COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Traveling with children can be difficult enough, but throw in a pandemic, and parents face even more challenges when it comes to planning family trips
While some parents choosing more isolated destinations to avoid crowds of people with their unvaccinated children, others with have kids old enough, they’re encouraging them to roll up their sleeves.
“It’s going to feel just pretty much like a normal vacation, just with a little more takeout, and a little less dining in the restaurants,” admits Harrison Epps, who is planning a trip to Myrtle Beach with his wife and two children.
Parents like Epps are being forced to re-consider how they vacation this summer, knowing less than half the country’s population have been vaccinated.
“There were a lot of times we’d go to some of the boardwalks where there’s a bunch of people milling around, and you can do a bunch of things. Instead of that we’ll probably just stay close to the rental house, go to the beach, play in the pool, stay a little more secluded than we would have in the past,” describes Epps, who has made the trip to Myrtle Beach with his family in the past.
Foregoing flights, Epps and his wife are opting to drive to their family getaway, exercising extreme caution with their two daughters not yet eligible for the vaccine.
“Just to be safe, we’d rather have to not worry about — especially with the 1-year-old, we can’t put a mask on her. She was born a month early so we’re just trying to be extra cautious,” Epps says.
With a resurgence in travel, restrictions for children on domestic trips are relatively limited.
“People are ready to go. People are traveling. And we recommend people travel, just do it safely,” adds Brian McGee, a local travel agent.
However, conditions are lingering for those travelers heading overseas.
“The United States moved to a green country. So, as long as you’re fully vaccinated, you did not need to get a covid-19 test to come over,” says Jessica Warner.
Warner’s family of six arrived in France this month.
Her 14-year-old daughter was required to be vaccinated before arriving in the City of Light.
“We have had some friends who have had family members pass away from COVID-19, so we just thought for our family’s health, for the safety of our community, that getting her vaccinated was the right decision for us,” Warner says.
But with travel guidelines changing daily, restrictions still vary by location.
“You’re allowed to be outside unmasked, [but] I would say probably 30-40% of the population still is wearing their masks outside,” Warner describes.
Many international locations still require a negative COVID-19 test before arriving, and another prior to returning to the United States even if you are fully vaccinated.
Experts encourage travelers to visit travel.state.gov before they book their trips. Travelers can enter a location and obtain all the restriction and recommendation information they need for a particular destination.