Flying With Minors: Documents to Have
It’s a wonderful thing for a child to experience a new culture, especially when it involves traveling to another country. Whether it’s part of a school trip, or a family vacation, it’s beneficial for minors to experience new languages, customs, and history. In order to make sure that your trip takes place without any issues, it’s important to have the proper documentation for the minor in your care.
Child Travel Consent
A Child Travel Consent letter is a form that gives permission for a minor to travel with an adult. Generally, they are used when the adult they are traveling with is not their parent, but that’s isn’t always the case.
You may need a Child Travel Consent letter if:
· You are a teacher travelling with students on a school trip.
· You are a family member traveling with a minor, but you are not the parent.
· You are a parent, but are not the primary guardian of the child.
· You are a parent, but have a different last name than the minor.
· Your child will be traveling alone.
· You are the temporary caregiver of a child and are planning a trip.
· A friend of your child will be travelling with your family on a vacation.
A Child Travel Consent form details where the minor will be going, how long the trip will be, and the contact information for the parent. It basically states that the parent is aware that their child is traveling, and who they are traveling with, and that they give their permission.
This form is essential when traveling out of the country. Often when traveling with a child who does not have the same last name as you, proof that you are allowed to travel with them will be requested by staff at the airport or travel terminal that you are leaving from.
This is to ensure that no minors leave the country without the express permission of their parents. Don’t take offense if you get asked to provide documentation that states you may travel with the child. Instead, remember that it is for their protection, and yours, while travelling abroad.
Child Medical Consent
In addition to a Child Travel Consent form, you may also wish to have a Child Medical Consent letter. This form allows you to make medical decisions on behalf of the parent or guardian in case of an emergency while travelling.
Although you may assume that if there is an accident you will be able to get in contact with the parent, remember that you’ll likely be dealing with a time difference, as well as potential communication issues. It’s best to be prepared, instead of wishing you had been.
Even if the minor in your care will only be traveling for a short time, such as a week, it’s still important to plan for emergencies.
Information for Parents
As a parent, you may be concerned about giving someone permission to take your child out of the country, or to make medical decision on your behalf. These documents are only valid for the timeframe that you set, so the chaperone is only allowed to travel with and make decisions for your child during the specified dates. By completing a Child Travel Consent and Child Medical Consent, you are not giving up your parental rights.
Once the minor has returned, the chaperone no longer has rights to travel with, or make medical decisions for, your son or daughter.
Not only will having the proper documentation allow you to have peace of mind, it can also help to ensure that your son or daughter has the trip that they were dreaming of. Instead of having to turn around at the gate because of a lack of necessary information, they’ll be stepping onto the plane to begin a memorable, and exciting adventure.