We continue to discuss the most popular myths about travelling in a pandemic. One of the questions that most often arises in public space is whether it is worth travelling with children now. We will answer some of the most frequent questions in this article and also provide a handful of tips that will make the journey not only safe but also calm and pleasant.
However, before we move on to useful tips about travelling with children during a pandemic, we encourage you to read our other articles about travelling during the pandemic in the Safe Travel news section.
A pandemic has turned the world upside down, but one thing we are sure of is that travel is a part of life that cannot be given up. Travel not only broadens our horizons but also allows us to gain new experiences. What's more, travelling with children also provides an opportunity for education.
Do children have to wear a mask on the plane?
When travelling with your child during a pandemic, you will most likely not notice major changes, because not much has changed. Surely many parents ask themselves: do children have to wear masks while travelling? The answer to this question however is not so clear, because everything depends on the age of the child and the airline.
According to the recommendations of the EU Aviation Safety Agency, children under 6 years of age are exempt from wearing masks on board. This rule was adopted by the vast majority of airlines. There are also nice exceptions, for example, Irish airline Ryanair allows children under 12 years of age to travel by plane without a mask. Before each trip, we recommend checking the rules of the chosen airline regarding the rules concerning the use of mask wearing.
Should a child have a location card?
What other changes are waiting for those travelling with children? One new obligation is the necessity to fill in a location card, which we have discussed before in our article about safety in planes.
Again, the question arises whether a child should have a completed location card? The answer to this question is also ambiguous. Most airlines are required to follow the country-specific guidelines for location cards.
In the vast majority of countries, children under the age of 14 do not have to have a separate location card because they should be entered in the card of one of the parents. There are exceptions to this rule, although they are unlikely to be encountered when travelling in Europe.
What to take with you on a journey with a child during a pandemic?
The list does not differ significantly from the one from before the pandemic, but there will certainly be two things needed - a mask (if the child is older than 6 years old) and antibacterial gel or wipes. The wipes may be a preferable solution for children as they contain antibacterial agents and are better suited for sensitive skin. It is also worth having two types of wipes - one for the hands and the other for disinfecting surfaces that a child may touch.
How to prepare your child for traveling during pandemic?
Travelling is usually a fun activity for a child, but it is also worth preparing for it in order to avoid nervous situations:
- Involve your child in the planning - participation in the preparation of the trip will make your child familiar with the topic and less stressful.
- Inspire your child - before the trip remind your child of the characters from various fairy tales who had to travel to reach their destination. This procedure will be an excuse to prepare your child for a long time spent in the means of transport.
- Take care of the entertainment - regardless of whether you are going on a long or short journey, providing entertainment for your child is extremely important. Nothing spoils the mood more than boredom. Come up with fun games that will involve your child in paying attention to the things that will surround them during the journey. For example, when traveling by plane, show your child what the sky and clouds look like from the window.
- Tell your child about the safety rules - tell them in an interactive way what the new travel rules are, i.e. why they can't touch everything around them, why they need a mask and why it's worth keeping a social distance.