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Self-drive trip with children

Travelling with children

Touring the world with children can be extremely rewarding, but it can also bring its own challenges. Our specialists will work closely with you to design the right trip for your family’s requirements, but there are some aspects of travel that you should also consider.

Entry requirements and parental consent

Many countries have specific entry requirements regarding children, and in some cases it may be necessary to travel with the child’s full, unabridged birth certificate.

There are often additional requirements if the child is with only one parent or neither parent. You should check the Entry requirements section of the Irish Government travel advice for each country you’ll be visiting.

In addition to the entry requirements of the countries you’ll be visiting, consideration should be given to the UK and Irish government’s requirements if only one parent is accompanying a child.

Before taking a child outside the UK and Ireland, you must have the permission of everyone with parental responsibility. You’ll automatically have parental responsibility if you’re the child’s mother, but you’ll still need the permission of anyone else with parental responsibility. You might be asked for evidence of this at a UK or foreign border. A letter is usually sufficient, and this should include the other person or people’s contact information as well as details about the trip.

Hotel safety

Health and safety standards and building regulations vary widely overseas. In many countries there may be no regulations around the height and design of balcony balustrades, swimming pools and public areas.

We’ll always try to accommodate your family in appropriate accommodation, but this may not always be possible for a variety of reasons, so please don’t assume everything is child-friendly.

You should supervise your children at all times while moving around a hotel, as walkways, staircases and railings may have large gaps, be very low, or simply have features that make them attractive to toddlers and children.

Balcony doors should be kept locked when not in use, and please ensure that furniture isn’t pushed up against the railings which would encourage children to climb them.

Car seats

If you’re hiring a car overseas through one of the major rental companies, it’s usually possible to book a car seat in advance (often to be paid for on arrival).

Where we’re providing chauffeur transport, suitable car seats and booster seats may not be available. Even if they are available, they still might not meet UK quality standards. You may prefer to travel with your child’s own car seat. Most international airlines allow a car seat and a pushchair to be taken as checked-in luggage for no additional charge.

Air travel

A number of airlines now offer a ‘child’s meal’ option, which you can request in advance. These meals tend to be simpler and smaller than adult meals, but can be more appealing to some children. If you’d like to know whether this is an option on your flights, please ask your specialist.

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