Travel by plane is fast and convenient for both, parents and children. Children may observe through the windows how the earth moves away and how they appear in the clouds or above them. This is not a daily phenomenon which catches the child’s attention.
Advice for passengers with children
- Passengers travelling with infants are recommended checking-in online in advance – this way you will save time and will not have to stand long in line with the children.
- For passengers travelling with young children, a separate line for aviation security check has been installed.
- Parents travelling with children are allowed to take liquids for the child (ready-made milk mix, tea, juice, puree, etc.) as much as they may need during the trip. It is not necessary to place liquids and food for children in a plastic bag, as other liquids carried in cabin baggage, however they must be shown to the airport official performing an aviation security check.
- Before the flight children are recommended to avoid taking sweet or fat food, as during the flight such food may cause nauseating.
- During taking off or landing, we recommend giving something to drink to the child, or chew a mint candy; an infant is recommended to be breastfed, given a soother or a bottle with a drink.
- We recommend having a talk with older children before the trip. Explain to them the airport procedures (check-in, control of documents, person and baggage, embarkation on the plane, taking off and landing); agree about the behaviour rules, for example, if he gets lost, the child should not wander around but stay in one place in order to be able to find him easier.
- Think in advance what items the child might need during the flight and put them into cabin baggage (toys, books, water bottles, diapers, napkins, etc.). Please note that it is prohibited to carry toy guns in cabin baggage.
- Before acquiring tickets for the trip, find out the rules of the airline company about the carriage of equipment, also services available for toddlers. Depending on the airline company, the number and weight of the permissible free checked-in baggage may differ.
Services at the airport
Passport or Identity card
Like every person, similarly every travelling child must have a valid identity document. This may be an identity card or passport, however, please note, that the child’s birth certificate is not a document authorising travel.
Before preparing for a trip, check, whether the identity card is valid in that country you are going. Not all countries (e.g. Turkey, Egypt or Tunis) recognise an identity card as a travel document, therefore the child must have a passport. It is noteworthy that children’s identity documents are valid for a shorter term (2-5 years). As it is recommended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), when travelling to EU countries, an identity card should be valid for at least 3 months, and travelling to other countries – for at least 6 months from the start of your trip. There are countries which require that an identity document would be valid for at least 12 months (e.g. India). When going to a more distant country, we recommend contacting a URM consular assistance and making sure of it. Click here for more information on travel documents.
It is important to know that if an identity document is no longer valid or has been lost, it is possible to come to your country with a return certificate. We recommend having copies of all your travel documents and keeping scanned copies thereof in your e-mail box. This will facilitate the situation in the event they are lost.
International pupil or youth certificates
In a number of countries discounts are applied to youth or schoolchildren. Usually it is sufficient to present a document proving your age. However, sometimes discounts are applied only with the International Scholar Identity Card or European Youth Card, therefore we recommend finding this out and acquiring an appropriate card. These certificates grant a discount for admissions to museums, parks, ski passes in mountain resorts, inventory rental or instructors’ services. Please note that both, the ISIC, and the European Youth Card are issued to persons who are above 12 years of age.
Departure of minors
Please note that if a child takes a flight only with one of the parents or flies with an accompanying person, depending on the country of your departure (whether it belongs to the Schengen area or not) you will have to present a consent of the other parent or both parties attested by the notary. When travelling to the county where visas are necessary, you must get a visa for your child irrespective of his age. When flying with an adopted child, you may be asked to provide adoption documents. Click here for more information.
Departure of unaccompanied minors
It is necessary to pay attention to restrictions on the child’s age if the child prepares to travel alone. Even though he has the consent of his parents attested by the notary, this may not be sufficient since this document is intended only for the state border guard service, whereas airline companies have their own rules. Therefore, before buying a ticket for the child who travels alone, necessarily check the rules of airline companies.
When travelling abroad we recommend taking care of:
- Travel insurance. When taking a trip with a child we recommend taking care of his travel insurance or European health insurance card. For those who have a credit card with travel insurance, there is no need to get additional insurance– it is valid for the whole family if the family travels together. It is worthwhile, however, checking the conditions of valid insurance, as travel insurance granted by the bank is often rather limited. In the whole EU (also in Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland) passengers have the right to get emergency medical aid free of charge which expenses shall be compensated by the State health insurance. This service may be used by those who are covered by mandatory health insurance and have a document in proof of that (European health insurance card which is issued by territorial health insurance funds). When contacting a medical institution for emergency medical aid in case of accident, present your identity card and the card to the reception desk of that institution or emergency room of the hospital. Depending on the country, you will initially have to pay for the treatment yourself, and only then appeal for the reimbursement. When travelling with young children, we recommend taking care of civil liability insurance during travel. If parents are covered by insurance, civil liability insurance will also be valid regarding damage caused by minor children.
- Other health documents. Before travel to your selected country, find out what vaccines are necessary or at least recommended. In some countries, particular vaccines are compulsory and they must be written down in a vaccination passport which must be kept during travel. When seeing-off your child to a camp, it is necessary to get a health certificate in advance.