How To Travel Overseas (with kids!) During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Is it worth the risk?
Updated: Mar 29
Preparing to go overseas at the best of times can take a decent amount of pre-planning and a list of tasks one needs to accomplish, for example: organise passport, book flights, accommodation, get travel insurance, pack, pack kids bags, and so on.
In our experience, travelling during the C**** pandemic just added a few more ‘to dos’ to the list. We travelled from Melbourne, Australia to Nadi, Fiji. Yes, it’s more work/effort but it’s definitely for a good cause! Was it worth it? Yes! The effort was worth the wonderful holiday and the pros far outweighed those additional ‘cons’.
The extra things to think about for us were:
· Insurance that covered Covid
· Extra PCR & Rapid Tests
· Documentation and vaccination requirements
· Having paperwork (printouts) for the above ready to present at the airport
I don’t want to give any specifics in regard to companies or requirements (costs, testing) in this blog, simply because the rules around these is constantly changing. The good thing is, requirements seem to keep relaxing. Just check the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website, and it’s all outlined there.
Insurance: You currently can’t leave the country without insurance that covers for covid. We would normally use the (complimentary) travel insurance attached to our credit card, however ours was not covering covid related travel expenses. I contacted the Insurance Council of Australia who recommended two companies that covered Covid related travel. We took out the top insurance through one of these companies and it came to about $90 for our family of four. This covered us for about $40,000 per person if we had to quarantine in our hotel (I later heard, it’s $5,000 per day if you do have to isolate, for food, accommodation and the care of a dedicated Wellness Officer). We were required to show proof of our insurance at the check-in desk.
Covid Testing: Depending on when you’re travelling, where you’re travelling from and to will depend on what tests you need (or don’t need). If we did it in the peak of a covid outbreak, you can too! We needed a PCR to leave Australia. A rapid test in Fiji within three days of landing a PCR test to get back into Australia (within 96 hours from leaving) and a rapid test within 24 hours of arrival. Yes, it was a lot, but they’ve since scrapped a few of those tests. When everyone else was waiting 8 hours for testing, we booked a test through Epworth Hospital. The PCR tests weren’t cheap: $400 and something for two of us in Australia and about the same in Fiji. We also had the Australian PCR at the resort in Fiji.
Documentation around vaccinations: Personally, I hate having to ‘show my papers’…and this for me is something that puts me off travel, restaurants and events the most these days!
I think the biggest risk is actually getting Covid and having to isolate in a hotel. I heard there were twenty-five families isolated in the resort we stayed at. The isolation period is down to seven days now. It ultimately depends on how you feel about having to isolate with your family in a hotel room. Personally, the idea of doing it with kids terrifies me. The hotel seemed to really be taking care of those who were isolating and had a designated ‘Wellness Officer’ to buy them personal and medical supplies. I think, (hope) the more this pandemic passes its peak, the less of a risk it is. We went in the absolute peak of covid and we were fine, and so were many others.
In summary, there weren’t too many extra hurdles to jump through. Once arriving at our resort, the extra rigmarole and risk was worth our wonderful holiday.