With its borders opening to vaccinated travellers on May 1, family favourite Cyprus could now be one of the first places we can travel to. But beware. Travelling with kids in tow amid travel uncertainty has its moments. As Claire Irvin found out… 1. You’ll need to keep your options open As a travel journalist, there have been many experiences I’ve looked forward to sharing with my family. #MyFirstPandemic certainly wasn’t one of them. On the upside, we certainly travelled the globe together in planning last October’s half term break – from our abandoned attempt to visit friends in the States, to a last-minute cancellation to Sicily, when borders closed days before we were due to leave, to leaving a man overboard when work got in the way of daddy’s long coveted annual leave (thanks Covid). With Turkey and Crete also options, we’d had numerous holidays in our heads without even leaving the front room. With the hours ticking even faster than my list of no gos (Turkey got caught fixing its figures, Crete predicted 12°C and rain all week), Cyprus emerged as a front runner. Even with a new amber listing, the island seemed to be doing a good job of managing its cases, and was testing on arrival too (what joy, the kids, aged under 12 were exempt) – the only question was why we hadn’t been as a family before. Cyprus has been the scene of many personal firsts. First holiday without my parents. First (of many) girls trips. First work trip. First sunshine holiday with my now husband. Why not “first trip under restrictions”, too? 2. You’re going to need back up With my energy flagging, it was time to call in expert help from tour operator Sovereign Luxury Travel. Previously filed in my head as a holiday “nice to have”, in a world that doesn't make sense, tour operators absolutely do. And with many now offering unprecedented booking flexibility (Sovereign, for example, has also launched two new initiatives in response to the pandemic: Travel with Confidence and Book with Confidence), it’s their expert support that comes into its own when baffling policy changes and tricksy administration mean you need to pivot your holiday plans. They addressed the “where” (three options for family luxury of the type I’d outlined), the “how” (no-nonsense instructions on timing and booking testing, and a simple checklist for required paperwork) and the “why” (from making soothing noises to the “should we even be doing this” niggles that had begun to feature in my frazzled thoughts).