With the Thanksgiving holidays behind us in North America, there are still a lot of winter holidays before the new year begins:
Your winter travel checklist for this holiday season includes: a couple of high quality masks, hand sanitizer, early airport arrival, a jacket that’s easy to remove, correctly sized toiletries, and that’s not all.
To be the most prepared traveler this holiday season, get started on these steps today.
The TSA PreCheck is offered by the US Department of Homeland Security and allows members to use expedited security lines at US airports.
Any US citizen or lawful permanent resident is eligible.
You need two things to apply:
Is it worth it? 96% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes in line during September 2021, according to the TSA. The PreCheck lasts for five years and many travel credit cards give you credit if you pay the fee with the card.
Pro tip: Global Entry is an expedited US customs screening membership for international travelers entering the US. It includes TSA PreCheck as part of its benefits, so if you travel internationally, Global Entry is the better choice.
Travel loyalty programs are everywhere now and they can come in handy when you need them.
Hotel programs can give you benefits like late checkout, free cancellations, and free Wi-Fi in your room so you don’t have to hang out in the lobby to surf the web.
Rental car programs can help you skip the line at the rental counter and go straight to your car. Some travel credit cards offer automatic car rental elite status even if you’ve never rented with that company before.
Many people deleted these apps from their smartphones at the start of the pandemic, but airline apps have come a long way since.
Now’s the time to reload the apps for any airlines you’ll be flying this holiday season.
Here’s what the airline apps can give you:
Not every airline’s app has all the same benefits. See The Points Guy’s list of app perks and download the ones you need today.
Traveling light is harder in the winter, but keeping things light is easier on you.
Some tips for light packing this winter:
Pro tip: freeze the water bottle you plan to take on the flight. Frozen water bottles are allowed through the security checkpoints as long as they’re frozen completely solid and no more than 3.4 oz.
Most of the world’s countries are now open to travelers from the US but as variants – including the new Omicron – continue to introduce themselves, some places have resumed travel restrictions.
Just this week, the US announced continued mask requirements and reduced the COVID test requirement from 3 days to 24 hours prior to entering the country.
No matter where you’re traveling this winter, you’ll want to keep checking the travel restrictions. These are the sites that can help:
Travel trends – Google highlights three new travel trends shaping trips in 2022
First class cabins are changing – here’s a peek at the possible future of first class travel.
Need gifts? This 2021 Holiday Gift Guide highlights the best accessories for air travelers (text and audio).
Women who travel – How women are spending their travel money right now.
Want to get paid to travel? This just might be your $85,000 dream job for a year.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.