By Ursula Nizalowski
Since Christmas is just around the corner, many people are planning to travel for the holidays. While this may seem fun on the surface, there are many conditions to consider before setting off. Because if a traveler leaves ill-prepared, their trip could turn out to be more stressful than
expected. Listed below are several major conditions to keep in mind for holiday travel and how to prepare for them beforehand.
Because it’s winter, the weather is bound to bring several conditions that should be taken into
account. For instance, places like Vail Pass have travel restrictions in place during the winter
season that determine what kind of tire chains to put on as well as the required tread depth to
safely drive on snow and ice. Then at airports, winter weather may cause flight delays which
leads to long wait periods. While these issues largely depend on where one lives, and where one
is traveling to, it doesn’t hurt to check out the weather conditions before embarking on a trip.
Not only will it help determine what to wear, but also what equipment to have.
According to USA Today , “Christmas reservation volume across the U.S. is up 469% compared
with 2020, and is currently 157% higher than [the] 2019 volume”. Now even though these
statistics were published in October of this year, similar numbers appeared on a TripIt blog
posted this month that reveals holiday travel will be three times higher compared to last year. So
one should expect heavy traffic in terms of people and vehicles on the road. How one can avoid
these things include leaving early to create enough breathing room in the congestion of traffic,
brushing up on general highway safety , and packing meals for the inevitable long waits. While such precautions may not seem necessary in the moment, it will pay off in the long run and make the trip more stress-free.
Apart from bad weather and an influx of people traveling, there is another factor to keep in mind
for holiday travel and that is slow service from businesses in the hospitality industry. Because
Associate Marketing Professor Jeff Galak says, “This holiday season is likely to see a surge of
demand and a lack of supply” as quoted by USA Today . In other words, many services will be
required during the holiday season but there won’t be enough resources to do it effectively. Why
this is happening is certain businesses, particularly hospitality-related ones, are dealing with
staffing shortages caused by COVID-19 and a lack of incentives to make employees return
which has led to “an inability to meet surging demand from consumers” according to Fortune .
So one should account for this issue in relation to one’s travel plans and be patient with the
people who still work in these businesses.
With the omicron variant present, it’s clear that COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon. But
in general, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) states “The U.S. is currently averaging more
than 100,000 cases on a seven-day moving average” which has been quoted by a recent Travel +
Leisure article. Therefore, people who travel during the holidays might risk getting infected if
they’re not careful. Some methods to protect oneself while remaining stress-free during the
holidays include wearing masks in crowded places, getting vaccinated beforehand, or getting a
booster shot if one has gotten the vaccine already. It’s also good to have a vaccine card on hand
in case you’re questioned about your health status, to check forecasts from the CDC or Mayo Clinic that show infection rates in the area you’re planning to travel to, and have a reliable insurance policy.
For any questions on insurance policies or travel-related accidents, be sure to contact attorney