How to start traveling again

(BPT) - For Americans who are planning to travel again, preparation is essential. Before hitting the road or taking to the skies, travelers should take time to research and plan ahead so they are prepared to navigate things like longer security lines or modified health and safety guidelines to ensure a smooth journey.

Getting back into the swing of traveling may feel overwhelming, but with these tips and tricks you’ll feel more prepared. For AARP members, a wide range of benefits and discounts can maximize both efficiency and affordability for every part of a vacation. Read on for insights on how to travel again:

1) Book early and ready yourself for the road. Utilize the AARP Travel Center powered by Expedia to book affordably and efficiently. AARP members will receive an additional 10% off at select hotels, up to 30% off select car rentals, and a 5% rebate (up to $350) on eligible group hotel bookings. For road trippers, members have access to Allstate Roadside assistance plans that start at $5.17/month to help with jump-starts, 24/7 towing and more.

2) Make a health and safety check list. “When booking a trip, it’s incredibly important to plan for any required COVID-19 testing and build in time to receive results,” says Charlotte Yeh, AARP Chief Medical Officer. Some destinations may offer rapid tests on-site (for example, at a resort) with a quick turnaround, so be sure to research all the options. Make a copy of your vaccination card and keep it separate from the original: if you have the original in your wallet, keep the copy in your luggage.

3) Pack essentials. Stop at Walgreens to purchase travel essentials for your trip, including travel size toiletries, snacks and beverages, COVID-19 tests and more. Linking AARP and myWalgreens™ memberships will earn members 10% Walgreens Cash rewards on Walgreens branded health and wellness products, 7% Walgreens Cash rewards on Walgreens branded beauty products and 3% Walgreens Cash rewards on other eligible beauty purchases.

4) Pack accordingly. If you’re off to do some sightseeing, you’ll want to pack everything you need to enjoy it in focus. If you wear contact lenses, make sure you have enough supplies for the duration of your trip, and if you’re heading to a sunny destination, don’t forget to tuck prescription sunglasses into your carry-on. Your health coverage or memberships like AARP might include vision benefits or discounts that make it easy to stock up. And for longer visits or international trips, fill your other prescriptions before departing to make sure you have enough medication. Thanks to prescription discount programs available at thousands of pharmacies nationwide, you don’t have to break your wallet.

5) Find a nice place to stay. Finding a lodging site that is both affordable and safe is important. Take advantage of up to 10% off AARP member discounts available at Hilton branded hotels to vacation in style and feel comfortable knowing safety is prioritized. Whether you stay at an All-Inclusive Resort in Mexico, or one of Hilton’s new hotels in Las Vegas, rest assured knowing that Hilton properties have implemented Hilton CleanStay protocols to enhance cleaning standards.

6) Think ahead, build in extra time and prepare for mishaps. Consider making advance restaurant reservations and transportation arrangements, which may be in high demand and short supply if you wait until closer to your departure date. Be prepared for longer wait times at the airport and ensure there is plenty of time to arrive, go through security and make it to your gate on time. If traveling internationally, make sure to check country and airline requirements repeatedly ahead of time and consider limiting travel within one country, as the logistics of crossing borders could cost valuable time.

7) Prep your home for time away. Being away from home can mean added assistance. There may be some basic house care items to take into consideration such as hiring a pet sitter, contacting a yard care service, or holding mail at the post office. You also will want to ensure your property is secure. Take advantage of AARP member perks from SimpliSafe, and relax on vacation knowing that your home is safe and sound.

Regardless of where you’re headed, don’t forget to optimize your next adventure by taking advantage of discounts and savings available to AARP members. If you are an AARP member, you can learn more about your saving options by visiting www.aarp.org/save.

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