The Getaway
How to Travel with Kids During the Pandemic

Travel used to be something we looked forward to. It was a chance to relax and recharge or to explore someplace new and exciting. As parts of the world begin to open back up, it might feel scary to explore like you used to, especially if you have kids. As parents, we want to ensure our children build happy memories that aren't clouded by worry.

These tips will help you plan a safe and enjoyable vacation your whole family can enjoy.


01 Set ground rules

Times have changed, and interacting with friends or going to a store isn't as simple as it used to be. Emotions can run high, especially on holiday, so make sure you and your family sit down before you leave for your trip. Talk through your expectations regarding health and safety, and answer any questions your kids might have.

If everyone knows what the rules are before the trip begins, then there's a better chance you can avoid issues once you're actually on vacation.

A mother and child on the beach, both are wearing masks. Bicho_raro / Getty Images

02 Safety kits for everyone

Traveling can be unpredictable, and you don't want to find yourself at a public restroom where the tap isn't working or unable to go into that incredible museum because you forgot your mask. By making everyone their own safety kit, you can rest easy knowing that even if someone forgets theirs, someone else will have supplies.

Mini bottles of sanitizer, extra masks, and a pack of wipes can easily fit in a small zip lock, and they're great to have on planes, too!

Two medical masks with two bottles of sanitizer on top of them. AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

03 Check requirements

Before you go, make sure you know the safety requirements during your trip. Most airlines require that children under two wear a mask, so if you have a child who isn't used to wearing a mask, it might be good to practice before you go so that you don't have any problems on the plane or any other transportation method you may be using.

Some destinations might also require proof of a negative test before you leave. Also, because of the public health risk, many businesses now require reservations, so make sure you find out all the details at your desired destinations, so you don't end up disappointed because you didn't make an appointment.

A flight attendent helps a child with their electronic device on a plane. Hispanolistic / Getty Images

04 Snacks, snacks, snacks!

Packing extra snacks is everyday parenting, but that habit holds a new importance during the pandemic.

Popping into a restaurant or grocery store whenever you feel like it is a little trickier these days, so it's wise to pack lots of snacks, so you don't have to increase your chance of exposure by running into a store, especially with a little one in tow.

A father and child eating a sandwich outside. wundervisuals / Getty Images

05 Plan outdoor activities

As we all know, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is much lower outside. With that in mind, take a look at what outdoor activities are available at your destination.

You might surprise yourself with something you didn't even know existed, like a beautiful waterpark or a go-kart track! Of course, not everything can be done outside, but many destinations have exciting outdoor options, and who knows, you might just find your new favorite pastime.

A child smiling while standing under a large stream of water CreativaImages / Getty Images

06 Choose accommodation wisely

While it might have been tempting to go for a cheap rental that had a little dust in the past, you'll want to carefully consider the cleanliness of your accommodations this time around. Make sure the hotel or BnB you're staying in has good reviews and clear guidelines on cleaning protocols.

It'd be wise to bring antibacterial wipes with you so you can do a quick wipe-down of high-touch surfaces when you arrive and keep a window open, so you have fresh air.

A woman welcoming a traveling family into a house. SolStock / Getty Images

07 Don't plan too many activities

We're all tired. You might be quick to try to pack as many activities and destinations into this trip as possible, but that can be overwhelming in the best of times.

Take it slow, and plan lots of times for breaks to check-in and relax. This might be the first time traveling for your kids, so it could be easy for them to get overexcited. Don't forget, the most important thing is spending time together, so if you need a night to relax in your hotel and watch Netflix, that's totally OK.

A father and child relax on the grass. FangXiaNuo / Getty Images

08 Bring extra masks

Even with safety kits, you're bound to run out of masks, and you don't want to be running around town trying to find more. Whether you like medical masks or cloth ones, you should always bring more than you think you'll need.

Remember, cloth masks should be washed after every use, and medical-style masks should either be disposed of or only worn for certain lengths of time, depending on their instructions. Make sure you're prepared with extras and understand the best practices to keep you and your family safe, including proper fit.

Two children in masks standing at a window looking at a plane on the tarmac. FamVeld / Getty Images

09 Check cancellation policies

Cute little tired kid boy at the airport, traveling

As we've seen since the beginning of the pandemic, things can change fast, and you don't want to be on the hook for reservations you can't use.

Before you book anything, make sure you look at their cancellation policies. That way, if cases go up or there are travel restrictions that make it impossible for you to get to your destination, you won't lose your vacation AND your money.


10 Get vaccinated

The idea of getting a shot can understandably be scary to some. However, the COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be the most effective defense against the virus, so if you are eligible, it's an excellent choice to offer you the best protection possible on your travels.

By getting the vaccine, not only are you protecting yourself and your family, but you're also protecting the locals you meet at your destination. Many countries and airlines now require proof of vaccination for travelers, so make sure you've read through all requirements, as some countries also require particular vaccines and won't accept others.

Stay safe, and enjoy your travels.

A boy receiving his covid vaccine while his father looks on. Courtney Hale / Getty Images

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