When you go on vacation with your family, the last thing you want to think about is an unforeseen disaster, but as a parent it is your responsibility to take all things into consideration. One thing particularly relevant when traveling with children is what would become of them if something happened to you while traveling with them. This can be a major problem if you are traveling in a foreign country.
Suppose you were traveling with your family overseas and there was an accident that killed or incapacitated you and your spouse? What would happen to your children? This scenario is not unheard of, and should be taken seriously when you travel with minors.
Fortunately there are some steps you can take that will be very helpful if this unfortunate situation should ever occur.
- Always contact the State Department in the country you will be traveling to and inform them of your itinerary. You should do this whenever traveling abroad, even without children.
- Make sure that your family and friends back home know what your itinerary is and make arrangements to contact them at specific times. Let them know that if you fail to contact them at these appointed times, they should try to contact you. If they cannot contact you, they should contact the State Department and the local authorities.
- Make sure you have a legal document appointing someone with temporary guardianship of your children. This person should have a copy of this document, as well as a passport, in case they need to travel on short notice.
- It is also important that you carry emergency contact numbers on you at all times while traveling, along with a copy of the temporary guardianship document.
All countries have their own laws when it concerns the guardianship of children and these laws take precedence over provisions you have made, but your plans will give the State Department something to work with. In most cases, countries will honor a temporary guardianship document, especially if your assigned guardian is working with the State Department.