Traveling with Young Kids During a Pandemic

Traveling this summer may be trickier than in years past. The tourism industry is slowly making a comeback, and depending on where you go, some destinations may or may not be open, or might still be abiding by restrictions.

However, many experts say that now is a great time to travel as a family, if you don’t mind taking some extra preparations. Here are some things to consider when traveling with young children this summer.

Plan Ahead

Traveling might take some extra effort. But if you’re planning a trip that includes visiting museums or public monuments, or attending a ticketed event, call first. Ask each location what their policies are. Are masks required? Are any exhibits or special features closed at this time? Is entrance limited? (This question might help you decide whether you need to be first in line, or if you can visit after nap time.)  That one phone call can save a lot of heartache. Plus, it beats showing up for an event that’s already reached capacity, or not having what you need for entrance.

Consider Your Destination

Check out the COVID-19 stats of the location you’re planning to visit. Is the area experiencing higher than normal rates? Can you drive there, versus traveling by plane? Are there outdoor activities that your family can enjoy, versus indoor activities?

Another factor to consider is accommodations. Will you stay at a hotel, or rent a cabin or house? There are pros and cons to both. Hotels are convenient. Cabins and houses might allow you to better reduce your exposure and allow your kids to wear masks less often. The choice comes down to your vacation plans and budget.

Practice with Little Ones

If you plan to travel by air, be aware that as of right now, your child will have to wear a mask during the flight and in airports. Some parents are concerned that their young child won’t be able to handle wearing a mask for a long trip. The key to helping your child wear a mask for long periods is to practice wearing one before the trip. You can practice by having the family wear masks for an hour each night. You could even have younger kids decorate their masks for the destination they are going. Headed to Chicago? Have the kids decorate their masks in all the Chicago landmarks and talk about the places you’ll wear masks and the places you won’t have to.

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