Skip to main content

Health experts say it’s still not safe to travel with kids — this is why

COVID-19 fatigue is real and we’re all itching for some travel. With the school year coming to an end and vaccine distribution increasing, it’s definitely tempting to click that “book” button for your next family vacation. However, the question to ask is, is it safe to travel with unvaccinated children even if you’ve received the vaccine? The guidelines for safe travel during the pandemic are ever evolving, but we’re here to assist you in making a well-informed decision.

Although vaccinated individuals are less likely to get and to spread COVID-19, it remains imperative to follow implemented guidelines, like wearing masks, washing our hands, and maintaining distance from others. So where do children fall into this? Even if you’re fully inoculated, covid vaccine travel can pose a health risk to the whole family when you have kids for a few different reasons.

1. Flying

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated individuals can safely travel domestically via airplane. If you still want to travel internationally, there’s a high chance that your children will need to present negative COVID-19 tests and/or quarantine upon arrival. The CDC recommends avoiding international trips if you are unvaccinated, especially since traveling internationally does increase your chances of catching the virus. If you’re flying from a low-risk destination to a location where COVID-19 numbers are rising, your kids also have a higher risk of being exposed in a new group of people and area.

Image used with permission by copyright holder
Anna Shvets/Pexels

2. Mask wearing

Thankfully masks are required on every flight and in most public areas, but you’ll have to ask yourself if your child going to be able to wear a mask on a long-haul flight. Currently children aged two and older are required to wear masks in public locations. If your children aren’t attending in-person schooling or have difficulty wearing masks, practice consistent mask use at home or take local trips to prepare.

3. The vaccine for kids

As of right now, anyone under the age of 16 does not have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, leaving them susceptible to the virus, especially during travel. However, it’s expected that the FDA will soon authorize a Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15 years old. Even if this vaccine is approved and you decide you want your teens to receive it, all younger children still remain at risk. Kids vaccine travel is still further away.

What about grandparents?

Now that COVID-19 restrictions have been in place for over a year, one of the places most of us want to pay a visit to is the homes of our grandparents. If the elderly are vaccinated and so are the adults in your immediate family, the risk of infection towards grandparents does decrease, especially if extensive travel is not involved. However, keep in mind that kids are often carriers of the virus and the vaccines are not 100% effective. Ultimately, it will depend on the specific circumstances and comfort levels within your own family.

Image used with permission by copyright holder
August de Richelieu/Pexels

Low risk travel

While traveling during a pandemic is not the easiest or safest thing to do, have no fear because you still have vacation options without flying. Taking a road trip and traveling by car is your safest option. You can drive as far as you’d like or stay local – it’ll be more cost effective too. It’s time to take that RV trip you’ve always been dreaming of!

Another way to decrease risk of infection is by opting to stay in a rental property over a hotel or resort. You can even choose to pitch a tent and go camping, avoiding typical properties altogether. Finally, choose a destination with outdoor activities where transmission is low, like a beach or national park.

If you have to travel or are making the executive decision to take your family on a trip, remember to do the following for easier and safer travels:

  • Practice mask wearing
  • Know the testing requirements
  • Know the risk of your destination
  • Skip the layover and book a direct flight
  • Follow your state’s re-entry requirements
  • Avoid crowds and social distance
  • Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize

The final verdict

While the vaccine is here and the weather is getting warmer, we are still seeing a rise in COVID-19 numbers in some areas. Because children, especially the youngest, will be the last in line for a vaccine, it may not be the safest to travel as a family right now. Keep your kids and others safe while staying home, participating in a staycation, or embarking on a road trip. Non-essential travel may not be the safest or easiest thing to take on at the moment, but eventually your entire family will be able to hop on a flight. For now, patience is key.

Editors' Recommendations

Antonia Maric
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Antonia Maric originally hails from Westchester, New York. Aside from writing, Antonia takes pride in exploring national…
When can babies have chocolate milk? This is when it’s safe to let your child indulge
How to introduce this beverage to your child
A glass of chocolate milk with a straw

Introducing your baby to new foods is a fun milestone for every parent. Watching your little ones as they experience new tastes and textures is an exciting part of their development. Many parents know when they can begin to introduce milk to their babies, but may wonder if the same rules apply to chocolate milk. Are little babes old enough to try it yet? When can babies have chocolate milk? It can be quite the job to keep up with what babies can have and at what age. So, for this delectable treat, we will help you find out when little ones can indulge in a glass.

Babies shouldn't have sweets or milk if they're not at least a year old. But even if they've celebrated that first birthday, there are other factors to consider.

Read more
Should I let my kid use Snapchat? Experts say it depends
How to decide when to let your kids use this social media app
Teen using SnapChat

One of the most pressing dilemmas facing many parents today is, what age should they let their kids use Snapchat, or any other form of social media, for that matter. Although it's been around for a few years, many parents wonder if Snapchat is safe for kids. It seems that kids are using these social media messaging apps younger and younger. Social media has become a huge part of all our lives, but it can also be difficult to navigate safely.
Snapchat is a popular mobile app that allows the user to send snaps — pictures, text, or video — to another user. The allure of Snapchat is that these messages are only available for a limited time and then they disappear. Snapchat has evolved over the years to include stories and a discovery area that is basically a newsfeed, but it's still a way for kids to message each other privately. Because these conversations are deleted after a short period of time, is Snapchat safe for kids?
Many parents struggle with the safety of this app for this reason. Parents are the best judge of what their child is ready for, but many experts have weighed in and given their professional advice.

Is Snapchat a child-friendly app?
Snapchat, like many social media apps, does list an age requirement in its terms of service stating that no one younger than 13 years old should have an account. Statistics show that over 290 million people use Snapchat daily, and a lot of them are tweens and teens, despite the app's age limit. In fact, a recent study showed that 82% of U.S. teens use Snapchat at least once a month while 36% say it is their favorite social media platform. This was before the TikTok boom, but it still stands to reason that many kids are still using Snapchat.

Read more
Why do kids eat boogers? How to stop this nasty behavior
Boogers don't taste good, so why do kids eat them?
A young girl picking her nose with her mother in the background looking grossed out.

On the one hand, children are adorable, beautiful, sweet, and of course, funny. Yet, on the other hand, kids are pretty gross. The things your sweet child sneaks by you can also be super disgusting. Ask any teacher. One of the most cringe-worthy things kiddos do is eat their boogers. Every child does it. You may not remember it, but if you asked your parents, they’ll say they caught you a time or two trying your own nose boogs.

Why do kids eat boogers in the first place? It seems like don't eat your snot is something parents should never have to say. Well, children are weird and will try anything if left unattended. You always encourage your child to try new things and unfortunately, the taste of their boogers is on the list. Most parents, though, don't want their kids experimenting with the taste of boogers. So, let us help you get your child’s nose picking (and taste testing) under control by understanding why kids eat boogers in the first place.

Read more