Traveling with children soon? You may have already taken care of your plane ticket or cruise deposit but be sure you have the correct documents before turing to the airport or cruise port and risk being denied boarding.
Documents Needed for International Travel with Kids
Traveling overseas with your baby? Be sure they have a valid passport as passports are required regardless of age. Here is an easy guide to applying for your child’s passport here.
If you are traveling internationally with a child without one or both parents you may be required to provide proof of consent. Some countries require this while others don’t but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Cruise lines also require this form or one found on their website. I traveled to Italy with my daughter without my husband and while Delta Airlines didn’t ask me for a consent letter when checking in for our flight Royal Caribbean requested one when embarking the ship. The agent really looked through my letter and we would have been turned away if we didn’t have one. You can make a free travel consent form here.
If you have sold custody of the child you will need to provide proof of this in the form of:
- Court order granting sole legal custody
- Judicial declaration of incompetence of the non-present parent
- Death certificate of the non-present parent
- Certified copy of the child’s birth certificate listing you as the only parent
- Certified copy of an adoption decree listing you as the only parent
Documents Needed for Domestic Travel with Kids
Children under the age of 18 traveling on domestic flights do not need to show identification. However, if they’re traveling as a lap child the airline has the right to ask for proof of age. The most accepted forms are a birth certificate or passport. Some airlines also allow immunization records as a form of ID but double check with the airline.
I have yet to be asked for ID for my children but I carry their passports with me each time to be safe. Once at the airport I saw a very angry parent get turned away when the he couldn’t provide proof of age for his lap child. The gate agents would only allow him to board the flight with his daughter if he paid for a ticket for her on the spot since he could not prove she was under 2. Not only is buying a plane ticket the day of expensive, there is no guarantee the flight will have available seats to purchase.