Traveling solo with your kids? Here are some resources and tips to make it fun and hassle free.
Single parents traveling with their children have special needs and few in the travel industry cater to them.
Ask your own travel agent to keep an eye open for "single parent weekends" and other special programs organized by resorts, such as the Hyatt in Beaver Creek, Colorado and some of the Club Med properties, which run these from time to time. A good online resource with advice and information on some upcoming single parent vacations is found at www.singleparentravel.net.
Many issues may arise when traveling alone with your kids (and their friends). In order to avoid any question of impropriety, we offer some advice for all parents traveling solo with kids.
Prepare The Paperwork
We suggest that parents carry copies of both the child's birth certificate as well as your marriage license or divorce papers (if you use different last names), as well as a notarized Parental Permission letter if required by your destination.
Because of demand from subscribers, Family Travel Forum has worked with the airlines and the National Notary Association to create a standard sample "Parental Permission to Travel" letter, as well as a "Medical Treatment Authorization" letter. Read this story to learn more about these essential documents and dowload copies of the required forms.
Carry Copies of Everything
As traveling parents, we have found a marriage license helpful in establishing health and car insurance coverage, particularly in Florida where proof of coverage is required to decline the hefty Collision Damage Waiver fees on rental cars.
Additionally, the new air travel security regulations since September 11th mean extra copies for every traveler of e-ticket itineraries and ID (even if it's just a child's library or school ID card). Several states are encouraging non-drivers to get government issued IDs by allowing them to apply for a low cost license-lookalike form with a personal photo that certifies identity.
Safe & Sound
With his passport and identification indicating the hotel at your destination, your child should also carry a copy of his birth certificate. In addition, we recommend that adults traveling with minors other than their own, request parents to provide written medical authorization and a copy of the guest child's insurance coverage policy in case of medical emergency.
Kids Who Fly Alone
And if you thought you had worries about being a single parent and traveling with your children, imagine how your child will feel when they're flying on their own! Higher divorce rates have contributed to the increase in the number of airline passengers under 18 who travel without an adult escort.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.