It looks like this year is going to be record-breaking for summer travel.
The industry trade group, Airlines for America, is estimating around 234 million passengers to travel worldwide on US airlines just between June and the end of August. This is the highest number ever, increasing by 4% in comparison to last summer.
Dallas-Fort Worth International, one of the busiest airports nationwide, is expecting about 18 million passengers, a number that is higher than any other summer.
Surprisingly, more Americans are planning to go abroad, with an unprecedented 20 million passport applications this year.
With crowded airports and roads, as well as destinations (especially the popular ones), a little preparation can make a huge difference.
1. Can You Bring Your Laptop?
In March, laptops and other large electronic devices were restricted from the cabins of flights to the United States coming from airports in ten major Muslim countries due to concerns of bombs that could be hidden in portable electronic devices.
Since then, there’s been the talk of the ban being expanded to more airports in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East if they don’t adhere to additional security measures, as John F. Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, told a House of Representatives panel in June.
At the actual time, most airplanes are allowing big electronic devices in their cabins, but if the restriction is prolonged, travelers must check them.
2. Prepare Your Passport
The Transportation Security Administration has been using social media to point out important travel rules, such as the fact that some countries necessitate that your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond your date of entry.
Also, there are differences between a passport agency and an acceptance facility, for example, an agency can expedite a passport for $60 for travel within 14 days, while an acceptance facility demands about 6 to 8 weeks. You can find more details at Passports.state.gov.
The T.S.A. also recommends travelers to have their passports and boarding passes ready at hand before they approach security lines to keep things moving smoothly and as fast as possible for everybody’s sake.
3. Receive Travel Alerts
Before you travel, you might consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service that ensures you’ll get information from a consulate or embassy about safety conditions. By signing up through Step.state.gov/step/ you also help an Embassy contact you in an emergency, such as a civil unrest or a natural disaster.
Almost everyone knows that during a crisis, you can use Facebook’s Safety Check to let your loved ones know that you’re safe and also to check if they’re doing fine. This feature was recently updated so users can include a personal message.
You may be interested to know that it’s the hurricane season in the Atlantic through November 30th.
4. Get more Information about Insurance and Terrorism
Following the terrorist attacks that have recently happened in London, Allianz Insurance reported receiving over one hundred claims from American passengers who want to cancel their trip to the UK.
In fact, a travel insurance policy may be covering trip interruptions and travel delays related to terrorism, you just have to carefully read the fine print regarding travel locations and dates.
For example, Allianz offers coverage in case a terrorist incident occurs at the traveler’s destination within 30 days of their arrival.
To evaluate your options.
5. Drivers and Ride-Sharers Should Be Precautious
Services like Getaround and Turo offer cars for rent by locals (per hour or per day). For example, a Getaround rental includes roadside assistance and insurance. But you have to find out what situations the insurance covers exactly.
If you’re ride-sharing, you need to make sure it’s actually legal at your destination and remember to check prices because ride-sharing may cost more than a taxi in some places.
If you’re taking your own car, you need to have the tires inspected and battery tested before hitting the road. Don’t forget to bring a spare key. Lockouts, flat tires, and dead batteries are the top reasons people call for assistance during summer.
It is highly recommended to travel with an emergency kit that contains first-aid supplies, flashlight, and a phone charger.