The holidays may still seem far away, but if you're going to be traveling, now is the time to start planning.
About 30% of Americans who stayed home last year plan to go somewhere this year, according to a new NerdWallet survey. But whether or not the coronavirus will disrupt holiday travel remains to be seen.
However, there are some things you can keep in mind to approach this travel season differently than 2020 and save some cash if something goes wrong.
“Use a credit card with travel protections to do to make all of your bookings,” said Sara Rathner, a credit and travel expert with NerdWallet. “These are built-in protections that don't cost you additional money. They can help you get money back if your trip is substantially delayed or canceled, if you have to cancel your trip because you're sick, even if your bags get lost or damaged, you can get money back to help pay for new clothes.”
Also, be sure to look over airline and hotel policies before booking anything, so you know what's covered if they cancel or you do.
Rathner also says for families spending a lot of money to go somewhere, this is where a separate travel insurance policy may be useful.
In the NerdWallet survey, the average American said they plan to spend $1,800.
“It might be worth paying a little bit more for ‘cancel for any reason coverage.’ That lets you get 75% of your travel investment back, no matter the reason you back out of your trip,” said Rathner.
If you're hitting the road, she suggests downloading apps in advance that let you compare gas prices. That can help you plan the most cost-effective route.