How to Travel Safely as a Family during COVID-19
Eager to plan your next family holiday abroad, but concerned over how everyone can stay healthy after COVID-19? This post-pandemic safe family travel guide is for you!
As the world takes tentative steps to resume global travel after COVID-19, we should be mentally prepared that family trips will require more planning than before. Countries do differ on their public health recommendations, and as responsible visitors, we should abide by their guidelines.
We should also bear in mind that COVID-19 has impacted everyone differently. Many have experienced isolation, fear, and loss, and during our travels, we may encounter individuals who are struggling in ways that we do not understand.
While it is important to stay alert and safe, let us not forget to view one another with compassion. By opening our hearts, we can continue to celebrate the diversity of our planet, and the joys of discovering new places and people.
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Choose a Safe Destination for Your Family Vacation
Researching your trip is the first thing that you should do, if you want to pull off a successful family vacation! But before you settle on a travel destination, do have a quick look at the country’s entry requirements.
These pandemic (or post-pandemic) travel regulations may include the following:
- Border closures and lockdown measures.
- Specific entry requirements, e.g. a vaccination certificate or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. (Learn about the different types of COVID-19 tests.)
- Quarantine procedures upon arrival. A quarantine may be between seven and 14 days, depending on your destination.
- do also check for “travel bubbles” or “green zones,” which are special arrangements between countries to waive quarantine requirements.
- Mask requirements on your flight, as well as on land.
- Exemptions to the above, e.g. for young children and those with medical conditions. There may also be the option to use face shields instead.
Below, you can find information on the entry guidelines of countries that you might be interested to visit. These are the preferred destinations of guests who have stayed at properties in the Pan Pacific Hotels Group:
- Bangladesh (For updated information, please contact the Bangladesh mission in your country.)
- China (For updated information, please contact the Chinese embassy in your country.)
- Malaysia (For updated information, please contact the Malaysian mission in your country.)
- United Kingdom
- Vietnam (For updated information, please contact the Vietnamese embassy/consulate in your country.)
If you are travelling with children or unvaccinated family members, you may want to limit your vacation choices to destinations that have a travel bubble or green zone arrangement with your country—these are likely to be countries with similar health guidelines as your own. Furthermore, between countries with “friendly” arrangements, quarantine requirements will be waived or at least reduced. Thus, you can begin enjoying your family holiday as soon as possible!
Buy COVID-19 Travel Insurance for the Family
In this new era of global health precautions, travel insurance is a must. Some countries like Singapore have even made it mandatory for incoming visitors to have adequate health insurance coverage for COVID-19 medical treatment and hospitalisation costs.
Your first priority when purchasing travel insurance should be to ensure coverage for trip cancellations. Beyond border closures, do check with your insurer about their policies covering travel advisories. After all, you might prefer to postpone your family trip if your country is discouraging—but not restricting—travel to your intended destination.
During these times, you may even prefer to have the flexibility to cancel your trip for any reason, and not just COVID-19. However, do note that insurance packages that offer broader cancellation policies may provide lower reimbursements, and they may also cost more.
Other essential aspects of your COVID-19 family travel insurance should include:
- Overseas medical consultation and treatment coverage
- Overseas hospitalisation coverage
- Overseas quarantine coverage (if you should test positive for COVID-19 during your travels)
- Repatriation cost coverage
- Trip curtailment coverage
Book a Family-Friendly Hotel, where Safety Comes First
To protect the health and safety of your family during your travels, look for a trusted global hotel brand such as the Pan Pacific Hotels Group. Our staff are knowledgeable about the latest changes in COVID-19 travel guidelines, and they too can advise you on what you will need to prepare for your trip.
If you are considering one of our hotels, please be assured that our Pan Pacific, PARKROYAL COLLECTION and PARKROYAL properties adhere to strict health and safety measures.
Our cleaning protocols are also aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. We use healthcare-grade disinfectants that are certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency to be effective against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
For a better idea of what we do to protect our guests, watch our video below:
Pack Essential Items for Health and Safety
As you pack for your family vacation, consider including the following items for the family:
A digital thermometer for checking everyone’s temperature daily.
Disposable or reusable masks to last the entire trip—you may wish to mask up even if your host city does not have a strict mask policy. The ideal mask is breathable, while offering adequate protection against COVID-19. (Surgical masks are a good option.)
A hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60% and 95% are more effective at killing germs.
Disinfectant wipes for cleaning surfaces. For proper disinfection, your wipes should contain 70% isopropyl alcohol or 60% ethanol.
You can also check with your hotel concierge if any of these items will be provided for you during your stay. At our Pan Pacific Hotels Group properties, all rooms will include a Pan Pacific Cares pack, which contains a hand sanitiser, sanitised wipes, and face masks that you can use during your sightseeing.
Stay Safe while Sightseeing with Your Family
If you can drive, consider renting a car for the duration of the trip, as this will minimise your family’s exposure to crowds on public transport.
Popular car rental services such as Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz have implemented enhanced cleaning measures due to COVID-19. Before you choose a car rental firm, however, do check that their disinfection and safety protocols give you sufficient reassurance.
If you prefer to get around with public transport, you can plan your sightseeing to avoid crowds. For instance, you can book private tours, or limit sightseeing activities to off-peak hours.
Alternatively, you can fill your itinerary with outdoor activities—which is the healthier option under any circumstance. Simply plan your own walking, hiking, and cycling routes, or keep things stress-free by hiring a tour guide. Depending on where you are, you can also explore minimal-contact adventure sports that the whole family will enjoy, such as surfing or kayaking.
Shop and Dine Safely with Your Family
Should you decide to go shopping with the family, follow the social distancing guidelines in your host city. If in doubt, check with your hotel concierge before heading out.
Before visiting a shopping mall, check on its health and safety practices. Ideally, malls should have some form of thermal scanning or temperature checks for customers at the door.
At mealtimes, choose al fresco dining where possible, and patronise establishments where tables are spaced at least 1.8 to 2 metres apart.
Where to Seek Medical Assistance
Despite our best efforts, we may still fall ill while travelling.
This is why it is important to book your stay with a reputable hospitality brand such as the Pan Pacific Hotels Group. This ensures that you will be well-supported throughout your trip, even if the unexpected should happen.
For guests at our properties, simply alert the hotel concierge that you or someone in your family is ill, and you will get all the assistance and support that you need.
If you need to locate a recognised testing centre, clinic, or hospital in your host city, you can refer to Singapore Airlines’s global COVID-19 clinic guide.
With precautions in place, you and your family can travel the world with peace of mind. We look forward to hosting you at our properties!