It is very tough for a parent to let the child travel alone. The decision to allow this is personal and quite difficult in most cases. Parents do wonder about how to properly protect children when travelling alone. That can be difficult, especially since most parents are highly protective.
Various alone trips can appear for children of different ages. This includes the situations when studying abroad and when visiting grandparents. We also have trips where children go with someone else like travelling with grandparents or with classmates.
Unfortunately, according to statistics highlighted by Groth & Associates, many parents have no real idea what to do. This is a highly complex topic and many things can be said. However, the following tips are more important than others.
Completely Understand And Know Transportation Rules And Regulations
There are different regulations about children that travel alone. This includes regulations respected by airlines and other public transportation options. As an example, in most cases the general airline policy is to only allow children over 5 to travel alone. Always know everything about the regulations.
The Importance Of Documentation
When a child travels alone or accompanied by someone else than the parent, if a medical treatment will be needed it will be difficult to do it since consent delays are going to appear. The adults that travel with the children are not the legal guardians so medical staff will not be allowed to respect what they say.
Be sure that you have a specific notarized consent that offers permission to authorize possible necessary medical treatments. That is even necessary when children travel with really close family members and friends.
When Parents Are Divorced
It will be a little complicated when the parents are divorced. That is especially the case when travelling abroad. It is important to talk with the embassy or with a tourist office about the topic. Generally speaking, notarized documents are needed and proper adult identification is necessary for who picks up children.
In many countries the visitors need to have a valid passport issued over 6 months in the past from when entering. Differences can appear though so you should be aware of passport requirements when travelling to any other country. Do not assume that things are always the same or that regulations did not change since the last travel.
Understanding Travel Insurance
Last but not least, you should never allow the child to travel alone domestically or internationally without having the proper travel insurance. At the same time, do not believe that your own personal health insurance policy will cover the child. We normally have coverage that appears for the guide or the school when children travel in organized groups but different conditions will apply.
Before the child leaves you have to basically know everything about travel and health insurance policies that are going to apply. This is necessary in the event the child ends up sick or injured. No parent wants to think about this but it is always needed.