Traveling during Covid times is stressful in itself. Add kids to the mix, and the situation gets a lot more complex. But you’ve been frustrated being at home for months on end and your kids also would love to have wide-open spaces to frolic around. A vacation is a tempting prospect now, but it begs the question: should you travel with kids during Covid?
To put it shortly: no. Traveling anywhere during the Covid pandemic is risky. Skipping that long-delayed vacation still remains in your best interest, unfortunately. But at the same time, there are ways in which you can make travel as safe as possible for yourself and your kids. Read on below!
Where To Go?
Choosing a destination becomes all the more important when you’re traveling with kids during Covid. We won’t recommend an impromptu trip whatsoever – there are so many factors to consider before you set out.
A good choice of destination would be someplace close to home and away from the tourist radar, where you can drive to easily. This is because you won’t have to deal with interstate travel restrictions, if any, and you can travel in your own vehicle. Look for an outdoors destination, something like camping or visiting a national park. This would let your kids have a lot of space to run around and breathe in some fresh air. It’s a great change from being cooped up at home and staring at a screen (this applies to you as well!).
Very importantly, you need to check the Covid situation in the place that you’re planning to visit and in your own city as well. If you’re choosing an accommodation, a good idea would be to rent out a villa. This would ensure that you and your kids not getting in contact with other guests, as would be the case in a hotel. This way, you’re minimizing the risk of you and your kids getting exposed to Covid.
How To Go?
Now that you’ve chosen a destination that keeps you away from people, the question that arises next is how to travel with kids during Covid? As mentioned above, a short trip in your own vehicle is the best way to travel. You can ensure that your car is properly sanitized and unlike in public transport like buses and trains, your kids aren’t coming in contact with other people. A short trip would also mean you won’t get fatigued after long hours of driving either. It’s a win-win!
In case you’re going on a long-distance trip, flying can be a safe way to travel. Experts have said that the ventilation systems in planes reduce the risk of the virus spreading through aerosols from one’s nose and mouth. But there still is a risk when someone coughs or sneezes in your vicinity, so wearing a mask and following the Covid safety rules of the airline is important.
Apart from the usual paraphernalia you pack when going on a vacation with kids, there are a few more things that you must have with you before setting out. Remember: safety is number one priority here.
Face Masks And Sanitizer
Face masks and hand sanitizer are Covid Safety 101, so these are what you must have on you at all times.
Unless your kids are under 2 years old, they must be wearing masks at all times when out in public. Make sure that you get them masks that fit them well, otherwise it’ll just slip off their faces and you don’t want that happening.
Sanitizers that have over 60% alcohol are what’s recommended. Before the trip, you must sit them down and explain to them the importance of wearing masks and using hand sanitizer. It needn’t be very technical, a simple explanation on how they would keep them from falling sick would help.
If your kids are old enough to understand, you can pack masks and sanitizers in their bag and train them on how to use them on their own.
Instead of stopping at a restaurant along the way and potentially exposing your kids to the Covid virus, you can bring your home-cooked food for the trip. The restaurants may be using safe methods of preparing food, but you can never be too sure about it or the crowds that visit them. Your kids might throw up tantrums for stopping at their favorite restaurants, but you must put up with it. A good idea to remedy that would be to prepare their favorite food and carry a lot of snacks so that they don’t get hungry and cranky while traveling.
First Aid Kit
It’s always a good idea to carry a first aid kit when traveling with kids. In this new normal, it becomes even more important. Make sure that you carry enough medicines for flu, fever, and body aches. It may be difficult to gauge if an infant is crying because of crankiness or discomfort. So it’s best that you pack a thermometer as well to know if they’re down with a fever. Even if you have older kids, a thermometer can help in monitoring health, which is highly recommended when traveling during Covid.
Blankets And Towels
Yes, you’ll get blankets when you’re on a flight (most trains in India have stopped providing blankets due to Covid). But it’s best that you carry blankets from your home for the kids. Even when staying at a resort, using blankets and towels from home can be a safer option.
This particularly applies if you’re traveling on a flight or public transport. No matter how much you teach your kids about Covid safety, it’s highly likely that they would touch a high-contact surface. After all, even adults end up doing it owing to carelessness. To remedy that, make sure that you pack enough alcohol-based cleaning wipes. You need to thoroughly clean the seats, seatbelts, and food trays and reduce any chance of infection.
