If you’re traveling with your family and are anxious about travel in light of the pandemic, it’s important that you educate yourself on how to travel with kids after coronavirus and also to educate your children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you teach your children the importance of social distancing and sanitation.
More specifically, try to have your entire family implement these best practices:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).
- Launder items, including washable plush toys, as appropriate and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, wash items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry them completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
Next, make a thorough assessment as to whether it is safe for you and your kids to travel after coronavirus.
01. Decipher If It Is Safe to Travel To Your Destination
The CDC provides a detailed map outlining destinations with greater impact of COVID-19. It is best to consult this map prior to making travel arrangements. It is also a good idea to ask yourself the following:
- Is COVID-19 spreading rapidly in your community? If so, even if you do not have the virus, then you are putting other, less infected areas at risk by traveling there.
- Will you be traveling with anyone considered “high risk”? High risk individuals are older adults, pregnant women, infants and anyone with a weakened immune system.
If you answered “yes” to either questions, then it is likely you are better off staying close to home.
02. Take Your Children’s Unique Needs Into Consideration
Before traveling with your kids, you want to take their unique needs into consideration. Something as simple as using a public restroom can put your kids at higher risk of infection. How do you mitigate this? Travel prepared with the recommended sanitization items.
Are Symptoms of Coronavirus Different Between Children and Adults?
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have typically had mild cases. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. If you want to take a trip soon, then keep an eye out for these signs of COVID-19 in yourself and your children.
What Are the Risks for Children In a Post-Pandemic World?
Despite children experiencing milder symptoms than adults, there have been reports of coronavirus causing long-term health problems. Most commonly, there has been a spike in the contraction of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or MIS-C in kids.
If you wish to travel it’s important to be aware of this risk. While the CDC does not know what causes MIS-C, they have noted that many children who have contracted MIS-C once had the same virus that causes COVID-19, or were once exposed to someone who had COVID-19. This syndrome can be extremely dangerous, but most children who have been diagnosed with MIS-C have recovered with medical care.
03. Invest in Insurance That Covers Every Hiccup
Even on the best-planned trip, there are bound to be hiccups, especially when traveling with kids. The good news is there are several helpful resources to provide you with great travel insurance.
Is Travel Insurance a Worthy Investment?
Ask yourself this: What happens if, despite your best efforts, you or your travel companion contracts coronavirus and you must cancel your trip? What if you are unexpectedly turned away at the border to your destination country? While these may be “what if” scenarios, they could happen and have serious consequences.
Travel insurance is how you cover your “what ifs”, and how you keep your family safe in a post-pandemic world. For every family wanting to take their next adventure, travel insurance is essential.
How Do I Choose a Plan Best for My Family?
Whether you are traveling into or outside of the United States, you might want to consider investing in travel medical insurance. This type of insurance helps cover you should you need medical assistance while away from home. Whether it’s a case of COVID-19 or a broken arm, a good travel medical insurance plan can help you financially in the event of an illness, injury or accident.
Also, you may want to look into trip cancellation insurance. This is included in many basic travel insurance plans and may provide some reimbursement for prepaid trip expenses and deposits that are otherwise considered to be nonrefundable. The benefit applies if the specific reason for cancellation is included in the coverage. Some plans may also include the option to add Cancel For Any Reason coverage. Travelers would receive some reimbursement when canceling for reasons not covered on the basic cancellation benefit.
Also, if your family consists of more than five members, then you may want to consider group travel insurance, which sometimes allows for cheaper rates. Choosing the best plan for your family ultimately depends on what risks may be presented during your travels. With a great travel insurance plan, you reduce those risks and create a better environment for your family travels to occur.
04. Reduce Your Risk of Infection, No Matter Your Method of Transportation
Depending on your transportation of choice, there are different methods to reduce your risk of contracting the coronavirus. However, each method does contain some commonalities:
- Clean your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Keep 6 feet of physical distance from others
- Wear a face covering in public
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Pick up food at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant service, or stores
- Make sure you are up to date with your routine vaccinations, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine
Is Air Travel Right For Your Family?
If you decide to utilize air travel, then keep in mind that you may encounter crowds at the airport, as well as possibly on the plane. This puts you and your family at greater risk. Social distancing is difficult on flights, and you may have to sit near others (within 6 feet), sometimes for hours. You can combat some of this by keeping sanitizing options in your carry-on, such as wipes, soap, face masks and gloves.
What About Taking a Road Trip?
Since air travel can be a bit more risky, you might consider taking a road trip with your family after the COVID-19 pandemic. Car travel can be a safer alternative, as long as you invest in road trip insurance, and follow some of these helpful recommendations. Sometimes the best vacations take place only a few hours from home. Consider visiting less-populated areas, like a secluded beach, an open park for camping, or a national park for a hike. These vacation options create memories with a smaller chance of infection.
Is Cruise Travel Safe?
Did you know that the CDC is working with cruise lines to create a safer, healthier environment post-pandemic? You can learn more about the future of the cruise industry and see if a cruise makes sense for your family. You can also get SafeCruise insurance, which can cover up to 150% of your trip cost in case of cancellation. A cruise may be a more viable option for travel, especially if the CDC’s recommendations are properly implemented aboard.
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