Published in our biweekly newsletter on 12-19-21. For travel updates straight to your inbox, subscribe here.
Make your holiday travels safer and easier
Omicron isn’t stopping people from traveling for Christmas. AAA estimates that 109 million Americans are taking a trip this year—a number very close to the 119 million who traveled in 2019 before the pandemic. So if you’re going to be one of the brave, it’ll help to be prepared. Below you’ll find essential holiday-travel tips and strategies, testing and insurance information, and even a list of spots where you can still plan a WOW-caliber last-minute trip. Safe travels, everyone!
10 Ways to Minimize Holiday Travel Hassles
The number of Americans expected to travel for the 2021 holidays is a lot higher than last year—a 34% increase that includes my son Charlie, who flew home from college yesterday. So prepare yourself with the following tips, don’t forget all your documents, and try to remember what’s at the other end of any travel hassles: family, friends, and one of the most memorable holidays many of us have had in two years.
Apps To Help You Survive Holiday Travel
Though we can’t avoid every holiday travel snafu, we can zap some by stocking our phones with these problem-solving apps and websites.
How Never to Wait on Hold with Airline Customer Service Again
Sometimes you just really need to talk to a live person at your airline. Of course, being put on hold forever doesn’t help anyone (you or the customer-service rep you’re about to unleash your frustration on), so here are a couple of tricks to help you avoid endless waits on hold.
It’s Easy to Get Tested to Come Back to the United States: Your Questions Answered
The biggest concerns we hear from travelers these days are about the finer details of getting tested before and during a trip, as well as for the return flight. Here are answers to your biggest concerns.
Where You Can Still Go for the 2021-22 Holidays
Need a last-minute getaway plan? We’ve tapped the experts on Wendy’s WOW List—the well informed, on-the-ground trip planners who’ve been wowing our readers throughout the pandemic—to find destinations that are still able to be booked for last-minute Christmas or New Year’s vacations. These aren’t merely places that have random spots of availability; these are places where they can still deliver a Covid-safe, high-caliber trip, complete with the most charming hotel rooms and savviest private guides.
How to Buy Travel Insurance: What It Covers, When You Need It
Travel insurance can be confusing, especially during Covid. So we’ve created this primer that lays out everything from what you can expect it to cover (even now) to when you need it and when you don’t.
We’re Here to Help
As a travel journalist and consumer advocate for the past 30 years—first as Condé Nast Traveler’s advice columnist, then as TripAdvisor’s Travel Advocate—I’m all too aware of the travel concerns that need to be addressed as a result of this pandemic. For many trips, you’d be wise to use an extremely well-connected, extremely knowledgeable, destination-specific, trip-planning specialist who can act as your local fixer. You’d be even wiser to find and contact that trip planner via The WOW List, which is the first step in my WOW approach to trip planning, created by popular demand from my longtime readers. It’s the approach used by the travelers who are submitting these trip reviews and getting benefits including priority status, VIP treatment, my advice from the start of your trip planning, and the chance to win a surprise, custom-designed WOW Moment on a third qualifying trip. It all starts when you tell us about the trip you want via the questionnaires on The WOW List. —Wendy