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Jay Lloyd's Getaway: Planning ahead for 2019 travels

December 28, 2018 - 6:30 am
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — You may be a bit annoyed, but that's the price of security for New Year getaway seekers. 

New travel opportunities and changes will emerge in 2019, both in the way we think about where we travel and how to protect our getaway dollars. 

The biggest change is coming for domestic air travel, with deadlines approaching for Pennsylvania and New Jersey travelers. 

Real ID

Anyone under 21 can tell you that a Pennsylvania or New Jersey driver's license can be faked. So, in its wisdom, Homeland Security is requiring new Real ID licenses for domestic air travel and entrance to some federal buildings. 

Delaware is already in compliance for issuing licenses that outfox the counterfeiters. 

Pennsylvania will begin issuing new ID compliant licenses in March. But Keystone State residents, thanks to an extension, will still have until October 2020 to use their current license. 

New Jerseyans will be able to sign up for Real ID in the spring, but their extension for use of a current license ends in October 2019. 

Another year extension is likely but not guaranteed. Check your own state Real ID requirements for documents you'll need to sign up.

New opportunities

Jet-away getaways from Philadelphia International Airport will be enhanced with direct seasonal flights to a bundle of European destinations. 

Access to fabled Scottish golf courses will become easier with direct American Airlines flights to Edinburgh. American, the dominant carrier in Philly, will also begin jetting us to the nightlife of modern Berlin, the craggy coast of Croatia, and the tastes of Italy in Bologna.  

American is also reviving direct runs to one of my favorite Canadian provinces, Nova Scotia. A two-hour flight beats a discouraging 15-hour drive. 

And travelers heading for Ireland will be cheered by the Aer Lingus continuation of its year-round budget flights direct to Dublin.

Warnings

I know, we don't want to let our lives be dictated by terrorists or political unrest. But when thinking about overseas travel, a wise sailor does not intentionally steer directly into a storm tossed sea. 

More popular destinations have come under the glare of warning lights from the U.S. State Department. France, which has been rocked by violent political unrest centered in Paris, will continue to be on the watch into the new year. 

Countries and regions are added to the department's list of travel warnings for Americans on a daily basis. 

The common sense alerts also include dangerous natural events, including storms and floods. When planning an overseas getaway, check the status reports. 

Protecting your travel investment

There has been a trend in recent years for resorts both here and abroad to tighten up on cancellation policies. Expect that to continue in 2019. 

Many are now suggesting that your best bet to retrieve a deposit or avoid additional fees due to death, injury, illness, foul weather, fire or floods is to buy and understand travel insurance. The best bet here is to discuss just what you'll need with your own insurance broker. 

Different policies will work best for different needs. And don't forget to check on your medical coverage to determine what is covered if you become injured or ill while overseas. 

Brexit

International getaway seekers know about the tortured exit of Britain (aka Brexit) from the European Union. What it means for American travelers is largely unknown, but most likely could affect fares and airline choices when flying between the U.K. and the EU.  

However, U.S.-based airlines are not likely to be affected. Remember that the Irish Republic will still be part of the European Union, while Northern Ireland will remain in the United Kingdom. 

So when planning ahead for 2019 and using European or British travel modes, expect the unexpected on the Brexit front.