Posted in View from the Road

View from the Road: From for Children Traveling Internationally With One Parent Or With Someone Who Is Not A Parent Or Legal Guardian

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Today I am flying with my toddler overseas for the first time and I am doing so without my significant other.  Which makes crossing borders a little bit trickier. To make things easier at border crossings I created a Consent for International Travel Fillable Form that we had notarized that I will be using which I am attaching here for you to use as well. I have also created a Consent for International Travel Fillable Form Sample that you can download if you want to see one already filled out The government does not give you a specific letter but rather guidelines on how you can create a letter for yourself.

See the memo below from the US Government:

Children Traveling With One Parent Or With Someone Who Is Not A Parent Or Legal Guardian

If a child (under the age of 18) is traveling with only one parent or with someone who is not a parent or legal guardian, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly recommends that the accompanying adult have a note from the non-traveling parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with neither parent, a note signed by both parents) stating “I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling out of the country with my son/daughter/group. He/She/They has/have my/our permission to do so.”

CBP suggests that this note be notarized.  If there is no second parent with legal custody of the child (e..g., the second parent is deceased, one parent has sole custody, etc.), relevant paperwork such as a court decision, birth certificate naming only one parent, death certificate, etc., would be useful as well.

While CBP may not ask to see this documentation when the child enters the U.S., the U.S. is very sensitive to the possibility of child abduction and trafficking, and the child and accompanying adult could be detained if questions arise about the situation.  While the U.S. does not require this documentation, many other countries do, and onward travel could be impeded without a notarized permission letter and/or other documentation.  (Canada, for example, has very strict requirements in this regard).

This advice applies to U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike.  More information can be found on the Customs and Border Protection website.

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Posted in View from the Road

Airport Children’s Play Areas Ratings

Hello readers!  I am so sorry I’ve been absent.  Between travels, guests, sicknesses and work things have been crazy and I haven’t been able to write.  But I want to try to get back on my game here!  So today I am bringing you my airport play area ratings post.  I will update it as we visit more airports.

Boston Logan Airport BOS Children’s Play Area Terminal B

Stars: *****

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Reason: This was an amazing play space.  Lots of things for little ones to climb all over, a long bench for resting or nursing, a tv playing cartoons, and it was it’s own room not somewhere in the middle of a terminal.  While it made it slightly less convenient to gates it was a nice spot away from things to kill some time.  Like almost all kid play areas it asks that no food or drink be permitted which I always find very hard when your 1 year old would like some water.  It also asked that strollers not be allowed inside, which I understand because they take up a lot of space but there also isn’t a place for you to safely leave them outside.

Philadelphia International Airport PHL Children’s Play Area Terminal A

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Stars: ****

Reason: This was a very fun play area, there was a truck to drive, a plane to fly, a slide to slide down, and a control tower to play on.  The space is located out in the open so it isn’t a very private place to nurse if you are looking for privacy but the seating is somewhat hidden behind half walls.  There was a lot of space to run around with big windows to look out and see planes.  Sadly, those big windows also made the area incredibly hot.  At one point a young girl was trying to take off her pants because she was too hot. A bathroom is conveniently located near by and the space is located right outside of the terminal A gate area so it’s easier to get to if you are in terminal B as well. Another downside to this great play area is that a lot of the great elements like the ability to talk to other kids in the tower were broken as is often the case with children’s play areas.  The heat and the broken elements is what brought this space down from a 5 to a 4 star airport play area.

Dulles International Airport IAD Children’s Play Area Terminal B

Stars: ****

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Reason: I think we honestly had a bit of a bad experience with this one.  A bunch of older kids came and took over the space.  We’re talking 10-12 year olds who were camped out on the slide without an adult in site. Making it hard for the little ones to have fun.  This space is located in the middle of the terminal which conveniently enough for us was right next to our gate so we could stay there until we got onto our 6 hour flight to California. But also means that it’s completely in the open so not ideal for nursing in a private space. It is also somewhat small but not horribly so.  Overall it was a nice space!

Airports visited that do not have children’s play areas:

Reagan National Airport DCA (they do have a nursing room located outside of security)

Southwest Florida International Airport RSW

San Jose Airport SJC (they do have nursing rooms)

 

 

Posted in mom life, View from the D.M.V., View from the Road

View from the Road: Thank Goodness for Pet Stores Next to Target

I know for a fact I am not the only parent that brings their child to Pet Smart before or after a Target trip.  And I know this because I’ve run into some of you there.  Either as a reward for being good in Target or as a treat before they are forced to go shopping with you a pet store always brightens a child’s day.  If I’m going to force my little one to sit through a long stroll around Target it’s only fair that I bring him to the Petsmart next door and let him run around excited while he checks out the birds, cats, and fish right?

If you haven’t tried this trick yet DO IT!!!! It’s like going to the zoo without the crowds, over priced food, and the kiddo’s can get closer to the animals.  My little one absolutely loves looking at all the animals but every time I go in I want to get us another one of the poor little kittens I see in the windows.