Advice for traveling with children in Canada and abroad
Traveling with children in Canada and abroad brings a whole new dimension to travel. To begin with, you will be travelling at your children’s pace, not your own. To ensure a safe and successful trip, keep the following important advice in mind:
- All children require a valid Canadian Passport and supporting identification, such as a birth certificate or citizenship card. Check with the nearest embassy or consulate of each destination country regarding additional entry conditions and documentation (if required), including divorce papers, custody court orders, or a death certificate (if one parent is deceased).
- It is strongly recommended that children travelling along or with one parent carry a consent letter for every trip abroad. It is advisable to have the consent letter certified, stamped, or sealed by an official with the authority to administer an oath or solemn declaration so that the validity of the letter will not be questioned. See www.travel.gc.ca/letter for a sample consent letter.
- Seek advice from a lawyer if a custody dispute might develop while the child is abroad. Custody arrangements in Canada may not be recognized in some countries.
- Keep some form of identification in your child’s pocket in case you are separated. Carry recent photographs of the child for emergency identification purposes.
- Some airlines will escort and supervise an unaccompanied child from check-in through arrival. Note that airlines require a parent or guardian to stay at the airport until the flight has departed. The person greeting the child at the point of arrival must have appropriate identification and authorization.
- Infants should sit in an approved child safety seat when travelling by air. A bottle, pacifier, or breastfeeding will help make the child more comfortable and equalize air pressure.
- Bring an adequate supply of baby products (keeping in mind airline carry-on restrictions) as well as vital medications and a doctor’s note detailing their generic names and purposes. Consult with a paediatrician on how best to protect your child’s heath while travelling.
**Information taken from Tips for Travelling with Children published by the Government of Canada**