Preparing for international travel with children

This year has been busy from the start, but that business won't slow down any time soon. My husband and I will be traveling internationally in September, without our three children, but then in December, I will be traveling internationally, just myself and our three children. Preparing myself to travel as an adult, wasn't very difficult, but preparing the necessary documents in order for our children to travel internationally has proven to be more complicated than I had anticipated.

Passports

Whether you're going to Canada or Columbia, you will need a passport, regardless of age. Children are no exception and each child must have their own passport before being permitted to travel internationally. A minor applying for a passport must submit a DS 3053 form with all of the required documentation and appear in person with both parents or legal guardians. A child's passport is usually only good for five years.

Permission to travel

Because I will be traveling internationally alone with my three children, I must have a notarized letter from my husband giving permission for the children to travel internationally. This letter must include the dates of travel, the accompanying adult's full name (in this case, mine), each child's full name as well as my husbands full name, address and contact information. This letter must be notarized or it may not be accepted and a child may be denied travel.

Identification

In addition to a passport, many countries require other forms of identification for minors traveling internationally, even with a parent. It is a good idea for parents to have birth certificates and government issued ID cards for each child readily available. These documents may not be necessary, but they may be and without them, a minor may be denied travel.

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