It's hard to believe that it's already June! Soon the kids will be out of school and it will be time for summer holidays, which for many families means international travel across borders.
When I was a kid, it felt like every time my family went on vacation we forgot something important, something that would be useful or beneficial enough to be missed everyday. That item was usually ketchup or an extra pillow. Luckily, we never forgot anything so important that our vacation got delayed, or worse, ruined.
When traveling with children, it's important to make sure you have all of the right documents to make your trip as easy and hassle-free as possible. Of course, you'll need the standard items: tickets, money, passport. But you may also need a consent to travel letter.
A consent to letter demonstrates that children who are traveling alone, with only one parent/guardian, friends, relatives or a group have permission to travel abroad from every parent (or guardian) who is not accompanying them on the trip. While there is no legal requirement for Canadian children to carry a consent to travel letter, some countries may request to see a consent to travel letter when you are entering or exiting. Failure to produce a letter upon request may result in delays or refusal to enter or exit a country.
The Government of Canada strongly recommends that Canadian children carry a consent to travel letter, and it's good advice. It's an easy way to ensure that your trip goes smoothly. Although there may not be a high likelihood that a consent to travel letter will be requested, depending on the country you are visiting, it's a much better idea to take that extra step to be fully prepared in case it should happen.
Luckily, the Government of Canada has an excellent website on consent to travel letters that provides examples of consent to travel letters and an interactive tool that can help you draft a consent to travel letter for free. After you have completed your consent to travel letter, take it to a notary public such as Downtown Notary Toronto to have it notarized and you are good to go.
Fore more information on traveling with children, visit the Government of Canada's Children and Travel webpage.