Planning a holiday or winter vacation? Here’s everything you need to know.

If you’re planning an upcoming vacation this holiday and winter seasons, it’s important to be prepared.
"...I think this year, the person that plans in advance, who maybe puts aside a little bit more money, will probably have a better time," said Pauline Frommer, the editorial director of Frommer's Travel Guides, over the summer.
Below are a few important tips to prepare you for your trip:

How can you find airline deals?

In a study, Frommer's Travel Guides found that Skyscanner.com was consistent in finding the lowest prices.
Flexibility is important when looking for deals. Frommer says that looking at alternate airports could be a way to save.

Should you get travel insurance?

Frommer says yes!
"If you get tested, and you're positive for COVID, you're stuck where you are," Frommer says.
She says that 95% of travel policies will cover expenses if you have to stay somewhere.

How can you make sure you'll make your flight in time?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says that airports, like highways, have high traffic surges and construction delays. Plan to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to check in, check bags and complete security screening in time to avoid stressful sprints to the departure gate.
At the TSA checkpoint, have a valid ID card readily available and follow the liquids rule of 3.4 ounces or less, with the exception of hand sanitizer, which has a temporary 12-ounce limit in carry-on baggage.
Enroll in TSA PreCheck now to expedite screening and reduce touchpoints. Travelers who are enrolled in TSA PreCheck don’t have to remove their shoes, belts, lightweight jackets, electronics or their bag of travel-size liquids and gels.

Traveling internationally? Don’t forget to check your passport:

Double check your passport’s expiration. It may not be expired now, but some places require you to travel within a specific pre-expiration period. HERE is what to do if your passport is lost or expired before your international trip.

What can you pack?

Planning ahead and packing properly can facilitate the screening process and ease your travel experience at the airport. Know what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage before arriving at the airport by reviewing this TSA list.
Traveling with gifts? TSA recommends against wrapping gifts when packing them for a flight. Why? Because if a wrapped gift triggers an alarm, it will need to be unwrapped to determine whether the contents of the wrapped item present a security threat. Instead of wrapping a gift, consider using a gift bag, a gift box or a festive bow so that wrapping paper does not need to be removed. TSA’s officer-elves don’t want to take on the role of Scrooge and unwrap someone else’s gift. However, they will have to if the item triggers a security alarm. CLICK HERE for tips on how to pack traditional holiday gifts.
Traveling with food? Below are some helpful links from TSA so you know what you can bring, and what’s not allowed:

Traveling by car?

If you’re traveling by car this holiday season, make sure you service your car before heavy travel days. Your car breaking down on a busy highway or interstate not only puts you at risk, but other drivers as well. Here are some things to do when your car breaks down on a roadway.

How is the decreased workforce affecting travel this year?

In a survey over the summer, 96% of hotel operators said they are trying to hire, yet are struggling to fill open positions.
You might notice that daily housekeeping is disappearing at hotels.
How to save when booking hotel rooms:
Looking to get your money’s worth when booking a hotel reservation? CLICK HERE for some tips to keep in mind when booking.

How to avoid scams:

Are you planning to rent a home during your next getaway? Be mindful of scammers that misrepresent rentals or list fake homes online that do not actually exist. CLICK HERE for the tips.
Frommer is warning travelers to beware of mobile phone text scams related to cashless toll roads. Watch her warning below:

Prepare your home for your absence:

When traveling, be aware of home burglars! According to the FBI, in 2019 the average dollar loss per burglary offense was $2,661. Before you pack for your vacation, follow THESE SAFETY TIPS to keep your family and home secure while you’re away.