Holiday travel season is upon us, and if you’ve spent months or even a year away from loved ones due to Covid 19, you may already be trying to plan ways to visit family and friends this November or December. Whether you’ve remained home and ceased all forms of travel since the pandemic reached its peak or you’ve been busy traveling for work or vacations, holiday travel is bound to look very different this year.

If you plan to travel by airplane, it’s especially important to plan ahead, monitoring the airlines themselves and the location you’re visiting for specific travel guidelines and quarantine restrictions that may be in place. You may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your funds should plans change. Spending time with loved ones during the holidays is important, but it means communicating with those you’re visiting about your activities and behaviors before you travel and what your expectations are for once you arrive.

Taking extra precautions to safely plan for holiday travel will help to make your holiday season a more comfortable and joyful experience once you get to your chosen destination. Here are simple tips to help you prepare for holiday travel during Covid 19.

Plan and Prepare
Stay in tune with travel restrictions in both your state and in the locality you plan to visit. You’ll want to closely monitor quarantine requirements and potential Covid 19 outbreaks that may prevent you from traveling on schedule or in the style you’d planned. You’ll need to monitor flights for delays and changes, but also stay flexible to other changes that may occur as the holidays approach.

Follow Testing Guidelines
Especially if traveling internationally, you’ll need to research and follow required testing guidelines. Before getting onto a plane, it is a good idea to be tested, to ensure that you are Covid negative and are no risk to your fellow passengers. Some international destinations will require you to quarantine after a test upon arrival. You’ll want to know what to expect and when, so that you can keep your travel experience as smooth as possible.

Research Airlines
Before you even book your flight, spend time researching different airline policies and procedures. Every airline is enforcing different rules differently, and some are less stringent on mask wearing than others. Many airplanes are choosing not to fully book their flights to allow for proper spacing, while others are booking to capacity, increasing your risks for exposure. No matter what, you will want to know what to expect, so do your research before you purchase.

Invest in Travel Insurance
Now is one of those times when travel insurance truly can save you thousands of dollars. Be sure to read the fine print on any policy you consider purchasing in advance, or consult a travel advisor to help you choose a policy that will guarantee you a refund when and if plans change.

Stay Connected to Those You’re Visiting
Communication is key when it comes to any social interactions during the Covid 19 pandemic. When traveling, you’ll want to connect with the ones you’re visiting and make sure that you each are clear with one another about what you’ve done, where you’ve been and what your expectations are once you’re together. If one of you has engaged in higher risk activity, it may be prudent to request a quarantine or additional testing before you come together. You’ll want to be as transparent as possible to keep you both comfortable and safe.