An Ad Hoc Guide to Travelling with a Minor

So it seems flights and hotels aren’t your only considerations when you decide to be awesome aunties and take your niece abroad.

No sooner had we received our confirmation emails than the magnitude of what we were taking on hit home.

By ourselves we would have been happy to play fast and loose with travel insurance, pack light, explore all day on foot and eat when we found something we fancied.  It doesn’t seem enough when you have a dote.

EHICSo first up we both responsibly applied for the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).  It’s free to apply and gives you access to state healthcare services throughout Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes even for free. In Denmark’s case – for free. Eims’ card may have come back with an error but even that was easily fixed with a quick call to the NHS. D-Daddy is applying for his, and on his he can add a child.  Peace of mind for free.

The EHIC doesn’t replace travel insurance so a quick check on quotes us less than £20 for all of us, for the whole trip.  Another easy yes.

Then things begin to get murky.  The internet is failing to give us accurate and binding information about the rules of travelling with a minor – through customs – without her mother present.  D-Daddy and Lil D don’t share a surname so some sites suggest that we’ll be asked to prove that Lil D is ours.  Facebook photos don’t seem to be an approved means.

The last thing we want is for our first trip together to be upsetting for Lil D (or any of us) so we’re trying to cover all bases.  First up it’s been suggested we bring her birth certificate.  D-Daddy is named on that so we all think that’s logical.  But then there’s a matter of consent.  To prevent child abduction, officials need to know that D-Mama knows her lil darling is out of the country.  She totally does but how do we prove it?  This is where accounts differ.  Some sites say none of this is actually necessary but merely a way to aid smooth travels, others say you should have a letter of consent notarized or signed before a witness with all the details of both parents and child, the dates of travel confirming full permission has been obtained.  Others say they’ve never been asked to prove anything.  It’s a grey area. Here’s the most official piece of info I’ve been able to find.  It also seems the clearest.  Children travelling to the UK⇐

Surely, grandparents take grandkids away more frequently nowadays, parents can’t always travel together.  It seems impractical to detain all such groupings to determine relationships.  Hence child abduction cases I guess. So for our wee dote we’ll do what it takes to make sure our travels are smooth.  If that means getting a written and witnessed letter of consent from D-Mama then that’s what we’ll do.

The road to Copenhagen is littered with documents.

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