Like most people around the world, we heeded the warnings over the past year regarding COVID, and we stayed close to home. We limited contact with others, and we didn’t travel. We’ve paid careful attention to government – both local and federal – regulations, guidelines, and mandates as we’ve slowly branched out a little further. When we traveled to New Hampshire for Christmas, that was our first time traveling in a long time as a family, and we were admittedly nervous. But, experts did say that it’s safe to travel within reason, as long as you’re following the guidelines. Because we’re moving to Korea, we’re doing our best to see family and friends before we do – within reason. Today, I wanted to share some of our tips for traveling with kids during the pandemic and how we limit contact as a family.
Tips for Traveling with Kids During the Pandemic
I did a lot of research when we decided to safely travel with our kids, and some of the best advice I read was to involve our children in the process. We explained our reasoning, we involved them in cleanliness, hygiene, and prep, and we made certain that they understood the why behind what we were doing, including the following:
- Understanding the importance of hand washing and antibacterial wipes
- Knowing the importance of wearing masks over the nose and mouth at all times unless actively eating or drinking
- Avoiding touching random surfaces then their faces without first washing their hands
- Bringing our own food and drink as much as much as possible
Bring Your Own Gear
It can be super tempting to minimize the excess when traveling, but this is one of those instances where I truly think more is, well, more. Rather than rent boosters or car seats when grabbing a rental car, we bring our own gear.
- Choose Your Car Seats – Our WAYB Pico travel car seats comfortably fit in convenient carrying bags so we can bring them with us and even use on the plane to avoid straying hands and arms, as well as keep them in their seat. If you can bring your car seat comfortably, I highly recommend it.
- An Easier Way to Get to the Gate – We opt for the boys’ JetKids Bed Boxes in the airport, which they can comfortably ride on through the airport by themselves. It keeps them confined to their own space. For Mieke, we’ve been using our Lugabug travel seat, which has been a game changer, getting her from Point A to Point B with little to no straying. Strollers or babywearing are also great options.
- Mask Up (and Bring Extras) – Without fail, the kids’ masks get wet or uncomfortable, so we always make sure to have extras easily accessible and on hand. Make sure that any masks you use are not vented and, whenever possible, double mask.
- Bring Entertainment Options – Idle hands are straying hands. We try not to overuse tablets, but we readily use them during travel right now. When they’re preoccupied with coloring or their tablets, they’re not wandering around touching everything.
Prepping Kids for Travel During the Pandemic
Airlines are understandably strict regarding health protocols, and the rules in place are rigid for a reason. We make sure to prep our kids prior to any travel since COVID – if only to ensure we’re all on the same page. Here are a few things we do to prep our kids for travel:
- Get Them Comfortable with Masks – All children two and older must wear masks on airlines right now, so we ensured that our kids are 100% comfortable with the masks we have. We’ve tried a lot, but these masks from Amazon have been by far the best fitted and most comfortable for them to wear for hours on end.
- Hydrate & Take Vitamins – Before and after travel, we ensure that our kiddos are extra hydrated help flush their systems. We make sure to bring our own refillable water bottles to the airport and refill after security.
- Take Temperatures Frequently – We pack a travel thermometer when we go, and we ensure that we’re all fever-free prior to and after travel.
- Teach Them to Wipe Everything Down – We travel with Wet Ones and Lysol wipes everywhere we go. We wipe our hands, our seats, and everything we may touch over time. By involving them in this prior to traveling, they know it’s normal for when we do travel.
- Talk to Your Kids – This is probably the most important thing of all for traveling with kids during the pandemic. Kids are smarter than you might think and teaching them the importance of these things actually promotes a greater willingness to partake in all of it and be responsible during your travels.
Ultimately, while travel has resumed, it’s important to travel responsibly. We aren’t traveling to COVID hotspots, we follow local and federal regulations, and we ensure we partake in any and all necessary quarantines. We aren’t traveling on a whim either. Travel, right now, should be measured and appropriate with regulations as well as your comfort level, and we’re doing our part to stay safe while visiting those we need to see before we move out of the country.
Tell me – have you traveled at all during the pandemic? What would your tips be?