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4 items parents should bring when traveling alone with a child

Even though a vacation might sound like an opportunity to relax and have fun, any parent knows that it can be stressful to prepare for one.

This is especially true if you are a single or co-parent traveling with your child. Not only can it be more difficult to manage the logistics of being the only parent, it can also present some legal challenges. As such, every parent who shares custody of their children should bring the following four items when they travel with a child.

  1. Your child's passport. If you are traveling internationally on an airplane, your child will need a passport. It takes time to get a passport and you must bring your child to apply for the passport, so be sure you start the process well in advance of your trip.
  2. Parental consent forms. A form signed by the courts or the other parent of your child can be very helpful no matter where you are going. Whether you are cross the globe or the state line, it can be wise to have a letter showing that you have permission to travel with your child. You may need to have this type of letter notarized, depending on where you are going.
  3. List of emergency contacts and medications. Should you get separated from your child or become unavailable, you should have available a list of emergency contacts (including the other parent) as well as any medications you or your child may need. This allows other people to get help for either one of you if something should happen.
  4. A copy of your parenting plan. When you are traveling, you may need to refer to your parenting plan under certain circumstances. For instance, if your travel plans change or someone questions whether you are allowed to travel with your child, you can refer to your copy of your parenting plan for answers.

It can seem like a lot of work to gather these items in addition to the games, clothes and toiletries you also need to pack, but it is work that can pay off should a child custody or other legal issue arise. 

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