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Tips for travelling with grandchildren

Enjoy that precious time away with your grandchildren, and take some of the pressure off by getting good travel insurance – just in case something goes wrong.

Posted: 22/8/2022 | By Amanda Duffy

Clothed male baby wearing a flat cap sat on a beach with sand in his hands

Going on holiday with the grandkids? Before you go, make sure that you have everything you need for a stress-free trip. Aside from packing the right clothes and equipment, you need to get the paperwork organised.

Do you need a letter of permission?

If you travel with your grandchildren, all you need officially is their passport. But if there are any problems either at the UK border, or they need medical treatment while you’re away, officials might want to know that you’re allowed to be travelling with them. This is especially important if you have a different surname to your grandchildren.

Many grandparents choose to travel with a ‘letter of permission’. This permission letter is a note signed by the child’s parents that tells officials they’re happy to let you take their child on holiday. This doesn’t have to be a complicated as it sounds.

The letter of permission needs to state the following:

  • Your full name
  • The name of your grandchild/grandchildren travelling with you
  • Where you are taking them
  • The start and end date of the holiday (it’s advisable to add a few days to the end of the trip in case of travel delays)
  • The names and signature of their parent or parents

It’s crucial to get this signed by at least one parent to show that you have their approval. If the parents of your grandchildren are divorced, it’s important that both parents sign this letter too.

Of course, it’s not compulsory to have a letter of permission, but it can speed things up if there are any concerns at the border.

If you're travelling with your grandchildren, make sure you've got good travel insurance.

What information should you take with you on the holiday?

You could also bring a copy of your grandchild’s birth certificate with you. This, combined with a copy of the parent’s certificate (your own child), would prove you are related. But don’t get hung up about this: most of the time, the grandchild’s passport will be fine. Read about what to expect when you enter and exit the UK at the UK Border Agency website.

Other information you could take includes the child’s medical notes, so that if they need treatment you will know what medication they’re taking. You can also make note of any allergies your grandchildren may have. This could save you a lot of worry if they are ill or have an accident while you’re away. You can also bring proof of any vaccinations with you to show doctors. Find out more about children’s health while travelling from the NHS.

Types of insurance options

Travel insurance for a child travelling with grandparents can mean either single-trip policy or an annual policy. A single-trip policy will cost less, but only cover you for a short period, usually one trip. Annual policies cost more, but they cover for many trips over the course of a year. So, if you travel with your grandchildren a lot (internationally or domestically), an annual policy might make more sense.

Tips on travelling with grandchildren

Travelling somewhere appropriate is the secret to having a great holiday with your grandchildren. For a start, check that you are heading to a place that is safe by checking the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCD) travel advice pages. Next, don’t forget to include your grandchildren in the decision. They will love having a say in the trip, and won’t forget the trust that you’re placing in them. Be ready to be led by their choices while you’re away, too – you might enjoy the new experiences that they will introduce you to.

Interested in travel insurance?

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