Due to the dangers of COVID-19, many families are cancelling their spring break trips or rethinking summer vacation plans. While parents looks dread squashing their planned trip to a theme park, family reunion, or maybe a tropical getaway there are some good ideas from travel experts that can make the process easier and help eager planners get a head start on their next big family adventure. Here are some things every family should know before they reschedule their travel plans.
Most travel cancellation policies are up to date through May of 2020
The good news is that online travel companies like Travelocity have negotiated cancellation policies with their travel partners to help assist you during these challenging times. Customers with a hotel reservation through the site can cancel online and receive a full refund or voucher for the cost of their hotel – even if they booked a non-refundable rate. The biggest thing for travelers to keep in mind right now is most of these policies only apply to travel happening through the next 30 days or so. So, if your travel is further out, wait before you cancel or get in touch with your travel provider.
Skip the phone and cancel online in one simple step
It’s easy for busy parents to cancel or change travel plans with new self-service tools available online or in app. Customer service agents at Travelocity recommend logging into your online account and canceling any upcoming travel from the My Tripps page, which lists any upcoming itineraries. If that doesn’t work, chat with a Virtual Agent or fill out a cancellation form and a customer service representatives will cancel your trip for you.
Know your ticket use-by dates when rescheduling any Disney or Universal vacations
Disney and Universal are extending the use-by dates for most pre-purchased theme park tickets. Disney tickets are good through the end of 2020 and Universal tickets can be used 365 days from the purchase date. Disney will also apply the value of an unused ticket toward the purchase of a new one if you can’t travel by the end of the year.
Download your favorite travel apps now to make rebooking your vacation that much easier
We’re all sheltering in place right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps now that will help you rebook that perfect family getaway in the future. Many online travel sites like Travelocity have made improvements to their customer service features in their mobile app, including new ways to cancel or get in touch with customer service. Families can also count on real-time traveler alerts and shop app-only offers on nearby hotels and more.
Look for free cancellation on any future travel
While it’s difficult for anyone to say definitively when travel bans and stay at home orders will lift, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck waiting if you want to get some plans on the books. On sites like Travelocity, you can filter hotels by properties that offer free cancellation or opt for airfare that comes with free change and cancellation opposed to more restrictive basic economy fares. While less flexible options may be cheaper, in times like these it’s worth it to have peace of mind and flexibility.
Use rescheduling your trip as a time to reconnect
Trip planning can be a fun experience for the whole family when you treat it like a “virtual vacation.” Get kids involved in picking hotels or choosing activities they’re excited about. Families can also research destinations together and learn more about amazing attractions near you. If you still need some inspiration, follow the wisest wanderer of all – The Roaming Gnome – on Instagram or Twitter for travel advice and fun ideas for the whole family.
A final tip for anyone trying to cancel travel with Travelocity. Call center agents are focused on travelers with trips in the next few days. So if your trip isn’t set to begin soon, wait to call and try one of their online cancellation tools instead. Right now travelers can login and cancel from their itinerary, start a virtual chat or use a cancellation form for travel booked through May 2020.
For more information visit www.travelocity.com/inspire/top-tips-for-families-rethinking-summer-travel-during-covid-19/