Travelling With a Different Surname To Your Child

For many of you, this isn’t going to be an issue. But even though I was married to their dad when I travelled solo with my children, I had my passport in my maiden name. I got my passport about two years before I got married, and to a skint newlywed, I couldn’t justify the cost of replacing it to my married name. Nearly £100 is a lot! So the plan was to just wait until it expired, and then I would get a new one with my married surname.

Anyway, one of my sisters lived in the US. And when Max was 10 months, I took him by myself to visit with my sister. When Chloe arrived, I took her when she was 5 months to go and see my sister too, leaving Max with my other half / grandparents for the week. Both times I was travelling with a passport in my maiden name, and my children with their passport with a different surname. I get why you will be asked extra questions, but best to be prepared.

I had it fairly easy, compared to stories I have heard. But it still makes things a little more complicated. It could have because I was travelling to the US and they are the strictest country I’ve ever gone through passport control in, not sure. But I’ll just share some tips and tricks to make sure that things run smoothly for you, if you will be travelling with your child and you have a different surname. It is quite a common occurrence!


Provide Another Proof of Who You Are

If you have another proof of who you are, other than a passport, then it makes it quick and easy to deal with. I carried my marriage certificate with me, though I know there will be many that aren’t married and have children they will be travelling with, or will be divorced form the other parent. So the child’s birth certificate is a good idea, perhaps as well as a divorce certificate. They are light and easy to take, so even if you’re not sure, just take everything you think you might need! The same goes for grandparents taking grandchildren on holiday without the parents. Take the child’s birth certificate, as well as a letter from the parents, explaining what it is going on.

Check The Countries Requirements Before You Go

Even if you have got a letter of consent from your other half or the child’s parents, it doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll be able to travel. So in order to make things run smoothly, check the country you are travelling to before you go. They might have different rules or requirements compared to other countries (look at the foreign embassy pages).

Letter of Consent

If you are taking one of your child’s friends on holiday with you or are grandparents taking grandchildren away, then you need to have a letter of consent (this is even the case for divorced parents as far as I am aware). It shows you have permission, but also allows for more than that, just incase they need medical treatment abroad, it also gives consent to that. So it is an important requirement.

So basically, get yourself covered and take all of the right documents. I had no idea when I travelled and it did cause delays as I was asked extra questions. I hadn’t even thought of it as they were my children and was married to their dad! So do your homework and you’ll be prepared.

Rebecca x


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