Xplorie’s Top 10 Tips for Holiday Season Travel

December 7, 2021

The holiday season is upon us – Thanksgiving has passed and now Christmas is only two and a half weeks away! With the lingering uncertainty of COVID-19, many of us have left our holiday season travel plans to the last minute but America’s favorite destinations are filling up fast and it’s time to start planning.

Planning your vacation is the first touchpoint and we’re here to ease the stress of planning your holiday season travel. You’re one step closer to a memorable holiday vacation with our Top 10 Tips for planning your holiday season travel.

number 1

Remain COVID Cautious

The CDC has stated it is safe for fully vaccinated people to travel but it is still essential to remain COVID cautious for the safety of everyone, and yourself. If you’re booking flights, bear in mind the recent flight cancellations and disruptions, and severe staff shortages at airports across the US. Road-tripping to a destination within easy driving distance from home is still the safest and best option for stress-free holiday travel. Stay up to date with COVID travel guidelines, check COVID-19 regulations, local safety mandates, and current COVID cases in your chosen vacation destination before booking, and again before heading out on your vacation.


Pick Your Destination

The best part of planning a trip is picking your destination and it’s now time to turn your dream into a reality. While many vaccinated travelers are switching their attention to urban destinations or a vacation abroad, national parks, mountain towns, and warm-weather beach destinations are still the #1 choice for travelers this holiday season. Choose a destination that appeals to everyone with attractions and activities for the whole crew, festive holiday events, and opportunities to create lifelong memories. If you’re traveling with pets, check out our top tips for finding the perfect pet-friendly destination and vacation rentals.


Pick Your Dates

If you haven’t already made holiday travel plans, finding availability in your chosen destination over the peak holiday season may be a challenge. Rather than change destination, take advantage of flexible work policies and travel during the off-peak days and quieter weeks of the holiday season. The week after Thanksgiving and New Year’s are traditionally quieter with cheaper flights, fewer crowds, and a larger selection of lodging options.


Book with a Reputable Brand

On the topic of remaining COVID cautious, research has shown that a private, professionally managed vacation rental is the safest lodging option for easy social distancing. The demand for vacation rentals has surfaced a few odd-bods, so booking your vacation home with a reputable and reliable property manager ensures your dream vacation home is not Aunt Mable’s basement room. In addition, booking direct with a reputable brand ensures no hidden service fees, the lowest rates, local concierge services, and a personalized and enhanced guest experience.


Vacation Rental vs. Hotel

The pandemic highlighted a clear distinction between private vacation rental homes and hotels. The restrictions of a hotel setting, communal spaces, and crowded elevators do not allow for easy social distancing, and gathering your extended family and friends together under one roof for the holiday season is priceless. Vacation rentals have come a long way since the start of the pandemic and offer guests a contactless staff, enhanced safety and cleaning protocols, and the ability to social distance on their own terms.

A vacation rental offers space for the whole family, a fully-equipped kitchen to prepare and share holiday meals at home, spacious outdoor areas with hot-tubs and firepits for aprés ski or oceanfront alfresco dining, fun bunk rooms for the kids, theater rooms, and games rooms for indoor entertainment, and guest services ranging from filling your fridge with your holiday favorites to in-house massage treatments.


Reserve Your Rental Car

The rental car situation is nowhere near as ridiculous as last year, but car rental demand is still high in top trending destinations so be sure to book ahead. If you’re flying into your destination and a rental car is not required, your property manager should be able to assist with transportation to your vacation rental.


Ship Your Gear in Advance

The holidays are a stressful time to travel so travel light this holiday season and ship your gear in advance! Whether it’s your good luck golf clubs for your snowbird getaway, bulky skis, and snowboards for your annual ski vacay, or the tons of essential gear that goes with traveling with kids, there are a number of simple, cost-effective luggage solutions that will deliver your luggage and gear directly to your vacation home (or the airport) prior to arrival. If you’re traveling for Christmas, this is a great option to get gifts to your vacation home for the holidays.

Secure your Vacation with Travel Insurance

Booking with a professional property manager offers an added layer of protection. Be sure to ask about flexible cancellation policies, add-on travel insurance options, and cancel for any reason coverage to safeguard your stay. Travel insurance is often overlooked but traveling during a pandemic requires a comprehensive policy to cover flight delays, trip interruption and cancellation, emergency evacuation, and medical coverage. Bottom line, read the fine print, and don’t book anything you can’t cancel or change with ease.

Plan Your Attractions, Activities, & Tours in Advance

Americans are traveling again and it’s not only vacation rentals that are in high demand. Activities, attractions, and tours are thriving so be sure to plan your itinerary, pick your favorite activities, double-check opening days and hours of operation, and book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment!


Don’t Wait to Book

International borders have opened, flights are filling up fast, snowbirds are migrating south, and American’s are eager to travel again so don’t wait to book your festive holiday season getaway!

Whether you’re dreaming of snowflakes and ski runs, outdoor adventures in your favorite national park, or a coastal getaway with white sands, emerald waters, and oceanfront dining, we’ve got you covered this holiday season.

Explore our selection of vacation rentals ranging from cozy condos and pet-friendly homes to spacious family reunion rentals in destinations across the US, book your stay and plan your free activities, attractions, and tours with Xplorie for a great vacation and unbelievable memories this holiday season.