Believe it or not, people have started daring to venture out of their homes for the weekend or week-long holiday trips amidst the pandemic! Aren’t you too itching to travel with your family after being homebound for months?

The government has eased out travel restrictions. The hotels, resorts, other holiday accommodation providers and restaurants have opened their doors for patrons. With Diwali and Christmas/New Year holidays around the corner, it could be a perfect time to give your family a break from the four walls of your home.

However, safety should be your first concern above everything else, especially when you are travelling with kids. Here are some handy tips to travel carefully for a holiday:

Ditch Rail and Air Travel for a Road Trip

A common thing among pandemic vacationers is that they all travel by their car to their holiday destination. You will save yourself the hustle-bustle of the crowds at the railway stations and airports. Most importantly, you won’t have to dress up in PPE kits or worry about catching the virus from other travellers.

Pick a Familiar, Safe and Nearest Destination

Most families are opting to visit their native places to meet the family in the wake of upcoming festivals. If it is not possible, it is advisable to travel to a location that is only a few hours from your city and doesn’t require you to take an overnight pit stop. You should preferably choose a location that you have been to before so that you can navigate your way through the journey with familiarity.

Of course, the destination should have zero or minimum cases of COVID and have good medical care facilities for adverse situations.

Book a Homestay for Accommodation as Far as Possible

Another common trend among families travelling these days is that they prefer to put up in homestays or holiday rentals. Such accommodations are often owned by local families and have minimal staff and guests for privacy reasons. You will get the holiday vibes, but at the same time feel at ease. You can opt for a hotel if there are no homestays available.

Whatever option you choose, you should ensure that:

  • The accommodation follows all safety and sanitization rules.
  • It should be located in less crowded areas of the destination but easily accessible to the main market.
  • It has a minimal number of guests on the property during your stay.
  • It offers meals so that you don’t have to eat out often.

Travel Light and Safely

When you are travelling with kids and that too by road, you might be tempted to carry your home in the car. Don’t make that mistake!

  • Masks, face shields, gloves, sanitizers, disinfectant sprays/wipes, towels/wipes and paper soaps are mandatory. Keep everything of these things enough and extra to last you till the time you return home from the journey. Go for disposables so that you don’t have to worry about washing or sanitizing these things during the journey.
  • Pack only a few pairs of clothes, footwear and medicines.
  • Carry homemade food and enough water bottles so that you can save yourself the trouble of stopping at roadside hotels or dhabhas for any purchases.
  • Fill the fuel tank of your car before you live your home city and holiday destination. This will ensure that you don’t have to stop often at petrol pumps.
  • You might need to stop for bathroom breaks en route. Choose a public place that has hygienic toilet stalls, preferably with no queue. Wear masks and gloves all the time during the use of restrooms. It would be safer to use the Indian-style toilets if possible and available. Spray the disinfectant on the door handles, toilet seat, toilet flush, faucets or any other common surface you may need to touch before and after the use. Dispose of the masks and gloves in the dustbin after use and replace with new ones.
  • Stick to digital payments everywhere. However, do carry some cash for emergencies.

Minimize Outings at the Destination

It may sound strange but treat your holiday as a simple break or change of a scene from the pandemic life. Spend most of your time on the accommodation property. Avoid going to popular or crowded sightseeing places or markets.

Be a Responsible Traveller

It is your civic duty to follow all safety norms while travelling during the pandemic. Follow social distancing rule and keep minimal contact with people. Download Aarogya Setu app for your and others’ safety. At the slightest symptom of the virus, inform the locals and take further action, depending on the gravity of the situation.

Have you travelled recently with your kids? Share your experiences and safety tips with the Kidwise parenting community.

About Rekha Menon

Rekha Menon is a primary teacher by profession, now engaged in various hobby & craft classes for kids, and occasionally writes about topics which interest her. With two teenage kids, she is usually grappling with issues that most parents deal with, and shares her views to stimulate discussion on these.

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