Inside: Find out 10 easy tips, steps & precautions for traveling with kids post-pandemic to keep your little ones safe and healthy on your family vacation at your hotel, flight & theme parks.
Mask fogging up my glasses and disinfectant wipes in hand, I ran down through the terminal determined to remain 6 feet away from passing families.
They called our boarding group and my family of 4 huddled into each other waiting for the other families to board first.
Traveling with kids post-pandemic can be intimidating and frightening, enough to make you want to sprint to the phone and utilize those cancellation policies…
But with a few tips and tricks, you can keep your little ones safe and healthy without sacrificing the joy of a family vacation!
We recently traveled by plane on our annual family vacation that we postponed 3 times. I was head-deep in anxiety prepping for the trip but I felt prepared and confident that we could fly with our 1 and 4-year-old in the safest way possible.
We returned home a week later after using all of these tips that I’ll share with you and I’m beyond ecstatic to say that we are all healthy and safe!
These are the exact steps, tips & precautions I used to keep my family safe and healthy during our family vacation and traveling with kids post-pandemic.
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The Best Tips for Traveling with Kids Post Pandemic
If you are planning to travel on a family vacation that includes flying on a plane, staying at a hotel, and visiting theme parks, you’re in the right place!
The goal of these tips is to help you take the stress out of everything you have to juggle WHILE traveling with a toddler/baby and keeping them safe and healthy!
Whether you’re traveling by plane, booking a hotel, or visiting theme parks, here are the 5 main tips to keep your family safe and healthy through it all…
1. Pack smart
One of the main things you want to avoid is fiddling around in 5 different bags trying to find the disinfectant wipes or toddler snack.
You also want to avoid placing bags on the ground, as the floor is one of the biggest breeding grounds for germs.
Use bags such as book bags where you don’t have to place down in order to find something. Pack in categories- place diapering items in one section of the bag, place snacks/food in one zippered part, etc.
Packing your diaper bag/toddler bag in a way where everything is organized will help you save valuable minutes when you’re in the throw of hunting for something you need!
2. Have disinfectant wipes easily accessible in every bag
Disinfectant accessibility is key when traveling with littles!
Place a pouch of travel disinfectant wipes in the most accessible zipper in every single bag. Trust me, you will thank yourself!
In the heat of the moment between juggling book bags, carry-ons, and keeping your kids insight, it’s easy to forget where you put those ever-so-important disinfectant wipes!
But if you place them in every bag, in relatively the same location in each bag- things will go a lot smoother!
3. Hang hand sanitizer holder on every bag
The same goes for hand sanitizer…
Hang a hand sanitizer holder on every bag you are traveling with, so there’s no room for error.
After every touchpoint- elevators buttons, escalator rails, chairs, etc- disinfect everyone’s hands with hand sanitizer. Then when you have a free moment, wash your hands thoroughly.
4. Disinfectant everything before touching
The last main health and safety key is to wipe them down surfaces before touching them! Not everything can be cleaned before touching it, such as a bathroom door handle, that’s why have hand sanitizer is important for those scenarios.
But disinfectant main touch areas that you know you will be using before you use them are important! Whether it’s a public table or chair before sitting or a ride lap bar.
That’s why having disinfectant wipes easily accessible is crucial!
5. Load up on vitamins
Immune boosters will be your life-saver. If your little ones are old enough, be sure to give them immune-boosting vitamins starting about a month before you travel. I usually give my toddler elderberry, zinc, and vitamin c.
These 5 main tips will lay the foundation for keeping your family safe while traveling post-pandemic!
Let’s dive into specific tips, steps, and hacks for flying, hotels, and amusement parks…
Flying with a Baby or Toddler Post-pandemic
Here are my famous tips for flying with a toddler or baby without wanting to pull out your hair. Of course, there will be hiccups. Yes, there may be some frustration crawling under your skin.
But remember, the goal of flying with a toddler or baby isn’t to just make it “easy” – (because let’s face it, that’s probably impossible)…
Plan your outfits with easy travel in mind
The key to traveling with kids post-pandemic is avoiding disruptions. One of the easiest ways to do this is to avoid airport wardrobe catastrophes.
- Dress your toddler with comfy shoes with socks (in case they need to remove their shoes their feet are protected from the dirty floor)
- Baby wear your littlest one so they are not being handled right before touching dirty touchpoints, such as security bins.
- Put layers on each child so if the outer layer gets dirty or falls on the floor, it can be put away without your child being cold. (Airports are notoriously chilly!)
Have toddler hold on to your bookbag or stroller strap while walking
Depending on the time of your flight, your toddler can be really tired and ready for a nap..orrr…ready to take on the world!
If your toddler is super excited and can’t contain their eagerness to fly it usually ends up in them wanting to run all over the airport (and if your toddler is anything like my energetic daughter– touch e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g!)
