After more than a year of “pandemic life,” we are all eager to return to some sense of normalcy. And for many families, this includes summer travel plans.
For those who are choosing to travel with kids this season, we’ve compiled some updated best practices below. But depending on where you go, travel restrictions and risks may still remain high even for fully vaccinated people – and those who are not yet vaccinated should remain extra cautious. Before you go, always check the Center For Disease Control (CDC) for specific travel requirements and recommendations.
Tips For Traveling by car
There’s nothing quite like a summer road trip, but even though COVID restrictions are lifting, you still need to be careful to protect you and your young children. Here are some of the tips the CDC recommends:
- Stock up on clean masks, sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer to have for use in the car and where you’re headed. (Don’t assume your destination will be stocked on fresh supplies!)
- Wear a mask outside of the car when you cannot achieve social distancing – minimize touching your mask, face etc. and throw out disposable masks once they’ve been used.
- Wash your hands after touching common surfaces like a gas pump, door handles, bathroom stalls, etc.
- Pack your own snacks and drinks, if possible.
Tips For if You Must fly
Flying to a new destination is always an exciting, but exhausting time. Navigating airports and flight etiquette is more complex than normal during the pandemic, so it helps to be prepared:
- Try to look for direct flights when possible, to limit the need to change planes and move through airports. The shorter the flight the better, since longer flights raise the chance of infection.
- Keep your masks on for the entire flight; consider opting out of meals so you don’t have to remove them.
- Don’t forget to bring hand-sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to sanitize all the high-touch areas.
- If you are flying with a baby, and have the ability to do so, spring for the extra plane seat. Bring the baby in a car seat, and put the seat between parents or next to the window (and away from other people & traffic.)
Other Things to Consider
- Remember masks are still required on all public transportation (buses, trains, planes etc.) so mentally and physically prepare in advance.
- Before you travel, check with your employer about potential quarantines after traveling, which can determine how and when you will be away from work.
- Check the COVID spread rates where you plan to visit. Locations with high rates of community spread means higher risk of someone in your family being exposed to COVID.
- If the intended destination has a high rate of spread, be extra cautious when in public. Many places also require COVID testing prior to arrival to and departure from your destination, regardless of your vaccination status.
- Keep in mind that outdoor activities are safer than indoor ones.