As travel restrictions ease and air bridges are put in place, more and more families are thinking about summer holidays. After months of lockdown, a family vacation seems like a really good idea.
But there’s no denying that the coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the way we travel. Airports, airlines and other public transportation systems are all introducing new rules and cleaning procedures. Face masks are now mandatory on public transport in England for example and anyone not wearing one can be refused transport and fined £100. Uber has also made face coverings mandatory for drivers and customers.
Some families might feel more comfortable staying home this year while others are closely monitoring Skyscanner for a good deal. However you choose to spend your summer holiday however, there are some essential items you should pack. These items will make your travels during Covid – whether they’re by car, plane or train – that much easier and safer.
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1. Face Masks
A study as found that airborne transmission is the main way that the coronavirus is spread. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have updated their guidance to recommend that governments ask everyone to wear fabric face masks in public areas where social distancing is harder and there is a risk of transmission. So, it goes without saying that it’s a good idea to wear a mask when travelling.
In the UK, official guidance is that if your child is under the age of two and cannot put on a mask themselves (or has a respiratory condition) then they don’t need to wear a face covering. Nor is not mandatory that children under the age of 11 wear a face mask on public transport.
For children, take a look at these face masks by Lancashire Textiles. They donate £1 to the East Lancashire NHS Trust for every mask sold. Alex + Nova have reusable masks for young children from the age of 2. Thumbsie have a huge range of patterned reusable face masks for kids.
2. Alcohol Wipes
Prior to Covid-19, planes were given a cursory clean between flights. Although airlines and other public transport systems have promised to bring in more stringent cleaning methods, bringing your own disinfectant wipes is a good idea.
You can use them to wipe down frequently touched surfaces such as armrests or check-in screens in airports. These can also be used to clean your hotel room or rental property when you first arrive. It’s recommended that you use a cleaner with at least 70 percent alcohol.
3. Cleaning Wipes
Wet wipes are an essential when travelling with kids at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic! Make sure you have some in your carry-on bag to clean hands and faces.
4. Hand Sanitiser
Although washing your hands is still the best way to keep yourself safe, if you don’t have access to soap and water then hand sanitiser is the next best thing. It’s best to choose a hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60 percent. This is because 60-95% alcohol content is the level needed for it to work to inactivate viruses including COVID-19.
You’ll want to bring tissues along with you on your next family holiday. They can be used to sneeze or cough into, thereby avoiding your hands.
6. Water Bottles
We always travel with reusable water bottles but it’s even more important to do so now. Airlines are operating reduced food and drink services since Covid, so it makes sense to bring your own water with you. If flying, these can be filled up once you’re past security.
Plus, it’s more environmentally friendly! We like these water bottles by Chilly’s.
If you’re used to travelling with kids then you’re probably used to packing lots of snacks. During Covid, it’s probably worth packing a few more.
Snacks mean that no-one goes hungry on flights where meal services are being reduced. It also means you don’t have to buy anything from service stations when you’re on a road trip. These reusable snack bags are a good option.
8. Travel pillow
When the coronavirus pandemic first started, many airlines stopped offering blankets and pillows on flights as a safety measure. Bring your own travel pillow for a more comfortable flight. For kids we like these by Trunki.
9. Travel blanket
Although it’s another thing to carry, if you’re going on a longer flight then it’s worth bringing a travel blanket with you. For kids, there are some great travel blanket and pillow sets, which make travelling fun as well as cosy.