The first cases of COVID-19 occurred in China in late 2019. The virus reached Europe and the United States in January 2020 and has since prompted business closures, government shutdowns, and travel restrictions worldwide. By September 28, over 1 million deaths worldwide had been attributed to COVID-19.
COVID-19 presents unique challenges for parents who are trying to make family plans. Fortunately, there are still viable options for traveling safely. With some careful planning, you can enjoy your first vacation with your whole family and create lasting memories, while still maintaining peace of mind and knowing that you’re safe from infection.
COVID-19 is a contagious disease that can be passed from person to person. Exposure occurs when individuals come in contact with droplets that are expelled by an infected person. People expel droplets when they talk, sneeze, and cough. It’s most common for transmission to occur if the droplets land on another person, but droplets can survive in the air for several hours after they’ve been discharged. You can be infected if you enter an area where droplets from a person with the virus are present.
Transmission can also occur from touching items that a person with the virus has touched. Contracting the virus is more likely if you touch your face after having physical contact with an item a person with the virus handled.
Review applicable travel restrictions before making plans. Some states are not allowing out-of-state visitors to reduce the spread of the virus. Some states and counties have imposed curfews, which could affect your ability to travel. Monitor COVID-19 infection rates in the region you’re planning to visit. Increases in infection rates could lead to new restrictions, and you may want to consider a few options before choosing a vacation location to ensure you avoid areas with current outbreaks.
Air travel has resumed since being shut down in the spring of 2020. Many airlines require passengers to wear masks during the entire flight, and passengers may be screened for symptoms before flying. Some passengers have refused to comply with the regulations airlines have imposed, leading airlines to ban passengers from flying. Flying can present a challenge for your infant because it can be hard to ensure your baby wears a mask for the entire flight.
Driving is one of the safest options because you can limit your exposure to other people. You won’t have to worry about your baby refusing to wear a mask, either. If you choose this great option, you’ll be able to take breaks when your baby needs to be fed or changed. With appropriate safety precautions, you can manage your risks of exposure while you’re on the road. If you’re planning on driving, consider whether you want to take your regular family car or opt for more space by renting an RV or other motorhome. Traveling with a baby can get a bit cramped, so you may want to opt for a bit more space on the road.
Whether you plan to head to upstate New York or the coast, research your options before you decide where to stay. Social media posts may alert you to facilities managed by people who are not taking appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Business websites should contain information about the steps they’ve taken to ensure client safety. If the website doesn’t present this data, contact the business, and ask whether they require staff to wear masks and maintain social distancing practices. Find a venue in a peaceful vacation destination that you feel comfortable with before booking your stay.
You can increase your control over your environment by investing in a recreational vehicle (RV) instead of booking a hotel room. RVs are convenient when traveling with young children because you will have easy access to clothes, diapers, a microwave, a refrigerator, and cleaning supplies. Invest in an RV warranty for complete peace of mind. An RV extended warranty covers the cost of repairs if your vehicle breaks down. Major repairs can derail your vacation, but with warranty coverage, you’ll be able to have your motorhome fixed without incurring thousands in repair costs. Review the warranty options and familiarize yourself with any exclusions and the deductible fees you will need to ay to choose the best plan for your RV. Your warranty provider should also have a list of repair facilities that accept their warranty plan. Some warranty plans include memberships to organizations such as the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). With FMCA, you’ll be able to take advantage of discounts on services and campsites throughout the country and many extended warranty plans also include roadside assistance for ultimate peace of mind while traveling.
If you don’t have an RV and purchasing one isn’t in your budget, consider camping. Camping is an affordable way to enjoy a vacation and regulate your environment. Find campgrounds with larger sites or book two sites side by side to increase your distance from others. If you’re a beginner, you can still go camping affordably. Some states have a first-time camper program, which provides you with all the essentials you need for a low rental fee.
Purchase cloth or N95 masks to protect your face from contact from droplets expelled by others. If you aren’t comfortable wearing a mask all the time, you can also wear a face shield. Like masks, face shields prevent you from expelling droplets on others or coming in direct contact with droplets others discharge. Face shields and face masks also remind you not to touch your face unnecessarily, which also helps reduce your chances of exposure to the virus.
Protect your hands from potential exposure by wearing gloves when you’re pumping gas or opening doors. If you do touch something with your bare hands, be sure to wash immediately or use hand sanitizer.
Pack disinfectant wipes for your trip. Wipes that kill the coronavirus can be used to clean surfaces before you’re in contact with them. If you rent equipment or book a hotel room, you can use disinfectant wipes to sanitize door handles, furniture, bottles of shampoo, and other items. You can also use disinfectant sprays to sanitize the carpet. You may opt to bring your bedding to reduce your risk of exposure, and it’s a good idea to pack a playpen for your baby to prevent them from crawling on hotel room floors.
It’s natural to want to purchase keepsakes to commemorate your first vacation with your baby, but you may have concerns about shopping, and some stores may not be open due to COVID-19 restrictions. You can avoid this issue by focusing on photographs and using your photos to create customized gifts you’ll cherish for years to come.
Whether you’re looking for gifts for boys or girls, photo gifts are a wonderful personalized gift idea. Choose your favorite vacation photos to make a personalized baby blanket for your infant, or produce a scrapbook featuring the best snapshots from your vacation. You can also choose between frames, personalized mugs, or customized keepsake boxes. A keepsake box is an excellent option if you visit the beach and collect some shells or have other small items from your trip that you want to preserve. You can also take advantage of personalized photo presents to produce great gifts for your child’s grandparents. When your baby grows up to become a teen boy or girl, you can also surprise them with customized photo Christmas gifts from their first vacation.
Other Important Considerations
During your research, you should investigate the medical facilities near your destination. You should be aware of the emergency facilities in the region in case you have a medical emergency. Identify the closest medical clinics and hospitals. If you visit a remote area, you may not have easy access to medical care if you need it, and that’s something you should be aware of before you depart. If you have concerns, you may be able to book a remote appointment with your doctor to get advice before you travel.
Whether you’re at home or on vacation, you should be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19. Fever, headache, cough, congestion, fatigue, and nausea can all be signs of infection. One of the challenges with COVID-19 is that some people are asymptomatic carriers, which means they can transmit the virus to others but have no symptoms. There are also more severe symptoms of COVID-19, including shortness of breath, confusion, and chest pressure. If you or one of your family members have severe symptoms, you should seek medical treatment immediately.
Check to see if you’ll have good cell phone service in your destination. You can use your smartphone to stay informed of travel restrictions, outbreaks, and other factors that could affect your vacation plans. If you head to an area without cell service during the outbreak, you may be unaware of critical information that could impact you when you’re traveling home.