This article was written by guest author, Garrett Ray
2021 is bringing a whole new perspective and appreciation for travel, and we’re here to celebrate it. Here are 10 easy tips to help you conquer travel this year to scratch that itch for exploration.
- Arrive to the Airport Early – Between social distancing, masking, sanitizing, and other increased safety precautions, the time between parking your car and arriving at the gate is most likely going to increase. If you’re the type of person who typically likes to show up at the airport around boarding time because you have TSA Pre-Check, I highly suggest you arrive at least one hour earlier now.
- Make Sure to Pack Food – Being an airline pilot, I spend a lot of time at the airport and need to plan meals accordingly. I always make sure to have a protein bar or snack in my bag in case I get hungry. Sometimes, I even pack full meals. Some food offerings at the airport are still closed so lines for restaurants tend to be longer than normal. Whether it’s bringing snacks or giving yourself some extra time at the airport, make sure to plan for food.
- Check Covid Tests/Quarantine Requirements – Whether you’re a spontaneous traveler or like to plan far in advance, take time to check quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements before planning your trip. The last thing you want to do is show up at your destination and have to unexpectedly quarantine. You can use Expedia’s COVID-19 travel advisor tool to check regulations for destinations.
- Finding the Right Flights for You – My favorite pro tip: If you’re somebody who has travel plans that may change, make sure to check Expedia’s flexible flight options by using their “No change/cancel fee” filters, which will weed out super restrictive fares. That way, if something changes, you could adjust your plans without losing money or paying extra.
- Be Flexible – Being flexible can be one of the most cost-effective ways of traveling. When I’m looking to book a flight or hotel, I always use the flexible dates search option. If you can adjust your schedule just a few days on the front side or the backside of your trip, you could save some money! .
- You Can Still Be Spontaneous – If you’re a spontaneous traveler like me, you can still have that type of lifestyle during the pandemic but it’s important to be cautious. As mentioned before, when traveling internationally it’s especially important to check quarantine requirements before your trip. If you’re staying domestically here in the United States, make sure to check safety requirements and guidelines for each city and town you’re traveling to as well.
- Make Copies of Important Documents – Anytime I leave the country, I bring at least one copy of my passport. I keep my real passport in the hotel safe. That way, when I’m walking around in public I have some sort of identification, and I feel more comfortable knowing my passport can’t be stolen or misplaced if it’s kept in the hotel safe. If you are a vaccinated traveler, it might be smart to carry around a copy of your vaccination card – or a photo on your phone — as well.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Go International – A lot of good news has been coming out about being able to travel abroad. It seems border restrictions are easing as 2021 goes on and international travel is slowly returning to normal levels. Don’t hesitate when planning that international bucket list vacation, especially when you can choose flexible or refundable rates.
- Book Activities – Sometimes booking activities is the best way to explore a new destination. With Expedia you can check out the “things to do” tab when searching a destination. With so many of us sitting at home for most of 2020, getting out and doing some activities can be the best way to kick off traveling again.
- Have Fun – For so many of us travel has been a way to express ourselves and create amazing memories. While the past year has been tough, I’m getting excited about planning travel once again. I know that some of my best travel experiences are yet to come. As travel returns, just remember to have fun along the way and make lasting memories, too.
About Garrett Ray
Based in North Carolina, Garrett has a strong passion for aviation, travel, and fitness, always looking to share his unique lifestyle with his growing audience. Follow Garrett’s exploits on Instagram at @flywithgarrett or at https://www.youtube.com/flywithgarrett