CRA Travel Explored
By Jason Metz
Travel trends this holiday season will likely ride the waves of COVID-19 and the distribution of vaccines. For travelers who are suffering from cabin fever and looking to get away, flexibility will be key.
Stay Flexible and Get Insurance Backup
If you plan to travel for the holidays or in 2021, the best strategy is to be flexible. If you book a trip, pay close attention to the refundable and prepaid parts. Expedia’s lodging data shows that travelers booked refundable rates 10% more often in 2020 than the year before. They also found that daily rates for refundable bookings were 20% cheaper compared to 2019.
If you’re not familiar with or have never purchased travel insurance, it’s worth looking into. It can help you recoup nonrefundable expenses if the unexpected happens. The best travel insurance companies offer a wide range of coverage options and policy limits, so you can insure as much or as little as you like.
About 58% of Americans are more likely to buy travel insurance now compared to their willingness to buy it pre-COVID, according to a Generali Global Assistance Holiday/2021 Travel Sentiment Survey.
Depending on your trip, you can select among several coverage types and build your own travel insurance policy to fit your vacation needs. For example, you might want to buy cancel for any reason travel insurance, which covers the nonrefundable and prepaid portion of your trip expenses if you decide to cancel the trip for any reason, including fear of travel.
If COVID-19 is your main concern while traveling, check out our ratings of the best pandemic travel insurance plans.
While Family Gatherings May Be Out, Getaways May Be In
Almost 60% of Americans reported they won’t be traveling to see family and friends this holiday season, according to the Travelocity 2020 Holiday Outlook survey. Nearly one-third of respondents said they won’t be celebrating the holidays at all.
But Travelocity also found that some Americans are planning some sort of leisurely getaway before the end of the year: 25% of respondents said they planned a personal vacation. Almost half (45%) of family travelers with kids under the age of 18 plan to take a vacation.
“It’s going to be a nontraditional holiday season this year, so families are gearing up to make the most of it by planning a holiday away from home and using their vacation days to travel,” says Katie Junod, General Manager at Travelocity. She adds that 80% of travelers who have taken trips since the start of COVID-19 rated their experience as “excellent” or “good,” which gives them the confidence to plan a vacation.
Travelocity’s survey shows that of those who plan to travel this holiday season, nearly two-thirds have already booked transportation and lodging for Thanksgiving or December holidays. Among the plans:
Travel Will Remain an Integral Part of Our Lives
While 2020 was an unexpected and uncertain year, many Americans adapted by exploring small towns, local lakes and beaches, and by taking scenic drives, according to Expedia’s 2021 Travel Trends Report.
“What we learned by looking at travel behaviors in a year as unusual as 2020 is that travel will always be an integral part of our lives,” says Christie Hudson, a spokesperson for Expedia. She adds that travelers responded to uncertainty and restrictions by staying closer to home and placing a bigger emphasis on flexibility.
But Expedia expects many travelers will return to the air
“It’s no secret that air travel changed this year in ways we have never seen before, but people are still flying, and they will continue to fly,” says Chuck Thackston, Managing Director of Data Science and Research for Airlines Reporting Corporation, which partnered with Expedia for the report.