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This year, holiday travel doesn't have to be canceled.
Families with plans to travel for vacation or to reunite with loved ones can feel more comfortable doing so knowing that vaccines offer good protection for kids as young as 5.
The CDC has approved Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds and parents waiting to travel with their kids or reunite with loved ones can now breathe a sigh of relief.
Many parents couldn't be happier.
"We had two vacations planned, one in Mexico and one in Europe. I was too nervous to take my unvaccinated 7-year-old so we had to cancel," said Paige Parsells, mother of two in Simi Valley, California. "We are excited to reschedule both trips for 2022 now that the vaccine is available to younger children."
Many families, such as mine with two teenage girls, have had a whole summer of traveling with all of us vaccinated. We took a cruise, went to theme parks and enjoyed indoor dining and indoor shows.
However, Parsells' family highlights one of the struggles many have faced over the last six months: A majority of family members are vaccinated but the youngest members remained vulnerable.
It meant that many people opted to postpone certain trips or opt for safer adventures, such as camping or beach vacations where much of the activities were outdoors.
Many families avoided indoor dining, air travel and large group settings in order to protect their children, but now that children have protection against serious disease and death at a minimum, families feel more comfortable getting on airplanes, eating out and attending larger gatherings such as reunions, weddings and more.
It is welcome news that younger kids who are equally vulnerable to Covid-19 will be able to be vaccinated and families can finally breathe a sigh of relief while traveling and worry less about the pandemic while on the road.
That's not to say there are no precautions to take and timing is everything for holiday travel. Make sure kids have received both doses at least two weeks before a trip, especially if proof of vaccination is required.
Additionally, many places still have Covid-19 restrictions in place, including mask requirements and capacity limits, especially in foreign countries. Be sure to check travel advisories for destinations before leaving.
The best way to ensure that your travel is seamless and safe is to book with a travel advisor who can help families navigate the sometimes messy world of travel during the pandemic.
Janeen Christoff caught the travel bug while living in London, England. After two years on the road, she settled in Los Angeles...
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