Coronavirus may well have changed air travel forever. If airport security hadn’t already made flying with kids complicated, a pandemic has doubled the administration required.
But with a bit of research and pre-planning, you can get through it.
Here are our top five tips for flying with kids post-COVID.
- Check, double check and then triple check the rules, and don’t assume anything. You need to check the airport rules, the airline rules, the destination rules, and also any stop-over or transit location rules. They are not all the same, some will require things that others don’t, including tests at different ages. We almost missed a series of three flights because we hadn’t seen the correct rules for a short refueling stop. Make sure you check the official airport or government website for the current requirements. The rules change constantly and blogs will quickly be out of date. If you don’t know which government website to check for the country you’re going to, see if you can ask someone who lives there, they’ll point you in the right direction.
- Make sure you bring the correct face masks for yourselves and your kids. And bring spares, you’ll want to change them regularly on a long flight. One benefit to wearing facemasks is that your nose doesn’t dry out like it used to in the aircraft air-conditioning, so at least there’s a silver lining.
- Check that your travel insurance covers any COVID related claims. Many do now, but at the start of the pandemic, none of them did. If your regular travel insurance company doesn’t cover it, or you can’t find a local one, check overseas companies as well. Insurance companies in New Zealand took a long time to provide cover, but there were plenty of options in the UK or the US.
- Carry your own sanitizing wipes and wipe down your area first. This is good practice even without COVID present. Food trays, buttons and seat rests aren’t cleaned as much as you think they are, and your kids will be touching everything, maybe even chewing on them.
- Allow as much flexibility as possible in your plans. This means giving yourselves plenty of time at the airport before boarding. This saved us once when we realised we needed to get an extra test at the airport. We thought we had plenty of time, but with that hiccup we only just made the flight. You also need to think about what happens if a test comes back positive, or you’re unable to board your flight for whatever reason. Are you able to isolate somewhere, do you have flexibility with your accommodation at your departure point and your destination? Always have a back up plan.
Yes, it’s complicated, but don’t be put off by it. If the destination is worth going to, it’s worth the trouble.
Check out our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/breetventures
I wrote a book on how to travel with kids: https://bit.ly/twkbook