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How to travel safely during your summer family vacation this year

It all might take some extra planning, but man - doesn't a vacation sound good?

FORT WORTH, Texas — Summer vacation: a chance to kick back and relax with your family. And after the past year, boy, do parents and kids deserve it!

Fort Worth-based travel agent Sydney Patterson told WFAA families are calling daily for guidance on where to go and what to do this summer.

"It's just exciting to see people make memories again," Patterson said.

But knowing we're still in a pandemic and wanting to keep our kids and ourselves safe has Patterson giving some additional advice.

"It's so important to do your research, so when you get there, you're not surprised, you're not shocked," she said of when people pick a vacation spot.

That research should include:

  • Calling the hotel directly for updated guidance
  • Understanding local COVID-19 protocols
  • Knowing whether you'll need negative tests to return home

"Preventing the spread can be done, as long as parents are smart and really incorporate safety practices into their vacation plans," said Dr. Becky Garner, who runs UT Arlington's undergraduate public health program. That means masking as often as possible and staying away from large groups.

She said thinking through every aspect of the trip is crucial.

"Anticipating things you might not think about," Garner explained. "So, for example, if you're going to be traveling in a car, think about where you're going to be stopping for gas, where you're going to stop for lunch."

And if you're planning to vacation with other families, which can pose a risk for unvaccinated children, make sure their protocols match yours.

It all might take some extra planning, but man - doesn't a vacation sound good?