We know that traveling with children can sometimes be challenging. This is especially true when it comes to traveling internationally with your little ones. Besides gathering their clothing and other essential items, you’ll also need to ensure your child has a passport and possibly even a visa. We understand that this can be overwhelming and even confusing at times, which is why we wanted to share a simple checklist that you can follow when traveling internationally with your children to ensure that you have everything you need to have a safe (and, most importantly, fun) family trip. Let’s get to it! Here’s an international passport and visa checklist for traveling with children:
Check That Your Child’s Passport is Valid
One thing we always reccomend to parents who are planning an international family trip is to check that their child’s passport is valid. This is because a child’s passport is valid for less time than an adult passport. If your child applied for their passport when they were under the age of 16, their passport is only valid for 5 years. This is important to note as adult passports are valid for 10 years, and people can forget that their child’s passport is valid for less time.
If you look at your child’s passport and find that it is close to expiring, we suggest that you apply for your child’s passport renewal ASAP. Once a child’s passport expires, you will have to apply for a new passport for them, as a child’s passport cannot be renewed. Once you’re ready to get the application process started, please visit our website. The application for a child passport is quick and easy, and if you run into any uncertainties, our team is here to answer any questions you may have along the way.
Determine If Your Child Needs a Child or Adult Passport
There is a cutoff age at which your child will have to eventually apply for an adult passport rather than a child passport. It’s essential that you know what this age is so that you know when your child will need to transition from a child passport to an adult one. If your child is under 16, they must apply for a child passport. But if your child is 16 or older, they will need to apply for an adult passport to travel internationally.
See if Your Destination Country Requires a Visa
When making your international travel arrangements, it’s crucial that you check your destination country’s entry requirements and see if a visa is needed. Many countries around the world require that you and your child obtain a visa before entering. If you find this is the case, we highly recommend using a reputable company like Swift Passport and Visa Services. Our team has years of experience obtaining visas for families, and we can help your family get visas for your upcoming trip, too.
Apply For Your Child’s Travel Documents Early
International travel is booming, and everyone is looking to explore the world. So, if you want to travel with your child, please apply for your passports and visas as soon as possible. Processing times are currently taking longer than usual, and you’ll want to apply immediately to ensure your family gets their travel documents in time for your upcoming trip.
Make a Copy of Your Child’s Passport and Visa
Unfortunately, many clients have told us stories about how they misplaced a passport or visa while out of the country. Not only can this cause you a major headache, but it can also be somewhat tricky (and not to mention time-consuming) to replace these documents, especially when you’re visiting an international destination. To save yourself some stress, make a copy of your child’s passport and visa, as well as your own passport and visa. This can help you if your travel documents get misplaced, allowing you to obtain a replacement passport or visa more easily.
Store Your Travel Documents in a Safe Place
Potentially the most important thing you can do is store your child’s passport and visa in a safe place. While traveling, your passport and visa are extremely important; if you lose these documents, you could be in trouble. This is why we suggest that you have a folder or small envelope that you store your family’s travel documents in. Not only will this ensure that you know where your travel documents are at all times, but it will also give you peace of mind.
Though traveling with your little ones can be somewhat difficult at times, the memories that you’ll make along the way are worth it. Taking trips with your family is something that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives, and there’s nothing like exploring the world together. No matter where you plan on going, we wish you safe travels and an incredible vacation with your loved ones!