Tips for Last-Minute Holiday Travel

Last-minute plans can be fun – an impromptu family reunion or a spur-of-the-moment getaway, but you’re not guaranteed a great time, especially around the holidays, if you’re not smart about potential difficulties in the age of the pandemic.

Travel insurance expert Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO of, a Silicon Valley-based travel insurance marketplace, offers some smart last-minute holiday travel tips. Here are some of his suggestions for a smooth trip:

Be ready for airport hassle: Last year TSA screened more than 1 million airline passengers during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period. This year it’s estimated to be another busy weekend along with staffing shortages (i.e. TSA agents, airport personal and flight crew) combined with common weather delays. If you haven’t already, get a TSA precheck approval that will enable you to skip the lines. And don’t wait until the last minute to get to the airport!

Direct airline bookings vs online travel agencies: While it’s advisable to book directly with the airline to make potential delays/cancellations easier on you, sometimes online travel agencies just have an irresistible deal. Regardless of who you book with, be aware of the ticket’s policies. If your flight is disrupted by an unruly passenger or a more serious mechanical problem, you’ll want to know what you’re entitled to before you go. 

Don’t check baggage: If anything happens it complicates things when your bag is checked to, possibly, the wrong destination. It’s much easier to take your carry-on with you so you don’t have to worry about your baggage.

Trip insurance: It costs as low as $40 and can help offset the cost of an overnight hotel stay, meals, rebook flights, and more. Extra tip: trip insurance needs to be purchased at least one day before the trip.

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