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Flying Internationally with Children

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Each year, a large number of American families make the decision to take a family vacation. If you want to take a fun vacation abroad with your family, it may be a good learning experience for all.

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Each year, a large number of American families make the decision to take a family vacation. If you want to take a fun vacation abroad with your family, it may be a good learning experience for all. Here are some tips on flying internationally with kids.

Once you and your family have decided that they want to visit to a foreign country, you will have to start making travel arrangements. This most commonly includes choosing a final vacation destination, booking airline reservations, and overnight hotel accommodations. After these travel arrangements have been made, you will need to wait for the big day to arrive. However, once that day comes, it is important to remember that you are traveling with children. For that reason, extra accommodations may need to be made.

Family at Airport

Plan Accommodation Ahead of Time

It is important to determine what your accommodations are before your flight is scheduled to take off. In fact, it is advised that you start preparing for your trip early, especially if you are traveling with children. This is because, when it comes to international flights, the preparation is different than domestic flights. In most cases, the guidelines and procedures change. For starters, the proof of identification that they will need drastically changes.

Family on Airplane

Have Your Passport in Order

When children fly on domestic flights, they do not need to show identification if they are traveling with a parent or a guardian. Often times, proof of a parent’s identification is enough; however, it is not enough on international flights. Depending on where you are traveling to, you will find that your child may need to have a passport. If your child does not already have a passport, they will need to get one.  This process could take a few days, or even a few weeks.  While arranging your child’s passport, it is also good to make sure that yours is valid as well.

Kids Traveling

Security Screenings

In addition to having the proper forms of identification for international flights, you will also find that your child or children must go through the same security screening as everyone else. This means that they will have their carry-on luggage, as well as their checked baggage thoroughly examined. This examination may include an x-ray screening or a hand check. Should a problem arise, they will likely be pulled aside, like any other passenger. The only difference is that you should be able to accompany them, if and when this does occur.

In international airports, passenger screening is just as important as baggage screening. For that reason, your child, no matter what their age, will also have to be checked out. This mostly entails removing their shoes and walking through a metal detector. In the event that the alarm sounds, your child will likely be subject to additional screening. However, it is important to note that this additional screening is required, and it is the same that all other passengers will go through, if need be.

The above-mentioned situations are just a few of the many that you will have to prepare for if you are flying internationally with a child. The rules, restrictions, and guidelines that you must follow tend to vary from international airport to airport, as well as with airlines. Although many of these rules are the same, there are some differences. All international airports are given the ability to add-on their own air travel rules, if they choose to do so. For that reason, it is advised that you directly contact the international airline that you will be flying with or the international airport that you will be leaving from, for additional information.