No-Stress Guide to Travel Forms & Documents
Sometimes all of the forms, entry requirements and documents needed to go on a trip can seem overwhelming- especially when you add kids into the mix.
Here’s a quick guide with helpful links to forms and info to simplify the process for family travelers headed abroad!
For travel outside the U.S., and increasingly even domestically it can be a good thing to have, everyone traveling will need a valid Passport.
Children Under 16: passports expire every 5 years, applicants must apply in person
Teens Aged 16-17: passports are valid for 10 years, generally applicants must apply in person
Adult Passport Renewals: under most circumstances, you can renew your passport by mail
New Applicants: first-time applicants and those whose passport expired more than 5 years ago must apply in person
Find the location nearest you to apply for your passport.
*A lot of countries will not let you travel if your passport is within 6 months of expiring, so always make sure yours is not about to expire before your trip!
If you do find yourself in need of an expedited passport, or just want to streamline the process, I highly recommend CIBT Visas.
It is always a good idea to have a photo of everyone’s passport saved in your phone as well as in an email in case they are lost or stolen while you are traveling.
If you are traveling abroad and your passport is lost or stolen, contact your nearest Embassy or consulate or your travel advisor for assistance.
Notarized Letter of Consent:
This is often required for children who are traveling without one or both of their parents or legal guardians. I always recommend that you err on the side of caution and make sure to have this document with you or the adult/s your child is traveling with to avoid any trip interruptions or delays.
Click Here to see if the country you are visiting requires a visa. Visa requirements are the same for all travelers, regardless of their age.
If you need a Visa for your travelers, I think the best solution is to contact CIBT Visas
For more information about the country you are traveling to, visit the U.S. State Department’s Passports & International Travel site.
International Driving Permits:
Depending on where you’re traveling, (visit the U.S. State Department’s Passports & International Travel site for more info on specific countries) you may need to obtain an International Driving Permit if you plan to rent or drive a car while you are there. It is never a bad idea to have one of these if you are driving abroad either. You can obtain them through AAA or AATA.
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck:
If you are a frequent traveler, or you just can’t stand the lines at airport security, I highly recommend you expedite your travel process by applying for Global Entry (which includes TSA PreCheck for only $15 more). It is good for 5 years, and saves you so much hassle at security and when arriving back in the United States from travel abroad. Children 12 and under can join their enrolled parents, but children over 12 must apply as well.