Traveling with kids is not a breeze even during normal circumstances. Add a pandemic to it, and it becomes a task of another level! People have started traveling as most countries have opened up after a long lock down period. It might be tempting for you as a family to go out and have some fun, but don’t forget that even though things are opening up, COVID-19 is here to stay for a while. So if you have kids and travel is on your mind, go through the points mentioned below.
Is travel necessary?
As I said, it can get tempting to plan a vacation (maybe a short one) with kids after staying at home for such a long time, but ask yourself this question. Is it necessary to travel at this point? Is it worth the risk your family will be taking? Can you not postpone it for some more time? If leisure is your only goal, try exploring other ways to spend quality time with kids at home.
However, there can be situations when you cannot avoid travel in these circumstances. What do you do then? Try to find an answer to the next question.
Which will be the safest mode of travel?
It is important to analyze which mode of transport you are going to take when traveling with kids. Now is the time to select a way of travel that will be the safest for you and your family. By far, a road trip in your car is much safer than taking a bus or rail. You will be least exposed to other people if you choose to drive your family to your destination. If traveling by road is not feasible, the next option is air travel. Airlines nowadays are following stringent procedures to clean and disinfect flights before carrying passengers. Moreover, passengers are screened for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms. Persons displaying any of these health concerns are not allowed to board the flight. So you can be assured that some level of check is conducted on people traveling along with you, which will not be the case if you choose to travel by bus or rail.
What preparations must be done before traveling?
- Decide on your mode of transport.
- Chalk out a plan on how you will minimize the risk of getting infected.
- If traveling by road, make sure your car is serviced and the fuel tank is full to avoid extra stops.
- If traveling by air, book seats ahead of time so you get to sit together as a family. Learn about how things are proceeding at the airport, so you know what procedures to follow when you arrive there.
- Check if there are any quarantine rules applicable to the place you are heading to. Rules can change unexpectedly, so make sure you are aware of them.
- If you are planning to book a hotel for your stay, call a couple of them and ask what protocols they are following to ensure cleanliness and disinfection. Learn what precautions you need to take during your stay. Choose your stay wisely.
What to pack when traveling with kids during a pandemic?
Apart from all other stuff you need at your destination, here are the things to keep in handy during travel.
- Face masks
- Disinfecting wipes
- Hand wash
- Wet wipes
It is a good idea to make small kits of the above items for each of your kids and yourself. This will ensure everyone has their means to disinfect which will avoid cross-contamination by using each other’s stuff. Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit and medicines your kids might require in case anyone falls sick.
Make sure you carry your own food and water on the trip. It is best to avoid eating out as it minimizes the risk. As kids love to snack when they are on the go, don’t miss out on packing them. Having extra snacks will help you avoid buying from a vendor when hunger strikes your kids.
Keep trash bags within reach, so you don’t need to dispose of trash in public trashcans. Collect your used disposable masks if you need to change them, or if you have worn them for a long time, and all your trash in bags, and dispose of when you reach your destination.
Let kids carry their personal entertainment items for travel. But make sure they don’t carry too much stuff as handling them can be difficult. Also, an extra pair of clothing for kids is a must if they need to change.
What do you need to educate your kids about before travel?
The first and foremost thing you need to educate your kids about is the right way to wear a mask. Tell them it is imperative to wash or sanitize hands before putting their mask on. Small children can have a hard time wearing masks. So it is better to make them practice to keep their mask on at home. Here are a few things you can ask your kids to keep in mind and follow during the journey.
- Practice social distancing around people.
- Wear a mask at all times especially when social distancing is not possible.
- Avoid touching surfaces where contamination level can be high like railings, seat arms, public toilets, etc.
- Sanitize hands frequently.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Adjust the mask by holding the elastic that goes around the ears and not by pulling it up or down from the front portion covering the mouth.
- Wash hands after using public toilets.
- Be ready to eat only home-cooked food during the journey.
- Place used masks in separate zip pouches and never share them with anyone.
Plan out every aspect before you take your kids out to travel during these difficult times. Doing so will not only make you feel in control of the situation but also keep you and your family safe during travel.