Traveling with children is usually a little bit more difficult than traveling with yourself. Between packing for an additional person who may just throw everything on the floor, and remembering to bring all of their toys for a peaceful ride, there are additional steps that parents and guardians need to take to ensure a mostly stress-free experience.
According to AAA, traveling while unprepared with proper documentation can easily ruin your vacation and prevent you from arriving at the anticipated location. As such, it is important that parents and guardians realize that there are additional steps that need to be taken when traveling with a child. Trips and destinations vary, and as such, the documentation necessary will vary. So, take a look below at some of the guidelines to follow through on, and cater them to your chosen destination.
Traveling Internationally – All citizens of the United States need to have passports, and that includes people of all ages including infants. Whether you are traveling by cruise ship, air, or automobile, a passport is necessary even if you have discovered that your destination does not ask for it. Emergency reentry, whether you are traveling within North America, necessitates that a passport be provided. It is better safe than sorry.
Traveling With One Parent – A lone adult traveling with a child or minor under the age of 18 needs to have documentation in addition to a passport. In an effort to prevent cases of international child trafficking and parental abduction, proof needs to be made of the adult’s relationship to the child, and permission needs to be given on behalf of the absent parent and signed by a notary public.
Children Who Fly Solo – Many airlines have made changes to their systems to more easily facilitate a child who is traveling alone, in an effort to safely transport children to relatives across the country. The programs will vary depending upon the airline, so it is important to check their unique policies. While in the air, children are under the care of the cabin crew. Most airlines require that an authorized adult escorts the minor to a departure gate, and an authorized adult must take over custody of the minor at the arrival gate.
Though it may feel like these guidelines have been made just to make you life more difficult, it is important to think about how much these laws have benefited children across the country from finding themselves in an awful situation.