How to Go On a Safe Family Vacation During COVID-19

people attending an event during COVID and following safety protocols

It’s the holiday season, and a family trip can lighten the mood and bring the family closer together. But even though it’s long past time to embark on travels together, you first need to make sure that your upcoming trip doesn’t involve any health or safety risks due to COVID-19. Especially since it can be challenging to keep track of which measures apply locally and under which conditions you are allowed to fly internationally, proper preparation for the new traveling has become key.

We’ve collected the best recommendations on planning and preparing a safe and carefree travel journey.

Check travel requirements early enough

Before embarking on your trip, you should know exactly what travel conditions you must comply with and prepare adequately for those. Some countries, for example, simply measure body temperature at the airport, others require a negative COVID-19 test result or even a few days of isolation. Again other countries ask for a complete vaccination certificate. As a result of COVID-19, many countries demand a health form from those entering the country. Your airline or the national authorities will help you find out the exact regulations that apply locally.

Also, you need to determine what exactly you need to carry onboard. For example, some airports and airlines only allow surgical masks or P95-masks, while others ask for a completed health form before entering the gate area.

Know which COVID-19 test you need for embarking

If a negative test result is required, research exactly what type of test you need and when. In Brazil, for example, it is mandatory to get a PCR test not more than 72 hours before arrival in the country.

The two most commonly demanded tests are antigen tests and PCR. Antigen tests detect proteins from the surface of the virus particles in people infected with the coronavirus. While the antigen test results appear more quickly, there is a likelihood of a false negative result. The PCR test detects the genetic material inside a SARS-CoV-2 virus particle that causes COVID-19, which allows for a highly reliable test result. However, if you have recently tested positive but your isolation time has already stopped, this test may still be positive. That’s why it might be a good idea to take some time off and self-isolate before departure.

When the time comes, usually a few hours before departure, it’s time to have the family tested through. Many test providers differentiate themselves based on the time it takes to get a clear test result. Make sure to schedule the test early enough to receive the result before departure. AllClear Healthcare also allows for last-minute testing, processing both PCR and antigen tests within minutes.

What to consider before departure

If you test negative and show no COVID-19 symptoms, it is time to head for the airport.

Due to the new health and safety rules, there may be delays at the airport during check-in, at the security gate, and later during onboarding. Therefore, please allow enough time at the airport. We recommend at least one and a half hours before domestic flights and two and a half hours before international flights. If you are not sure, it is better to ask your airline. The staff will give you information about the best time to arrive at the airport. Make sure to bring all required travel documents, including your passport, visa, migration forms, and test results.

How to travel safely around your destination

Once you land at your destination, it’s time to leave the stress behind and enjoy your holiday. Nevertheless, always be careful and don’t put your family in risky situations.

Make sure your hotel incorporates adequate hygiene measures. We advise you to book local transportation like buses well in advance to avoid crowds and long lines or, instead, travel privately with cars and taxis. In addition, stay informed about local case rates and safety measures. Most countries will require wearing masks in public areas, but nations like Germany demand rapid testing and a vaccination card to enter public buildings.

Always avoid close contact with strangers, disinfect your hands regularly, and make sure your children wash their hands repeatedly as well. And, before going back, you should check again what measures (isolation, test, etc.) you need to fulfill for your home destination.

Although you have to consider some diverse factors when traveling during COVID-19, nothing stops you from planning a vacation with your family. Those who do their research in advance will have a pleasant, smooth, and safe trip.

Are you planning your next family trip and need a test result before departure? AllClear Healthcare tests you and your loved ones safely, reliably, and quickly.