Precautions To Take While Traveling With Kids During Covid
You must have realized by now that when traveling with kids during Covid, extra care must be taken to ensure their safety. Here’s how you can do that:
Teach your kids social distancing and to follow the masks-and-sanitizer rule always.
Check the travel guidelines of the place you plan to visit. There may be specific rules pertaining to children below 10 years of age. With that in mind, keep yourself updated on the Covid rules of your home state as well.
If you’re traveling by air, get the window seat for kids as it’ll keep them as far away from other passengers as possible.
Look for accommodations that are Covid-ready and preferably not a mainstream tourist destination.
If you or your kids have symptoms of flu, simply skip the trip to be on the safer side.
If your kids have any medical conditions, they can be more prone to Covid. So you must avoid traveling just yet.
If you or your kids develop symptoms, seek help immediately.
Are Children At Lower Risk Of Covid-19 Than Adults?
According to WHO, children are at lower risk of Covid-19 than adults, as most of the children infected with the virus displayed mild symptoms of the disease.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Covid-19 In Children?
As mentioned above, children are mostly asymptomatic or display mild Covid symptoms. The common symptoms are fever, cough, breathlessness, fatigue, loss of taste/smell, diarrhea, etc.
How Can I Help A Family Member With Covid-19 At Home?
In case one of your loved ones have become infected with Covid, here’s what you can do:
Isolate The Person: Social distancing becomes a lot more difficult when within the confines of a house. The person should be moved to a different room, and if that isn’t possible, everyone in proximity to them must wear a mask.
No Visitors: To reduce the risk of transmission, don’t let anyone visit your house. Also, dedicate only one person to the care of the patient, preferably one without any medical conditions. This caretaker must wear a mask and must wash their hands after.
Regular Sanitation: The infected person must have their own utensils and linens. These must be kept separate from others and must be sanitized regularly.
Keep A Sanitized House: Not just the infected person, everyone in the household must wash their hands regularly especially after coughing or sneezing and before eating.
Has Covid-19 Been Detected In Drinking Water Supplies?
Covid-19 hasn’t been detected in drinking water supplies and the chances of the virus spreading through water is very low.
Can The Coronavirus Disease Spread Through Feces?
Coronavirus isn’t known to spread through feces; the virus primarily spreads when an infected person disperses infected droplets when they talk/cough/sneeze, and a healthy person in close proximity inhales said droplets.
What Is The Minimum Distance To Be Kept From Each Other To Avoid Covid-19?
WHO recommends keeping a distance of at least 1 meter from each other and avoiding croweded places to be safe from Covid-19.
Can Covid-19 Be Transmitted Through Food?
Covid-19 doesn’t spread through food or food packaging. But all the same, it is recommended to follow all the food hygiene practices to be safe from foodborne illnesses.
What Are Some Ways To Prevent The Spread Of Covid-19?
Four simple precautions can greatly help in reducing the risk of getting Covid-19:
Wear A Mask: Covid spreads when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes, releasing the virus particles in the air. Wearing a mask, especially the N95, can help in reducing the spread of the virus.
Wash Your Hands: Your hands touch a lot of surfaces, which may have the virus, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can lead you to get infected. To remedy that, wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Maintain Safe Distance: Keeping at least 6-feet distance from others means you’re not in close contact with someone who may be infected. Combine social distancing with a mask, and you’re even safer!
Get Vaccinated: Vaccination drives have begun. So make sure that you register yourself for the shot on the Aarogya Setu app/Cowin portal. Keep in mind that getting vaccinated doesn’t make you immune to the virus, it only makes you more resistant to it. So the other three precautions mentioned above still apply!
What Are Some Of The Precautions Should I Take While Staying At A Hotel During The Covid-19 Pandemic?
Opt For A Covid-ready Hotel: Most hotel websites now explain the processes in which they’re keeping their premises sanitized. Only opt for such hotels and ensure that the safety norms are adhered to.
Wash Your Hands: Irrespective of where you are, the mask and sanitizer rule applies. Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content and wash your hands thoroughly.
Avoid Contact: As far as possible, opt for cashless transactions and avoid contact with common touchpoints like elevator buttons, doorknobs, faucets, etc. If you do, wash your hands before touching your face.
Dine In: Instead of eating at the hotel’s restaurant, opt to dine in as it reduces your exposure to other guests.
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