While summer vacation is the perfect time to travel with your kids, it also presents specific challenges, especially as a single parent. It’s important to know your legal obligations when taking your children on vacation, especially when leaving the country. Our skilled team of Calgary lawyers provide their tips on how to safely, and successfully travel with your children this summer.
Ensure everyone’s passports and documentations are up-to-date. It’s important to note that when traveling to certain countries your passport cannot be less than three months until expiry. Be sure to check the rules and regulations for your destination (including layovers). Check in and print your boarding passes ahead of time. This will help move things along at the airport and not waste time standing in line. Additionally, some airlines, especially in Europe) charge a fee for printing your boarding pass at the airport. Additionally, if you, or your kids have recently changed your last name, ensure it’s correct on all your identification to ensure there are no hold ups.
Provide Your Ex With All Relevant Information
Make sure to bring any travel authorizations for your kids. The only time you can travel freely with your children is if you have a Parenting Plan, Separation Agreement, or Court Order in place stating that you do not need the other parties permission to travel with your children. It’s important to carry a copy of this agreement at all times when traveling. You are also required to provide the other party with your travel information, including flight details, and the address and contact of where you will be staying. A detailed literary will give each parent piece of mind during your vacation.
Parenting Access During Travel
It’s a good idea to faciliate telephone, or Facetime access between your children and the other party. Allow your kids to have quiet time talking to their other parent. Try to arrange this in a location that will not be too distracting for your children. Let them know they can Facetime, text, or call the other parent at any point during the trip. Then follow through on this commitment.
Keep A Travel Journal
This should be age appropriate for your kids. They may choose to draw pictures of their new surroundings or include words to decribe their journey. Allow them to be creative – as you want them to enjoy this task and not think of it as work. This will serve many purposes: education, practice observing the world around them, keep memories and share with their other parent when they arrive home.
If A Child Is Travelling Alone
Confirm with the airline if they will need to arrange for an escort or supervisor. This is usually age dependent. Find out the age limit for unaccompanied children. You should be prepared to stay at the airport until your child’s flight have departed. Even if you have to wait on the other side of security. Ensure the person picking up your child has all their travel information. They can check for delayed flights and provide the airline with ID for reference. Finally, help your child pack their luggage so they can easily access games and snacks. Remember, no liquids. If appropriate, provide them with some money to buy snacks once they get through security.
If you are planning to travel with your kids this summer and need a travel authorization, connect with us. We are happy to help you enjoy a fun and safe summer vacation.