Family Travel Planning in a Post Covid World
It feels like forever ago when we were able to simply pack up, grab our passports and head off on a wild adventure without a second thought. Pre covid life may seem like a dream, but let me tell you, busy airports, long queues, cramped plane seats and lost luggage are back, and we’re excited!
Family travel post lockdowns requires a whole lot of planning and the admin abilities of a highly skilled PA so, having a great checklist is imperative if you want a wonderful and most importantly, safe family holiday.
Here are a few simple things you can do to make travelling with your kids plain sailing post covid:✈️ Get excited
Yasss! The trip is booked so the excitement levels are tipping the gauge! Now’s the perfect time to talk to your little ones about their upcoming adventure. Whether you’re heading off for a city break, a jungle adventure or a coastal road trip, there’s nothing better than building the buzz well in advance. Show them pictures of the hotel, the local markets, even the wildlife. Watch vlogs about your location! Tell them what they can expect to eat, what the journey will look like and let them plan what they’ll do whilst above the clouds or on the road. Kids are much easier to travel with when they’re comfortable, have a clear idea of the plans and understand what’s expected of them. If you have older kids, encourage them to research the location and make a list of the things they are interested in seeing and doing. This is a good time to think about hygiene too, explaining the mask rules and making sure they know to practice good social distancing and hand washing!
🚌 Pack well
A golden travel tip: Never underestimate the power of a perfectly packed suitcase. Not only will organized packing eliminate the kids' frantic search for the bathers when you get to the hotel, it also ensures you all have exactly what you need for your trip. Packing Pals help families keep everyone's clothes in their own separate compartment #gamechanger and makes certain shoes and dirty laundry are kept away from everything else. Kids will love having all their things in one spot, making dressing for the day easier, and trust me, you’ll love it too!✈️ Get covered
Plenty of airlines are now rethinking their post covid refundable ticket options, so it’s a good time to make certain your travel plans are insured. If your preferred airline allows you to book refundable tickets, it’s wise to spend that little bit extra to be covered! Refundable tickets offer your family greater flexibility and peace of mind which is essential when travelling with little ones. Direct routes minimize the time spent in crowded airports and sometimes a longer plane ride is easier than transiting with prams, teddy’s and toddlers!🪥 Create compact carry on
There’s nothing worse than struggling with umpteen bags, pillows, prams and tired children, and it has to be the worst way to start any trip. Packing your hand luggage wisely will lessen the load, mentally and physically. Start with your essentials, then add in anything else you think may help ease everyone's comfort. Small toys can be problematic as they tend to slip between seats, however a box of chunky crayons and a colouring book can be a lifesaver. These gorgeous reusable squidgy stickers are fun and easy to pack! If you’re on a road trip, a laminated map with a dry wipe marker, will allow small children to happily follow the route.
🛋 Consider some comfort
If your kids are not used to airports (or even if they are) lounges are worth their weight in gold for families, especially on a long haul stop over. Showers, endless food and a safe and calm place to relax can really make or break a trip. Some airlines allow you to purchase lounge passes others are members only. Several credit cards also offer lounges, so check out what's available to you before you travel. For longer stop overs consider an airport hotel. Many allow bookings by the hour or half day. Singapore Airport has several fastic hotels within Changi Airport, so does Bangkok, Dubai and Heathrow! An over tired toddler in a loud and busy airport on a 9 hour stop over is literally HELL. Opt out ahead of time!!!! Get some rest and a shower where you can. It'll be the best money you EVER spent.
A printable post covid - pre-travel checklist
- Valid (in date) passports
- Travel documents including vaccination certificates for departure, transiting and to comply with the laws at your destination
- Hotel and day trip reservations
- Currency and/or credit cards (check the restrictions and fees with your bank)
- Phone (make sure you have a good overseas call plan organised)
- Rapid antigen tests
- Antibacterial wipes for plane/train tables, tvs, bathrooms and armrests
- Masks for everyone (take more than one each so you can wear 1 and have 1 in the wash)
- Healthy snacks (More protein, less sugar)
- Hand sanitiser
- Pram pal to protect your pram from damage and dirt
- Activities that are easy to use en route (nothing tiny or noisy)
- Packing Pals for easy packing
- Small first aid kit
- Plane Pal Kit for comfortable sleeping
Travelling this year may be an entirely different experience, however, planning ahead, leaving plenty of time, being prepared with all your documents, and ensuring your children are comfortable will ease the pressure no end.
It’s finally time to get back to enjoying the wonders of the world (and the cocktails) so, if everyone’s prepared for long lines, documentation checks and a few hiccups along the way, it’s easier than ever to make your trip one to remember, for the right reasons!
Liv Wilson is a freelance writer (and daily ocean dipper) expat mamma, originally from the UK, now living in Melbourne, Australia. As avid travelers and self proclaimed foodies, Liv loves nothing more than writing about her family's adventures within Australia and around the world. @the_wilsons_of_oz