International travel is more popular than ever, but there are still many instances where people make mistakes that could end up having disastrous consequences. When traveling with a minor who may or may be not be your child, there are some precautions that you should take to ensure you are doing everything you can to keep them safe. In this article, we will be discussing some of the most important things to do when traveling with a minor to ensure that your trip goes smoothly.
How to travel with minors safely
When traveling abroad with a minor, there are several things that you should do to ensure both your safety and that of the minor and to ensure that the trip goes smoothly. Below is a detailed breakdown of some of the things that you should do when traveling with a minor:
Have all the documents
When traveling with a (child) minor who is not your own child, you should always have all of the necessary documents when traveling. Have copies of all relevant documents of both the minor and yourself. For example, have their passport, valid visa if required from that country, and any legal guardianship documents. You should also carry copies of their birth certificate and vaccination records.
Have a minor consent form
When traveling with a minor, you should always have their minor travel consent form that is completed carefully and signed by their parents or guardian with you. You should keep this form with you at all times. It is a good idea to also have one copy of the form on your phone, just in case you are required to present it to a court of law or a law enforcement officer.
Check the safety and security of your target country
It is good to check whether your target country is safe and has adequate security. This is especially true for countries regarded as high risk to visit or even those in war zones or other conflict zones. Make sure to check with the local authorities if these are the destinations that you intend to visit.
Make sure to follow all the rules and regulations of your target country
When traveling to a foreign country, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are abiding by all the rules of the country. You should take time to read up on the laws and regulations of your destination country before you depart. You should also be familiar with local laws and customs. Many countries have certain laws or customs that may not be so acceptable in your home country. You should never assume your laws or customs to be the only way.
Get world travel insurance
When traveling abroad with a minor, you should always have a travel insurance policy. These are typically available from most travel agencies or online. World travel insurance policies will cover you for whatever happens on your trip, such as medical expenses, losing luggage, or other traveling mishaps. They will also typically cover a few days of accommodation for delays in your travel plans due to things such as weather conditions or sickness.
Check the visa requirements for your target country
When traveling to abroad, you should always check visa requirements for the target country you will visit. The majority of countries have different rules and regulations for visas and when it comes to minors, make sure to check with the particular embassy or consulate that you will be applying to.
Book your accommodation in advance
Before traveling, you should always book your accommodation in advance. This is especially true if you are traveling during peak seasons. If you do not have other alternative but to book last-minute travel, then make sure that the place you are staying has enough security and is safe. If at all possible, stay and keep the child with you in areas that are well lit, and do not be afraid to ask about nearby restaurants and other shops for a quick exit if need be.
Be extra cautious if you are traveling with a child
When traveling with a minor, you should always be careful as there are many dangers that could arise. These dangers can include kidnapping, sexual assault, and exploitation of minors. When traveling with a minor, you should always make sure that they are safe. However, if something happens to the minor while you are on your trip, you should report it immediately to the local authorities and provide them with any information regarding what happened to investigate further.
When walking with your child on a busy street, make sure to always hold their hand. You may also consider carrying them on a carrier if they are three years or below.
Another thing that you can do to help keep your child safe when traveling with them is to attach your contact information and instruct them on what to do in case they get lost. Along with the number to call, make sure to include the address of your hotel or where you will be staying, directions to the hotel, and the hotel’s contact number.
You may also consider giving them some money to help them use available means of transport in case they get lost. Also, you may give them a whistle to blow in case they get lost and are still nearby.
Tips to travel with minors
Here are some tips that you should take into consideration when traveling with a minor:
It is very important that you always keep in contact with each other, even if you will be apart for a short period of time. You should always update each other on the situation and make sure that you are both safe.
Know the nearest hospital and their emergency medical number
While traveling, you should always make sure that you have a nearby hospital number and contact address in case your child gets sick or needs immediate medical attention. This is especially important for children under the age of six or those that have health issues such as asthma. Before starting to travel with a minor, you should always check with the embassy of your target country to find out about their healthcare facilities. Also, make sure that you have an emergency medical number in case of an emergency.
Carry medical supplies
When traveling with a child, you should always carry some basic medical supplies to help with any accidents or illnesses that may befall them while you are on your trip. These medical supplies include bandages, anti-diarrhea tablets, anti-allergic and pain relief medicines, and emergency water purification tablets. You may also carry mosquito repellants, sun cream, anti-bacterial soap, and cleaning wipes.
Watch how you enter and exit vehicles
Whenever you are entering or exiting a vehicle, make sure that you have the child with you and ensure that they are safely secured in your arms or in the car seat. Also, make sure that your child is not left behind when exiting the vehicle. Always ensure that the child boards the vehicle first.
Have a safety plan in place
Before travelling, make sure that you have a safety plan in place for your child or children. You should have this planned out before leaving so that everything can go smoothly even in case of unexpected circumstances when the time comes for you to travel.
Travel with a minor can be fun, but it also comes with various risks and dangers. The best way to ensure the safety of your minor is to have everything planned out ahead of time. You should set up a meeting point before you leave home and make sure that you are able to keep in contact with the person who will be responsible for your child or children.