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What You Need To Know Before Planning Your Holiday Travel

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's a popular time to start planning a holiday trip or a winter getaway. But the Centers for Disease Control says safe destinations are dwindling because of the delta variant.

The agency wants travelers to avoid more than 80 countries and territories because there's a "very high" risk of catching COVID-19.

Maybe it's a trip to break your routine or a trip to see family. Whatever is on the calendar this fall and winter, what do we need to know before we click it and ticket?

"You need a backup plan in case, in case the worst happens," said Kyle Potter, executive editor of Thrifty Traveler.

A few airlines stand out in his book.

"Both Delta and United have said that even on their cheapest basic economy fares you can change or cancel it for free so long as you're traveling through the end of this year," said Potter.

Dr. Jill Foster, an infectious disease physician with the University of Minnesota Medical School and M Health Fairview, said we can generally feel good about domestic air travel if we're vaccinated.

Unless we have kids younger than 12 years old.

"I would not take unvaccinated children on an airplane," said Foster. "I think maybe for Christmas I think for the 5-12 age group we might have vaccine by then."

Though she does recommend double masking with traveling and choosing destinations wisely.

"I think at least through the spring this is another time to stay within domestic sights," said Foster.

If you are flying, do those add-on trip insurance plans you can buy with your ticket stand up to COVID-19 meltdowns?

"No," said Potter. "There is no replacement for reading the fine print and that is especially true when it comes to travel insurance. I promise you are not getting what you think you are getting when you buy travel insurance. You have to read that 25 page plus policy to make sure you're covering what you think you're paying for."

But Potter says some third party plans are worth it, though you'll have to read the fine print.

And if you're like most of us and don't, Kyle says look for things like trip delay or trip extension coverage to protect your precious purchase.

The CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.

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