It is the time of year when people begin to plan their Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday travel. However, midway through a pandemic, things are definitely going to be different.

Many people do still want to travel during the holiday season, whether it is to visit family that they have not seen since the beginning of this crisis or just to take a much-needed getaway after months of lockdown.

Bruce Rosenberg, the president of the Americas and COO of HotelPlanner, a group booking site, has expert advice for those who are booking over this busy travel season.

First, Rosenberg advises travelers start shopping now and booking soon.

“Prices for hotels right now, and all other travel-related expenses, are extremely low given the circumstances,” he said.

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Rosenberg also recommends getting a refundable rate and free cancellation. He also noted that bringing your own cleaning supplies is smart.

“At this point, all hotels have cleaning protocols in place due to COVID-19,” said Rosenberg. “But, be sure to bring extra wipes or sanitizer to clean high-touch areas including the remotes, thermostats and door handles.”

When you are traveling, it’s important to keep your distance.

“Limit interactions with hotel staff-decline cleaning service with exceptions for towel replacements,” advised Rosenberg.

He also recommends looking for mid-range accommodations that are outside of city centers for the safest stay.

“Try checking out three-star hotels,” Rosenberg noted. “The trend right now is to stay in the suburbs rather than large cities, these 3-star hotels have a smaller number of rooms, easier public parking, less public space and good rates.”

Travelers need to remain vigilant on the status of their destination before they visit.

“Always stay up to date on news surrounding the area you’re traveling to,” Rosenberg recommended. “Allow for flexibility during these times.”

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