Planning to travel for the holidays? AAA is urging people to make those travel plans right now, or risk having to make other plans.

That's because, in the wake of the pandemic, staffing shortages and other COVID-related disruptions could impact how travelers get where they are going and their accommodations once they arrive.

"Now more than ever, it is critical to plan ahead to ensure the best possible travel experience," said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble.

AAA's list of six things holiday travelers need to do right now

The top of the list is to book the car rental. This may be more important than booking a flight because if travelers can't rent a car to get to their holiday destination, they may have to rethink plans altogether.

Book the flight. The cost of travel is a matter of supply and demand. The number of available flights may be limited due to staffing shortages that many major airlines have been experiencing.

Now, book the hotel. Inquire about COVID-related protocols, food service availability, and other amenities that may be limited.

Think about working with a trusted travel advisor. A recent AAA survey indicated that more travelers are turning to travel advisors for their expert guidance. This makes sense, given the COVID-related travel restrictions, vaccine requirements, and more.

Consider trip insurance. In the wake of the pandemic, AAA found that more people planning to get away for the holidays are considering travel insurance.

Book a vehicle checkup. While airports will be busy, most travelers plan to still drive to their destinations over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. It's a good idea to get cars winter-ready. Make an appointment to get all the vital parts of the car checked out including tires and brakes.

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