Responsible travel with kids during the pandemic
While travel has been heavily restricted since March 2020, sometimes taking a flight is unavoidable. So, what precautions do you need on a trip with children during the coronavirus pandemic?
Get them flight ready
Flying during the pandemic looks and feels a bit different, so it pays to prepare kids well ahead of time about what they can expect. Explain to younger children that all older kids and adults will be wearing masks at all times and that they won’t be able to move around the cabin, except when using the bathroom. Remind them that it’s important to maintain physical distancing where possible and to stay close to their parents when at the airport.
Pack snacks and water
Finnair still provides a meal service on short and long haul service, but it’s a good idea to bring extra snacks for hungry young travelers. Make sure they’re kept in a bag stored beneath the seat in front of you, so you can avoid getting up and down to open the overhead locker. Good options include dried fruit, crackers and cheese. Be sure to keep some for yourself too. It’s also a good idea to bring water for everyone. Pack a reusable water bottle and fill it up once you are through airport security. This will cut down on the need to interact with cabin crew when the little ones get thirsty.
It’s always a good idea to have some alternative entertainment to hand, just in case. While the obvious option might be games and favorite shows downloaded to smartphones and tablets, card games that children can play with each other, coloring books, magazines and small toys will also keep them occupied and ensure peace prevails if they’re prone to arguing.
Wipes, sanitizer and headphones
Although each cabin is cleaned rigorously between flights, and you will receive a new Finnair Clean Kit on each flight, it’s helpful to bring antibacterial wipes so you can clean any surface that the kids have touched, as well as their hands, before and after they enjoy those in-flight snacks. This will reduce the need to move around the cabin and visit the bathroom to wash their hands.
Tray tables and seat backs will have been cleaned before you board, but for extra peace of mind you can also wipe them down during your flight. Hand sanitizer should be used frequently too. If the kids (or you) want to watch in–flight entertainment, you may want to bring headphones for everyone.
Check local guidelines in your destination
Entry requirements and quarantine guidelines are changing all of the time, so make sure that you know the rules at your destination before you and your family board. Many countries now require negative PCR tests, so make sure these are undertaken prior to departure and that you have proof that every passenger you are responsible for is negative for Covid–19.
Look out for mask exemptions
Children under 7 do not have to wear masks on Finnair flights. However, mask rules vary at different airports and destinations, with children as young as two required to wear them in some countries.
It’s a good idea to pack enough masks for everyone you’re traveling with, just to be sure you are not caught out by a change in regulations between your departure and arrival.