BBB Tip: Adapting Travel Plans as Restrictions Lift in Some Areas, Continue in Others



Travel restrictions continue in many areas, and states, provinces and countries have different policies on masks and vaccination requirements. The following tips help answer some questions when making travel plans:

  • REAL ID deadlines:   The deadline for REAL ID in the United States was extended, so you still have some time before being required to have a TSA compliant form of ID.  If you haven’t updated your driver’s license yet, stay tuned on what happens with this deadline.
  • Check with airlines and cruise operators about previously planned trips. Travel to and from some destinations continues to be restricted in and out of the U.S. as well as other destinations.
  • Check the the U.S. Travel Association and the U.S. Department of State for additional information. For traveling to or from Canada, check the Canadian travel restrictions page and the travel advisory page. But even if your destination isn’t on a list, carefully consider your options. Then, reach out to the travel agency or the company with whom you’ve made the arrangements.
  • Consider your health risk. For updated information, check the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionState health departments or municipal government officials may have orders in place requiring people to wear facemasks or other restrictions. Research these locations before making any travel plans.
  • Carefully research cancellation policies before making reservations.  Understand what kind of cancellation policy is available for the tickets you would like to purchase for a trip at a later time. Cruise companies, airline, hotel, AirBNB and other travel related cancellation policies are rapidly changing because of the pandemic. Many of them are adhering to their current policy while others may make an exception but only for a limited time. Before making a reservation, even if it’s within the U.S. understand whether or not you can cancel and get your money back if the pandemic continues long-term.
  • Consider buying travel insurance, but read the small print. Travel insurance is a great way to receive a full refund if you need to cancel a trip, but not all policies have the same coverage. It is critical to read the fine print of any plan you are considering before you buy. Most policies won’t cover a cancellation simply because you are now afraid to go. Purchasing a policy that allows you to “cancel for any reason” is the best way to ensure coverage in this rapidly evolving situation.
  • Consider hiring a travel agent. If finding travel insurance, contacting airlines and cruise companies, and making last minute travel plans doesn’t suit you, consider hiring a travel agent. A reputable agent will be able to do all the legwork for you.
  • Think twice before buying a bargain ticket. As the coronavirus restricts travel for many, flight and cruise deals are popping up everywhere. If you want to take advantage of these deals, keep in mind that, realistically, any destination could become compromised or closed indefinitely as the virus continues to spread and you may need to cancel or reschedule your travel plans. This could result in additional fees and make the deal even less of a bargain.
  • Watch out for scams. In addition, scammers are never below taking advantage of a crisis, so make sure any deals you consider are legitimate before paying or offering up your personal information.

For More Information

Read BBB’s tip on planning your next vacation for more general tips regarding travel planning.

 

Information courtesy of the Better Business Bureau

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