Editor’s Note: As Chief Income Strategist Marc Lichtenfeld writes below, there are many unique opportunities to save on future travel right now by planning ahead.
Once the COVID-19 crisis is over, many of us will be eager to be out and about and traveling again – myself included.
And Wealthy Retirement‘s publisher, The Oxford Club, is making it easy…
Its 22nd Annual Investment U Conference in Carlsbad, California, has been rescheduled! You can join Marc, along with your other favorite Oxford Club strategists, at this special event from August 20 to 22.
Then, read on below to find out how thinking ahead can help you save on future travel.
– Mable Buchanan, Assistant Managing Editor
‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again. – John Denver
Last week, I mentioned how much I love to travel and told you about the journeys I had planned for March and April that were canceled. So it should come as no surprise that I’m already thinking about where I can go next.
The good news is that flights and hotels are cheap. Not surprisingly, few people are booking travel, so demand is quite low. You can find some great bargains if you’re willing to take a chance that you may have to cancel.
Costs for flights to destinations all over the world are half (or less) of what they were just a few months ago. If you’re adventurous like I am, you may consider booking a trip for later in the year or in 2021. But if you’re going to, here are a few tips to make it easier…
1. Make sure the airline you’re booking with will waive change fees if you have to cancel due to the COVID-19 situation.
Many airlines (but not all) are waiving those fees, so be sure to read the fine print. I wouldn’t book any flight on an airline that won’t waive the fees, which can be hundreds of dollars.
2. Understand the airline’s cancellation policy. Most airlines will not issue a refund if you or they have to cancel the flight because of the coronavirus. Instead, you’ll receive a credit that must be used within 12 to 24 months depending on the airline.
So if you’re going to book a flight, realize that once you do, the money is gone. You’ll have to use it on a different flight with that airline if you don’t take the original one.
Here is a breakdown of airlines’ cancellation and waiver policies.
3. Keep track of deals. Not all destinations are a screaming bargain. But if you use the website Kayak, you can watch a flight and be notified when there is a price change. If the price falls to your threshold, you can grab it right away.
4. Call the hotel on its local phone number. Some hotels have leeway in price and may be willing to work with you, especially if the place is empty for when you want to stay.
5. Consider travel insurance. Trip cancellation insurance will refund some or all of your money if you cancel due to a death in the family, illness or other calamities.
Some policies allow you to cancel for any reason, though those are likely to be more expensive. But knowing you won’t be out the cost of your entire trip if your plans have to change may be worth the insurance premium.
Also, check your credit card benefits. Some have various forms of travel insurance, which may make your decision on whether to purchase it easier or less expensive.
Obviously, safety is going to be my first priority. I’m not going anywhere unless I’m confident that it’s safe for me and, most importantly, my family.
But assuming traveling is safe, I can’t wait to get back on a plane and go somewhere – especially if it’s dirt cheap to do so.
Where’s the first place you’ll go when it’s time to travel again? I’m open to suggestions. Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
P.S. Like I said, I can’t wait to travel again – but with safety in mind, there are a lot of great options in the meantime.
Check out this page curated by Smithsonian magazine for a couple of neat virtual travel options. Among other trips, you can take a virtual dogsled ride and see the northern lights.