Before setting out on your next journey, be sure to check this list and see if there are any documents you need to bring. Being prepared will only take a bit of extra time and will avoid any potential problems or delays when on route.
You never want to set out on a travel journey without your passports as you aren’t going to get far without them. Make sure you have at least 6 months remaining before the passport expires or you will want to get a new one before you leave home.
Proof of onward travel / return tickets
Immigration officers may ask to see proof of onward travel. Unless you are entering a country with a work permit or a visa allowing you stay long-term, then you will often have to show that you have a flight booked out of the country within the time frame given on the visa you are entering with.
A signed letter of permission if leaving the country without the pother parent
If you are travelling with your child and the other parent is not coming, you will need to have a letter signed, and often notorized, by the other parent. The letter must state that they are aware of your travel plans and give you permission to travel with the child. You definitely don’t want to be asked for this letter and not have it as they simply will not allow you to board the plane.
It’s not uncommon to run into situations where a copy of the birth certificate is needed. This is often the case when the parent has a different surname than the child. Bring a copy along to avoid any un-necessary delays.
Addresses and phone numbers of people and places you will be visiting
On your arrival card, you will often be asked for the name and contact info of the person you are visiting or the hotel you are staying at. Be sure to have this info handy in case you need it.
Names and addresses of nearby hospitals
Doing this bit of research before you leave home will certainly save time later and when you need emergency phone numbers and addresses you usually don’t have time to be searching for the info then.
Copy of travel insurance policy
Again, in emergency situations, the last thing you want to be doing is searching for your insurance providers contact info. Refresh yourself in what your policy covers in the country you are travelling to and look into whether you have to pay up front or which (if any) hospitals will bill directly.
List of your kids’ medical conditions or allergies and how they should be treated
This will certainly come in handy if needed in an emergency situation. Most doctors are going to speak English, so having this will be useful and will avoid confusion.
When travelling to some countries, you have to show proof that you received vaccinations – particularly yellow fever. It’s a good idea to take a copy though in case you need it and be sure to consult with your doctor at home at least three months prior to travelling to talk about what is needed in the countries you are visiting.
Now you should be all set. Remember, taking a bit of time to prepare in advance will save you tons of frustration in the end. Bon voyage!