Traveling with your children is a great way to encourage family bonding and expand your children’s horizons. When going abroad, it is recommended that you are prepared so that your travels can be smooth and safe. 

Secure Proper Documentation

Obtaining a passport for your child is often the best way to prepare for international travel, but there are other options, as well. Children under the age of 16 can travel abroad to certain countries if you provide their birth certificate, but it is advised that you consider getting a passport for your child before traveling. Doing so can help expedite security checks and ensure your child’s safety. Additionally, when traveling with your child, you should bring proof of your relationship; security officers are always on the lookout for abduction cases, so being able to prove your identity and your relationship to your child will help keep everyone safe.

Talk to Your Children

It is important to communicate openly and honestly with your children before making any international trips. Explain what they can expect from customs including the questions a security officer might ask. If your children are old enough to speak for themselves, you should encourage them to respond to the officers’ questions independently. Be sure to discourage them from making any potentially-alarming or suspicious comments, even as jokes. Make sure that your children are aware of things like where they are going, why they are traveling, and how long the trip will last.

When going through customs, keep your children close, and make sure you can see them at all times. It may be helpful to prepare items to entertain them while you wait.

The Customs Declaration Form

On the plane, your family will receive a customs declaration form that must be filled out prior to arrival. Each family must document the kinds of items being transported into a country to ensure that all items abide by a nation’s restrictions and regulations. It is also important to make sure that everyone in a family is listed on the document. This form will be examined by an immigration agent at the airport.