Avoid Family-Travel Mishaps with AAA's Tips

By Kristin Varela  on May 2, 2012

Can you believe some kids get out of school for summer vacation in just a few weeks? While some of us are scrambling to get them signed up for summer classes and camps, others might be prepping their cars for long-distance road trips with the whole family. Some parets might be planning for the kids to fly sans parents to visit Granny and Papa. Just in time for summer planning, AAA has some important tips and reminders.

The experts at AAA cover child-related topics ranging from obtaining passports, cruising with little ones, kids flying alone, international travel with children and medical care authorization.

In all this info, there was an overriding theme that I can relate to. If you're a parent traveling solo with your kids (take note, divorced families and single parents out there) you'll have to take a few more steps to make sure your trip isn't derailed by ticketing and TSA agents.

According the AAA, for kids traveling internationally without both parents, "A letter of permission from the absent parent signed before a notary is needed. … Single parents, grandparents, step-parents, guardians and any adult with a last name different from the child needs to be prepared with the additional documentation to present at border crossings, airport immigrations checkpoints and cruise-line check-in desks."

Another important point AAA makes, which I had never before considered, was the importance of child medical care authorization. My kids take a long road trip each summer with their grandparents. From here on out, I'll be sending them along with a medical proxy, "an original notarized letter from the non-traveling parent(s) granting permission to authorize emergency medial care for the child."

What other steps do you and your family take to ensure smooth logistical sailing for summer travel, whether by road, sea or air? Share your tips and advice in the comment section below.

Family Safety

Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela blends work and family life by driving her three tween-teen girls every which way in test cars.  Email Kristin