The ONE Thing I Won't Leave Home Without

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


A lot of time when I fly internationally with my kids I do so without their father, my husband. Both of my daughters have two passports each - one American and one British, and they use both when we travel. This is important for us even though my husband and I are married and living together, but can be even more important if you're traveling without one parent and you're not married to the child's other parent, are divorced or have shared custody. It's essential that you carry documentation from both parents in case you are questioned by customs and immigrations personnel and you can be denied boarding when you're traveling without such documentation. If you do have sole custody of the children, bring along documentation that proves that you do.

As a travel agent, we had a situation at our agency where we were escorting a group of families to Mexico and one girl was traveling with her mother who was divorced from her father and without a letter from Dad was scrambling at 5am to get one faxed to the airport so she could leave the country. You could avoid that hassle by being prepared.

I will never fly with my girls without a letter of travel authorization from my husband stating the following:

1. That he is aware that I am traveling internationally with our daughters
2. A copy of the photo page of his passport and my passport
3. Copies of the girls' passports
4. Get the letter notarized if possible
5. My husband's contact details (residence, telephone and email)

I have been asked by customs officials before to provide documentation that my husband was aware  that I was traveling with our daughters. Oddly enough, it was when we were returning to Northern Ireland from Amsterdam, and the letter was SO helpful as it was exactly what the official asked for. I honestly am not sure what would have happened if I hadn't had that document with me.

Keep a copy of the letter with your passports and keep a copy of the letter back home. It's not necessary for domestic travel, but for international travel without one parent, it's essential.

For more tips with regards to documentation for American Citizens, always visit prior to travel.

My travel authorization letter - It's the one thing I won't leave home without!

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