Happy Wednesday y’all! Today I'm speaking about my personal experience while traveling with children (as early as 5 months-12 years old) during COVID-19.
Our first trip with our 5-month old baby girl at the time was to Raleigh, NC. Yes, as some of you may know, our future hometown. I was so nervous to travel because this was back in May when the Pandemic was fresh. Fresh for airlines to reopen, fresh like when we didn’t know how close to get to others, wearing gloves for everything, and running out of food at the local grocery stores FRESH.
We took the necessary precaution and our trip turned out fabulous. Since NC is 13 hours away, we knew we had to fly. Immediately I looked at Southwest Airlines for the good $50 tickets and bam, they had them. Then to make things better, Southwest middle seats are opened (to practice social distancing). Of course, if you’re traveling as a family you can utilize the middle seat. As far as TSA Precheck, my family has this and I highly recommend you get it too. My best friend put me on years ago, and it was the best $85 I ever spent. The Precheck line was combined with the regular line (that’s how slow it was). There was no wait at all!!! On the plane, we scored big because the flight was empty, not full at all. Let’s be real, I was nervous cause it was baby’s girl first time flying and I didn’t know how she’ll do, but she did GREAT. Also, the airport was so empty, restaurants weren’t even opened. Other than that, traveling back in May was easy.
Fast forward to us traveling four weeks ago. We recently traveled as an entire family to Raleigh the first week in October. The airport was busy, but not at its normal pace. Restaurants were open, TSA Precheck had a 2-minute wait, etc. As you can see, the States started back opening by lifting restrictions and such.
Since the holidays are approaching I think you would benefit from some tips While Traveling During a Pandemic.
Traveling by Airplane...read here for tips:
Get TSA Precheck!!! This is a must, it allows you to bypass taking off shoes, jackets, taking electronics out of your bags, etc. It saves so much time!
Traveling early morning with infants and small kids is best. Sahalie (baby girl) stayed up until we took off. Out of the four flights, she slept three and stayed up whining during one. (She was teething). Mark the two-year-old, asked questions, and was excited. After a while, he slept on the plane. The 12-year-old, she's used to it lol. With the two babies, we used these headphones, but the two-year-old didn't need them. Sahalie used them here and there, I would always suggest them, just in case!
Upon arrival at the airport, check every bag except for your main carry one. Your hands won’t be tied up with car seats, strollers and extra bags. Having free hands is theee best.
Going through Security with a stroller and car seat?! Easy work! For real (at least for Precheck). You will have to fold the stroller and put it on the conveyer belt. Same for the car seat, you will put on the conveyer belt. If neither fits, the security officer will hand check it.
Purchasing gate check bags is a must. We use these for the car seats we checked with our luggage. It helps to keep your car seat clean and dry, especially during loading and unloading.
If you travel with baby water, water bottle, or breast milk, the security officers will check it with some device, but you can get it through security.
If nursing during your airplane travel, I took advantage of the entire rows on the airplanes. My husband sat on the opposite side of the aisle. That way, when I needed a break, it was easy to pass her to him. I would suggest, sitting on the side for which you have to nurse. For example, When I had to nurse on the right side, I sat in the aisle seat on the right side of the plane. This way I wasn't "exposing" boob or if baby decided to stop nursing and turn, I was covered. I also use nursing tanks and a blanket to cover IF needed. They also have those nursing rooms, I used that prior to boarding too.
**Little momma was hot, we had to take off
her clothes to get her comfortable**
Traveling by Car... read here for tips:
For the 4th of July, we decided to do a road trip (12-hour drive) to Atlanta, GA. We traveled with two 2-year-olds, one 7-month-old, and our then 11-year-old.
Check out the length of your trip. Choose a great time to leave with little humans. Our two-year-olds were potty trained and that made a difference. We left at 1 am, and the kids slept the entire night.
Purchase a Travel/ Portable Potty seat. I ordered this one from amazon and it saved our lives. Especially during this Pandemic, we don't know what's cleaned or not. In my purse/diaper bag, I had disinfecting wipes to wipe down the bottom of the potty seat once used. If you do not have wipes, using hot soap and water works great too.
Pack snacks, this will decrease the number of times you need to stop. You will decrease the chance of contracting the virus due to you limiting how many time you go into gas stations/ stores.
Pack disinfecting spray, wipes, etc. This was used when we stayed in a hotel to wipe down door handles and beds. However, our hotel (The Holiday Inn) was very clean and they made sure every other room was not occupied for social distancing.
Grocery shop for Hotel or Airbnb (we used both services). The hotel allowed you to "preselect" your breakfast by checking off the items you wanted. In the morning, we picked up our breakfast in brown paper bags. You know... how hot lunches were made growing up lol.
Pumping gas: We wore gloves and our masks.
I hope these tips help you plan your next trip during the pandemic. We know these are uncertain times, but I want you all to be safe!
If you traveled during the pandemic, what precautions did you take? I would love to hear.