You skipped your regular family vacation because of the Coronavirus Pandemic but now you are thinking of venturing out. But what is the safest way to travel with young children during the COVID crisis?
We talked to Florida-based board-certified pediatrician Dr. Candice W. Jones to find out what parents should do when traveling during the Coronavirus pandemic
How Can I Keep My Family Safe While Traveling During COVID?
1. Opt for a Road Trip
When traveling this summer, especially with children, Dr. Jones believes road trips are best. According to the CDC website health experts agree that as long as you take the necessary precautions, closer-to-home vacations in relatively uncrowded spots can be low risk.
Before packing up for that road-trip check AAA’s COVID map at TripTik.AAA.com which will show restrictions by state and any checkpoints that have been set up.
When crossing state lines and staying longer than the time to feel up your gas tank keep in mind that some states are requiring travelers from Alabama to quarantine for two weeks when entering the state.
2. Choose Vacation Lodging Carefully
To find the right hotel for your trip, you’ll need to do your homework. Choose a vacation home in an area with low local transmission. Use the CDEC data tracker to check current transmission rates (https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/index.html#cases).
Stay away from vacation areas that have high community transmission of COVID. And areas that get a lot of feeder foot traffic from different areas, the risk of viral transmission could increase in those areas and lead to new viral hot spots in the town.
Find a place that is following health recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID and that will help you limit your family’s contact with others. So, call possible lodging options and ask questions.
“My family recently took a staycation to the beach here in Florida and we chose a less populated area and a small, condo-style resort that was compliant with health guidance,” Dr. Jones says. “Our condo opened to outdoors, so no stuffy hallways to navigate. I disinfected everything when we arrived. We rarely came in contact with others, took stairs, and wore our mask whenever social distancing was difficult, such as in elevators and at the front desk area.”
3. Choose outdoor activities and carryout or open air dining
When deciding on activities for your family vacation, opt for those that include your family only or a small group of people for a short period of time in outdoor or well-ventilated spaces, Dr. Jones says.
Parks, zoos, and beaches that aren’t too crowded could all be good places to go. Camping and boating could be considered, too, As always, when out and about social distance as much as possible, wear masks when near others, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
On her recent trip, Dr. Jones says she and her family avoided dining in at restaurants, too. “We ordered carryout or sat outdoors at restaurants and we didn’t go to restaurants that were crowded,” she says. “We skipped the pool and spent most of our time on the beach far away from others. We had fun and it wasn’t difficult to stay safe.”
TRAVEL PRODUCT PICK
A must for long car road trips with little ones. The Kalencom 2-in-1 Travel Potty is big enough to hold your toddler, but still small enough to travel with. It can be used as a standalone potty or toilet trainer ring, so you can use it anywhere. It also has a built-in pee guard to prevent splashing. It comes with three disposable liners and a carry bag.