Hit the Road: Traveling With Children During the Pandemic

July 8th, 2020 by

Travel is an education in itself, every parent knows that.

So pack your bags, and have your kids pack theirs. They are never too young to learn that there is rarely only one “right” way to do something, and people everywhere have the same human needs and emotions. As you explore other cultures and compare them to home, you will learn about yourselves, and the cultural exposure you have given your kids will be so valuable later in their lives.

Family travel is an exciting part of your children’s education, but during the pandemic, how do we take our kids to the market, the museum, the beach, the animals, the sports, the ballerinas? Your kids will want to experience the local music. Music differs all over the world, it’s everywhere. Outdoor concerts, special cultural events, and street performers will expand your child’s understanding of music in its many forms. There are trumpet calls in the town square, operas, chamber quartets, and even bands announcing the changing of the palace guard. Temples might have chanting monks, or there may be a special local instrument that your kids can try.

You want to provide the whole world for your child, but how do you do that while keeping them safe? Start with an online search, and read the forum postings about your chosen region or activity. Talk with other travelers before you make your reservations. Be prepared to wear face coverings, and maintain a distance from other people. Know the rules of travel before you book it. Will your airport have restaurants open for business, or will you be packing a lunch? Will your chosen activity be canceled? Will the park be closed? Once you have found a place that will welcome visitors, do not hesitate to plan a vacation with hope in your heart and plenty of prudent hand-washing.

Do your kids need a chance to simply burn off some energy? Hiking is a great way to enjoy something special with your kids, exercise, and explore a local attraction, with less risk of infection. Some kids may be inspired to create a digital journal or weblog with daily pictures, the ages of the buildings visited, interesting people you met, new foods you tasted, and interesting words in other languages. 

It has been reported that Recreational Vehicle (RV) rentals have seen an increase of almost 650% this year as many families are opting to take their homes on the road. As many hotels or resorts may have restrictions in place, renting an RV, packing up the family and hitting the road gives your family the option to take an adventure and have a little mobile home away from home as well.

Maybe you and your children have been staying home since March. Maybe your whole family has the worst case of quarantine fatigue. Give yourself permission to check with your doctor, and make plans to get out of town. Your kids may be dealing with this pandemic for years to come, so enjoy some of what travel offers, delicious food, fascinating people, and cultural awareness. 

Instead of being afraid of this virus, make solid, practical plans to visit another place and embrace another culture. Be inspired to help your kids maintain the open-mindedness and inquisitive attitude they were born with. After all, the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.

Written by Joan van Oss

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