Covid-19 has placed great uncertainty on many expat families' half term school holiday plans. With almost every country changing their travel restrictions, quarantine rules, etc. in response to a very fluid situation, a lot of expats are confused about their autumn half term plans.
Many expat families use this break to visit family back home or take a much-needed holiday. Therefore, it is wise to keep in mind that, as some countries are warning about a second wave of coronavirus infections as they head into winter, this half term break may be very different from the previous ones.
So, what is the best course of action with the kids' half term school holidays looming and the world in travel turmoil?
Staying home would be the safest option, if it is possible for your family to remain in your adopted country. For some parents, having to work from home while staying at home, and keeping the kids occupied away from crowds may be challenging but it will eliminate any added risks to contracting the coronavirus while travelling.
If you're lucky enough to have a house with outdoor space, try some backyard games to increase kids' physical activity and add some novel ways to burn off excess energy. Perhaps you can pitch a tent and have a backyard camping trip. Or you could set up a backyard movie theatre and enjoy all your favourite movies with all the snacks you can eat.
If the weather permits, host some backyard family barbecues. The novelty of eating outdoors will add to the excitement of the meal.
When you have to stay inside, dust off those board games and get those competitive muscles working.
While keeping safe social distancing, you could explore your town's hiking trails and local museums. View your town or city through new eyes and appreciate all the local attractions.
Take a local road trip and enjoy the scenery. There may be many roadside attractions for some selfies.
Make use of online resources for some excitement. There are many websites that offer virtual tours to museums, some host exercise or dance classes on the Internet, others have live cooking classes for you to try new recipes. The list is endless so use your imagination to energise the kids.
Finding creative ways to keep the kids occupied during a staycation will also allow you to spend some quality time with them to foster stronger bonds.
In some cases, you will prefer to travel either because you will leave the kids with their grandparents for example, or because staying in your everyday space is not convenient. In that case, below are some tips to keep the family safe:
The more exposure to the outside world, the more risk you get to contracting Covid-19. Therefore, you should make sure that you are covered by travel insurance (and double check that it covers the Covid-19 risks). You should also consider your options in case you contract the coronavirus disease while on holiday.
Don’t forget the safety precautions:
When the holiday is over and you return to your adopted country, be sure to know what the latest rules are with regard to testing, quarantine and self-isolation.
Will the kids be able to go straight back to school or will they have to stay at home to quarantine? In case of self-isolation, what are the consequences for them in terms of home-schooling? Will you have to make work arrangements?
Keep in mind that these guidelines are constantly being amended in response to infection rates in each country so be sure to double check!
Remember when you travel on holiday with good coronavirus-safety habits you make your school holiday less risky for everyone and can enjoy a healthy and fun time.
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