I found that giving your toddler options is always best. They can either
- sit in the stroller
- wear a book bag with a strap/harness that I hold
- hold on to the stroller hook and walk beside me
This keeps your toddler with you at all times and limits their ability to touch anything so they are staying safe.
Wipe down airplane before sitting
Before sitting down after you’ve found your seat, give everything a good wipe down.
- seat backs
- arm rests,
- front trays
- trays surface when opened
- pocket in front of you
I even check the pockets to see if there is any reading material and usually wipe that down as well. It may be overboard- but it’s all for the safety and health of your family!
During our last flight, my husband would hold the girls and I would clean everything as fast as I could. This would help us step out of the aisle so others can move past us. Then when we were sitting, I would deep clean the surfaces that I know the kids would be touching more often (window, buttons, etc.)
That’s why it’s so handy to have those disinfectant wipes in an accessible pocket in all of your bags!
Staying in a hotel with kids post-pandemic
Remember the 4th key health and safety tip for traveling with littles…wipe everything down!
The most important factor when staying in a hotel post-pandemic is cleanliness.
You’ll want to disinfect the room before unpacking.
Here are some areas to focus on:
- Night stand
- Light switches
- Lamp knobs
- Sink handles
- Door handles
- Room phone
- Door lock
I also pack disinfectant spray and give the closets and bedspreads a good spray down before we fully unpack.
Basically, anywhere that someone else would touch that you know your family will come in contact with.
Of course, the hotel staff will do a great job with cleaning and getting the room ready for you after the last guest- but I really don’t like to leave anything to chance.
It takes 5 minutes to clean something and offer my family extra protection rather than assume it was already cleaned. (…I know, I know…sometimes my husband thinks I’m a bit of a clean freak)
Visiting a Theme Park with Kids Post Pandemic
As I held my daughter’s hand trembling with excitement standing on Main Street in Magic Kingdom, I was beyond relieved that life was getting back to normal.
Watching her curtsey to princesses with melted ice cream dripping down her chin, my world was complete.
We’ll take all of the health and safety tips above and use them to help you stay germ-free during your visit to theme parks!
Remember the 4 Key Tips:
1. Pack smart
Whichever bags you chose to bring into the parks with you, pack them with precision and organization.
You can use this list for any theme park too…not just a Disney trip. It’s loaded with toddler essentials and must-haves!
2. Have disinfectant wipes accessible in every bag
In every one of those bags hide a little pouch of travel disinfectant wipes in the front zipper. When you need them, you’ll know exactly where they are!
3. Carry hand sanitizer holders
Don’t forget to hang hand sanitizer holders on every bag that you’re bringing with you to the theme park! That way, after you touch something, before touching anything else, you quickly and easily pop open the hand sanitizer bottle and clean your hands within seconds.
This is a lifesaver in between rides!
4. Wipe surfaces before using
You’ll need to wipe down all surfaces before using them…
- tables and chairs before sitting
- handles before touching
- door knobs (if you have the time to do so before touching them)
Basically, you’ll want to clean down any high touchpoint area where you will be located for an extended period of time (more than 5 minutes).
Here are some other little theme park tips to avoid pesky germs…
Use a stroller
If your little one is big enough to walk, I would still recommend bringing a stroller. I put my toddler in the stroller when we are in stores because it reduces the number of things she can touch and also helps me keep a better eye on her.
Your toddler will also get tired throughout the day so even if they don’t usually use a stroller at home, having one can really save the day.
It’s also super convenient to hold all of your bags! A stroller hook is game-changing.
Use travel disinfectant spray to clean changing pad/area
I always bring a couple of travel disinfectant sprays with me so I can quickly clean areas that are normally hard to wipe down. I usually spray down baby changing areas before using and then disinfect my changing pad after using.
I’ll disinfect the toilet before using it as well, even though I bring a little travel potty seat for my toddler.
Traveling with kids post-pandemic Recap!
Family vacations are one of my absolute favorite things in the world! Choosing to take a family vacation in the current times we live in can be daunting.
But remember, with a few tips and tricks, you can keep your little ones safe and healthy without sacrificing the joy of a family vacation!
By using these exact steps, tips & precautions I kept my family safe and healthy during our family vacation and I don’t regret for a moment the vacation we had!
Yes, it looked different but it was still full of wide-grinned smiles and cherished memories.
Don’t forget the 5 key tips:
- Pack smart
- Have disinfectant wipes accessible in every bag
- Hang hand sanitizer holders on every bag
- Disinfect every surface before touching
- Load up on vitamins & immune boosters
Book the vacation. Savor the moments. Obsess over every smile. Take loads of pictures. Cherish every memory.
You got this, mama!