Ready to venture out on a family trip? Keep these things in mind for staying safe and happy!
It has been a long year since March 2020. If you’re feeling ready to venture out for a trip this summer with your kids, here are some tips to help you stay safe and happy during the traveling process.
- Research the COVID travel restrictions in your state and the state you would like to travel to.
Each state has completely different guidelines, mandates, and restrictions, so make sure to check out what those are as you begin to plan a trip, and also double check right before you leave to see if anything has changed. Don’t forget to read about your own state’s restrictions as well. For example, if you leave your state and then return to it at the end of your trip, you may have to quarantine at home. Also, make sure to look carefully at the guidelines for children. Your 3-year-old may need to wear a mask in one state (or local community), but not in another.
- Weigh the pros and cons of traveling by plane versus car.
A plane trip may mean fewer hours of driving, and thus fewer stops for gas and hotels along the way. A car trip, on the other hand, may mean more control over your trip and fewer chances of exposure to germs despite having to stop more often. Weigh what you are most comfortable with, along with how far you have to go and travel costs.
- Manage your expectations and stress levels.
First of all, are the people you are planning to visit comfortable with having you visit? Are they okay hosting you, or would they prefer to meet up outside to spend time together? Ask ahead of time what your friends’ and family members’ comfort levels are. That way you can take that information into account as you plan what is best for everyone involved.
Secondly, as with any trip, don’t forget to factor in and plan for the time it takes to pack as well as the time it will take to recover. When we don’t build enough time in for the before and after, it’s a lot more stressful.
Thirdly, travel is always stressful when kids are involved. Normal routines that kids rely on are not around, and that leaves everyone a little out of whack. Give yourself and everyone around you lots of grace and forgiveness since traveling is even more stressful this summer with pandemic-related concerns.
- Remember to include these items in your pandemic packing ...
Bring extra masks — especially extra kid-sized ones. I’m constantly amazed at how dirty kids’ masks get while traveling, and trying to make an adult-sized mask fit and stay on a child’s face because you don’t have another small one is a giant hassle. Bring extra earbuds as well, especially if you’re traveling by air.
- Ask for the intercession of these saints who traveled during difficult times …
As it is the year of St. Joseph, try asking him for some help in the planning and executing of your travel plans. He had to travel to Bethlehem with pregnant Mary for the census, and then to Egypt with a new baby, escaping to protect his son’s life.
St. Francis Xavier brought Jesus as far as Japan from his native Spain, and travel was a much more dangerous and disease-infested experience in the 1500s than it is now.
St. Marianne Cope traveled from New York to Hawaii at age 45 to help take care of those with leprosy who lived on Molokai. She ended up living there, among very sick and contagious people, until her death in 1918 at 80 years old.
St. Joseph, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Marianne Cope, come to the aid of all who are traveling this summer!