A good three months before you travel with kids you should start checking all your travel documents are in order. Not checking your travel documentation is current and/or sufficient could not only cost you more money but also stop you from travelling on your family holiday.
So which travel documents should you have and what should they contain?
A List of Family Travel Documents to Check Off
- Print airline tickets and ensure the names are spelt the same as your passports.
- Check accommodation booking has all essentials including crib and rollaway’s added to the booking confirmation.
- Ensure all passports are up to date and with sufficient blank pages. Passports generally should have at least six months validity from your return date.
- Go to www.passports.gov.au for more passport tips.
- If you are separated, divorced or your children have different surnames than you; take copies of:
- documentation or letter from the absent parent authorising you to take your child
- separation, divorce or custody decree papers
- court order granting guardianship of the child
- birth certificates.
- International certificate of vaccination (if required).
- International drivers license (if required).
- Make 3 copies of all these take 2 sets with you (this is where you should pack them), give the third set to a reliable family member at home and email a copy to yourself.
- Visa requirements.
- To see what visa requirements you need go to smart traveller then choose the appropriate embassy.
- If you are going to the USA then you will need to complete a 1-94W for the “Visa Waiver Program” go to www.dfat.gov.au click embassies, then click US entry requirements.
- Check the entry requirements of your destination if your child is on a parent’s passport.
- Embargos (countries not recommended for travel). Go to smart traveller then choose the appropriate embassy.
- Many countries have recently introduced no or limited electronics on flights. Check your individual airline for further information.
- Take a credit or debit card with your own money deposited into the account.
- If you take money out on credit you will incur high-interest charges.
- Take a small amount of currency of the country you are travelling into.
- Take small notes to purchase tickets for trains, buses and taxis needed on arrival.
- Ensure you retain enough local currency to pay any departure taxes on leaving the country.
- Go to smart traveller then choose the appropriate embassy to see if this applies.
Get travel insurance!!!
- I cannot stress this enough.
- No matter how detailed you travel plans are, there is always a chance that something can go wrong. That is why getting travel insurance is essential! Travel insurance can assist you and your family in situations such as a medical emergency, lost or stolen luggage or sudden cancellations to your travel plans.
- It is also better to get this sooner rather than later. Travel insurance applies from the moment it is purchased and so if due to unforeseen circumstances you have to change your family travel plans then you are covered.
- When you travel as a family make sure you have insurance that will cover you in emergency situations, including medical emergencies, travel cancellations and lost or stolen luggage.
- Take the time to compare travel insurance policies to make sure you get a level of cover that is right for you and your family.
Once your documents are all sorted it’s time think about checking off your pre-travel checklist.
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