when is the best time to book holiday travel and if we should consider booking it at all?
Prior to the pandemic, the best time to book holiday travel was about 3 to 6 weeks in advance. However, now there are a lot of different things to factor in.
According to Jeremy Prout, director of security solutions at International SOS, a global medical and travel services firm, you should book from now until mid-October if you’re planning to travel in December.
Prout tells Fortune, “There are a lot more risks and protocols to take into consideration, and that’s why planning far in advance of your expected departure is the safest bet. Knowing these guidelines can change at the drop of the dime, it’s also important to continuously monitor those health guidelines on a regular basis and right before you leave for your trip, just in case anything changes.”
Traveling this holiday season will also consist of a lot of research. If you’re traveling to other states, there may be a mandatory quarantine and many businesses may be closed.
If you’re looking for the cheapest rate, traveling on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day is ideal.
“Travelers also need to consider the financial obligations that could arise with an unexpected quarantine [or] border closure, such as lodging and meals, as well as consider what implications on your career could be, should you become sick on the way home from travel and need to quarantine for two weeks at home,” says Prout to Fortune.
Even though you’re entitled to a refund if your flight is cancelled, it’s a good idea to invest in travel insurance.
When traveling this year, you should follow the CDC guidelines for stopping the spread of the pandemic such as social distancing, wearing a mask, and not traveling if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.