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Mar/Apr 2013 Issue

Documents needed for family travel

While summer remains the most popular season for family travel according to AAA Travel experts, many families will be traveling over spring break this month. Options for family travel are as varied as today’s modern family itself, and may include children traveling alone to visit geographically separated family members; or leaving parents behind to take a cruise with grandma and grandpa. Some family travel options may require additional travel documentation when both parents are not accompanying the child, the child is traveling with adults other than parents, or the child’s last name differs from the parent’s name.

AAA Travel experts offer these tips for travel with children:

  • Passports for children. All U.S. citizens, including infants and children, must have a valid passport to travel internationally by air. Both parents must provide consent authorizing passport issuance for a minor under age 16. Parents should carefully examine all passport and child travel documentation requirements at, or seek assistance of a knowledgeable travel agent.
  • Cruising with children. Cruise lines generally require at least one legal adult (21 years or older) to occupy every stateroom to eliminate children cruising alone. This person also needs to be a legal parent or guardian. Cruise lines also require a notarized letter of authorization to travel if a child is sailing with only one parent, other non-custodial adults, or has a different last name than the responsible legal adult.
  • Children flying solo. Most airlines offer fee-based Unaccompanied Minor programs that facilitate air travel for children without an accompanying adult. These programs provide an affordable travel option to link geographically separated family members with the children they treasure. Airline Unaccompanied Minor programs, policies, and procedures vary. Most require that an authorized adult escort the child to the departure gate and an authorized adult take custody of the minor child upon arrival. In flight, unaccompanied minors are under the care of the cabin crew.

If planning an itinerary for a child traveling solo, be sure to check the specific requirements for each airline you are using. These may include age requirements, fees, and all details, which can vary. Check with your travel agent or the program information that’s usually found on the airline’s Web site.

family and luggage
©Andres photo


Healthy travel tips for allergy season

Winter is over and spring ushers in the travel season when road trips and weekend getaways fill our thoughts. But for most people with allergies, travel can bring symptoms that include itchy, watery eyes.

To treat eye pain or heavy discharge, see your ophthalmologist. These tips may help with more common allergy symptoms that affect eyes or noses.

Consider traveling with allergen-blocking pillows or pillow covers to block contact with dust mites or even bed bugs.

Travel with a gel eye pack to relieve nasal swelling or headaches due to allergies.

Pack over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, antihistamines, or decongestants.

AAA Prescriptions Savings offers an average of 25 percent off medications at more than 60,000 locations nationwide. Visit for details or call (866) 222-7283 for details.


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