Pandemic Parenting: Should You Travel With Your Kids Again?
As a a longtime travel writer, I share the decision-making process for determining whether family travel is right for you
We are a family of travelers. Usually, we spend our summers on the Italian island of Ischia off the coast of Naples, which is the home of our ancestors. Annually, we travel to visit my sister — and Mickey Mouse — at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Alas, however, all our plans have been put on hold because of the coronavirus crisis. We’re not alone. Many families are sitting out their usual adventures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the hopes that a vaccine will emerge next year.
Deciding when to venture out into this new, scary world is an individual, highly personal decision. What’s right for your family might not be right for mine. But there are a few universal questions you can ask yourself as you make your decision:
How necessary is this travel?
Not all travel is created equal. For instance, a trip that your boss is requiring you to take to complete your job holds more weight than heading to a theme park for a spin on the Tilt-A-Whirl. You have to consider why you are traveling and how necessary the journey is. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to eliminate all leisure travel. But you are taking a risk by going on holiday, so you have to consider whether the risk is worth it for your family and you.
Is anyone in your family in a high-risk group?
My family will not be traveling until we can put COVID-19 behind us or there is a national plan with far more significant, rapid testing and effective therapies because we have a 9-month-old baby boy, who was born underweight and has had some lingering medical conditions that put him at higher risk. In addition, we live next door to my parents, who are senior citizens, which automatically puts them at higher risk.
We have never before been so responsible for the health and welfare of our loved ones and neighbors. This is a big deal question that families need to consider. Be thoughtful, not selfish. Because I write about travel and have kids, I have heard from many who are just sick of being in the house and want to get out. I get it…