As the temperatures get cooler and the days shorter, are you already thinking about holiday travel with your family? If not, you probably should, according to Stan Sandberg, co-founder, TravelInsurance.com, who offers the following tried and true tips on how to take the stress out of holiday travel with the kids.
- Book early. While snagging last-minute fares can be a boon at other times of the year, during holiday season it’s a better bet to book as far in advance as possible, according to the Airline Reporting Corporation, which tracks air fares.
- Travel early or late in the day. As anyone who has missed a connection knows, nothing takes the fun out of family travel as quickly as sitting in an airport trying to keep the little ones entertained while waiting to cram onto the next flight. Early flights give you more options for same-day replacement flights, while late-day travel tends to be less busy.
- Think about your destination in terms of weather. If hurricanes or nor’easter winter storms are frequent, either at your departure point or your destination, you might want to buy travel insurance with cancellation coverage when you book. Remember that once a storm has already been named, buying cancellation insurance is no longer an option. That said, if you’re worried about weather, you can upgrade to a Cancel For Any Reason policy, which offers more flexibility. Typically, a comprehensive travel insurance plan will cost from about 4–8 percent of the total trip price.
- Consider shipping gifts ahead of time. Not only will this save you money on checking bags — not to mention the distress if gift-filled luggage is lost — but it will keep you from having to fight for overhead space on typically crowded holiday-season flights. Did you know that, according to data from SITA, a New York-based travel technology firm, more than 23 million pieces of luggage a year are mishandled worldwide? Travel insurance can help recoup the cost of lost baggage, but sending presents ahead of time — and again, don’t wait until the last minute — can offer peace of mind.
- Remember Fido. If you’re leaving your four-footed friend at home, don’t wait until the last minute to reserve his spot at your favorite kennel. If you’re bringing him, check with your airline to see what the regulations are for his safe travel.
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