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Should I Book 2022 Travel Now?

Should I Book 2022 Travel Now?
Written by Publishing Team

As we approach the third year of the pandemic, it is safe to say that we have learned to be more careful and flexible in our plans. And with the omicron variant dominating the headlines, travel rules and Covid concerns will likely continue to change from month to month in 2022.

However, vaccines and boosters are widespread, international borders are opening (even when some also close), and countries, airlines and hotels now have systems in place to welcome visitors safely despite frequent hubs.

We are adapting to living in a world with COVID-19, and the travel and tourism industry is mostly open to those who are prepared.

Travel predictions for 2022

If you’ve been to the airport recently, you’ve noticed that people are moving around again. Even with the advent of the omicron variant, air travel is on the rise every day, with travel numbers getting closer to what they were before the pandemic.

Despite the growing concern due to the new variables, research shows that travelers still feel positive about the future. Destination Analytics — a research company that studies how the coronavirus affects people’s perception of travel safety — recently declared the travel outlook for Americans for 2022 “promising,” with 76 percent of American travelers in a state of mind ready to go. A third of American travelers report that they will take more leisure trips in the next year, and nearly 25 percent say they plan to increase their international travel.

And it’s not just individuals who feel optimistic. Many airlines are finally removing planes from storage and relaunching international routes that we all missed. With Australia finally opening two years after the border closed, Qantas has restarted many of its long-haul flights, including its most popular routes to Sydney from London (LHR) and Los Angeles (LAX).

How to take advantage of the 2022 travel offers now

With more routes reopening and airlines racing to fill their planes, now might be a good time to book a flight, especially if you can snag a coveted deal for international summer travel.

Domestic travel is less dangerous

Travel isn’t likely to be restricted between states, so it might make sense to snag domestic tickets when you find a reasonable price. If you’re planning to get to a popular destination like Florida, New York, Las Vegas, California, Hawaii, Texas or a national park, you’ll need to book early. The same is true if you are booking with points; Prize availability will be competitive for flights and accommodation.

Find international travel requirements

While international travel is unpredictable in times of a pandemic, booking a 2022 flight outside the United States is feasible. Just do your research and make sure you are protected.

While more and more countries are “open” to travelers, each has a list of rules and requirements, all of which are subject to change. Most countries require some proof of a vaccine or negative COVID-19 test before entry, and many require you to complete government-issued travel authorization forms.

It is certainly easier to travel internationally if you are fully vaccinated. If you haven’t been vaccinated and plan to travel anyway (despite current CDC guidance to delay travel until fully vaccinated), you’ll need to do double due diligence about transit and destination and prepare for plenty of nasal swabs. Some countries will not allow any unvaccinated visitors to cross or enter, while others will require quarantine or stricter testing requirements for those not fully vaccinated.

Prepare for the worst

Above all, you must be ready to put your plans on the interlocutor at any moment; You never know when illness or lockdown may stop you from traveling. If you can afford travel insurance to a non-refundable trip, doing so can give you peace of mind; Just make sure the insurance covers Covid-related cancellations.

trust your feelings

Traveling in 2022 is possible, but it’s not the best option for everyone. Always put your health and safety first and know your comfort with the risks. If you’re not up for international travel, domestic travel is great. And if you’re not ready to board a plane yet, it’s still a good idea to take a road trip and stay close to home. Do what’s best for you as we adjust to what the new year brings.

You can cancel or reschedule flights

For travel in 2022, never forget that change is our new normal. Organize your trip like you’ll have to cancel it at the last minute – or even change it halfway.

Read the fine details

Ensure that any flight or hotel room you book is flexible, subject to change and refundable. If you’re booking with your credit card points, research the rules for the credit card, hotel, or airline program you’re booking through to make sure you can get your points back and adjust your itinerary. And if you’re spending a lot of money for an organized tour, cruise, or other prepaid adventure, do your homework and get some travel insurance.

Book directly with the airlines

If you can, book directly through airlines or hotels where possible, rather than a third party (such as Expedia or Kayak). It’s not that third-party sites don’t have great deals – it just makes it more complicated to get a refund or cancel a change.

Most airlines still have flexible change policies for domestic tickets and international tickets issued in the US – unless you’re booking the base fare or savings. Of course, the rules are likely to change, so be sure to check before buying.

Airlines Cancellation Policies

Alaska Airlines Cancel non-refundable bookings and deposit money into my wallet or use the value in return. Savings tickets can only be canceled within 24 hours of booking.
American Airlines There is no change fee for domestic and international short-haul flights and selected international long-haul flights on Premium Cabin, Premium Economy, and Master Cabin fares. Basic Economy Class fares purchased on or after April 1, 2021 are non-refundable and not subject to change.
Delta Airlines Cancel any ticket in the main cabin and above to get a Delta eCredit valid for one year. Basic economy class tickets remain non-changeable and non-refundable.
Jet Blue There are no change or cancellation fees to rates, except for Blue Basic.
Southwest Airlines Southwest does not charge a flight change or cancellation fee in most cases.
United Airlines United Airlines has permanently eliminated change fees for flights within the US, or between the US and Mexico or the Caribbean, and for international travel beginning in the US, all other international flights will not be subject to a change fee if the ticket is issued by January 31, 2022. No Basic economy class tickets can be changed unless issued before December 31, 2021.

Review your travel credit card strategy

After a long hiatus from traveling, it makes sense to make sure you improve your travel credit card rewards strategy. Checking rewards at the end of the year is a good way to refresh your memory as you have stored all the points you have earned.

Also, it might be time to upgrade those passes you let lapse because you weren’t using your lounge or baggage benefits. I’ve personally come back with enough domestic travel that I’m ready to renew my American Express Business Platinum Card®. I lowered the card’s credit rating in 2020, but am ready to access the American Express Centurion Lounge again.

You can also take advantage of an airline or hotel ticket sign-up bonus, many of which are worth enough points to get you at least one domestic return flight anywhere in the US or two free hotel nights on your first flight in 2022.

bottom line

Covid is still with us and will likely stay here. However, planes are still full, business travelers are back in the skies, and there are offers to be had as travel and tourism revenue. If we’ve learned anything, we all know that we can’t know for sure what the new year holds. But I hope 2022 will be a great year to return to whatever kind of travel is best for each of us.

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