Americans are dreaming of a white-sand Christmas to Mexico and the Caribbean this year, according to the Allianz Global Assistance 2015 Top 10 Holiday Destinations Report.
The report by Allianz Global Assistance, a leading travel insurance* provider, revealed that the majority of travelers booked international trips to warm-weather destinations for Christmas. Cancún is the most popular international destination for holiday travel in 2015, followed by other hotspots including Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and Montego Bay, Jamaica. In the U.S., the top cities for Christmas travel are Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando and San Francisco.
The findings also showed the most popular days for holiday travel in 2015. Most Americans will depart for their winter holiday celebration between Saturday, December 19 and Thursday, December 24, and return on Saturday, December 26 or Sunday, December 27.
Whether travelers are flying or using ground transportation to their holiday destinations this year, Allianz Global Assistance recommends the following tips to minimize unforeseen hassles and delays over the busy holiday travel season.
No one likes to wait at the baggage carousel, especially during the biggest travel days of the year. Avoid checking bags, bring a carry on and ship Christmas gifts ahead of time. Don't risk the airlines losing your luggage with all of your presents inside -- even Transportation Security Administration (TSA) warns if an anomaly is detected, they might have to unwrap a present to inspect it.
Tame the Sun
Tourists traveling to warm-weather destinations should beware of the transition from the winter chill to the tropical heat. Keep this in mind and tame the sun -- too much sun can cause unease and discomfort, or even a fever and nausea. To avoid this kind of trouble in paradise, be sure to drink plenty of water, wear a hat, apply high protection sunscreen and avoid excessive sun exposure, particularly between 12 and 4 p.m.
Avoid Counterfeit Medications
When traveling internationally, protect yourself from fraudulent medication imitations -- one in ten drugs sold throughout the world is falsified. Purchasing counterfeit goods is not only a health risk, but also a customs offense. Counterfeit products do not need to abide by safety or quality standards, so they can easily cause allergies, poisoning or other types of incidents that can be avoided by purchasing medication in advance.
Whether it's a covered trip cancellation or a medical emergency, travel insurance can provide important benefits that may prevent travelers from losing large deposits and may cover them for emergency medical treatment, up to the limits of their policy. It's also important to remember that U.S. health insurance policies (including Medicare and Medicaid) may not cover international travel; those that do may not cover the cost of medical evacuation. Know before you go, plan ahead and know the terms of your travel insurance before heading to your holiday destination.*
Download the Allianz Global Assistance TravelSmart mobile app for emergency medical expertise at your fingertips. The app provides international travelers with important information on local medical providers, drug and first aid translations, emergency phone numbers and more.
* - Terms, conditions, reductions, and exclusions apply to all plans. All plans not available in all states. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your letter of confirmation and certificate of insurance/policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated "A-"(Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101-C series or 101-P series, depending on the insured's state. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are brands of AGA Service Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage because of the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company.