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How to organize a trip abroad?

Before planning a trip abroad, there are always many questions in your mind: what is the point? What do you need to bring? And these questions increase if you have to think about documents to travel with children. 

Many mothers of the group facebook its4kids ask us what are the documents for travel abroad with children and how to do them, here is a small guide to everything you need, including how to make a passport for children and adults.

When traveling, especially with children, it is essential to have the documents within reach in a safe place, so you can find them quickly, but especially not lose them. On Amazon there are really practical travel document holders.

What do you need for a trip abroad?

For a trip abroad you need an identity document valid for expatriation. 

The best of all (also according to the website Viaggiare Sicuri della Farnesina is the passport. 

The passport is universally recognized, while the identity card is unfortunately not accepted by many countries. 

Making your passport is very expensive, so if you are not planning to travel to countries where it is necessary, you should wait to do so.

Identity card valid for expatriation for children and adults

To go to many European countries, an identity card is sufficient. 

Especially within the Schengen area (free movement area, where border controls have been abolished), a European citizen can only travel with an identity card valid for expatriation. 

When making an identity card you must ensure that it is valid for expatriation, explicitly requesting it in the offices of the municipality.

To make the identity card is enough: 3 passport size photographs in color, it is essential that they are the same and recent, half-length and with the head uncovered. The cost is a few euros (5.42 euros for fixed fee and secretarial costs).

Particular attention should be paid to paper identity cards renewed with the stamp by the municipality, to electronic cards renewed with the extension sheet of the municipality and those whose validity has been extended until the day of their date of birth.

Identity card for children

There is no minimum age to have an Identity Card, even newborns can, indeed should have their own Identity Card, even if they do not go abroad.

The identity card for children is valid for different ages: 

  • only applies to children under 3 years of age; 
  • 5 years for the age group from 3 to 18 years 
  • 10 years for adults.

To make an identity card for a child, both the child and both parents (with their own identity document) must present themselves at the offices of the Municipality. The child may also be accompanied by only one parent, but the declaration of consent to the expatriation of the other parent must be shown, accompanied by a photocopy of the identity card. 

You need three recent photos (taken in the last six months), the old identity card (if it had already been taken) and 5.42 for the cost of the document.

For the issue of the Identity Card you need the consent of both parents or guardian, which must be expressed directly at the counter at the time of the request and on the forms already prepared.

The website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminds us that: «With regard to children under 14 years of age who go abroad with their parents, it is advisable to provide appropriate documentation to prove the ownership of parental authority over the child (eg birth certificate with an indication of fatherhood and motherhood, the appointment as guardian, the certificate of registration in the consular files showing the composition of the family, etc.).

Starting from January 24, 2012, the date of entry into force of Decree Law No. 1 of January 24, 2012, the identity card valid for expatriation issued to children under the age of fourteen years may include, on request, the names of parents or legal guardians. If the identity card shows the name of the parents or guardian, it is not necessary to have suitable documentation to prove the ownership of parental authority over the child.

So if you do not want to bring additional documentation for travel abroad is sufficient that the identity card of the children is written on the name of the parents.

Where you can travel with your Identity Card

Here is the list of countries where you can travel with only your ID card: 

Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Hungary, Eire, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia (the identity card must be valid for at least the duration of the stay), Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco (Principality), Montenegro (only if the stay is for a maximum of 30 days), Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

In the following countries the identity card is valid only with organized travel: Albania, Gibraltar, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.

In order to enter Croatia and the United Kingdom (Great Britain) with the children, in addition to the identity card valid for expatriation, the act of consent and custody of the parents must be shown on a multilingual form.

The passport

Passporting is a process that requires a few steps. First of all it is good to know that the passport cannot be renewed but it is necessary to request a new one. 

It is issued for Italian citizens and adults, has a duration of ten years and a cost of 116 euros per person.

Since 2010, an electronic passport is issued consisting of a booklet, equipped with a microchip on the cover that contains information about the personal data, the photo and fingerprints of the holder.

There is also a digitized signature but not for children under 12 years of age, for the illiterate and for those who have a physical disability.

Children under the age of 18 must have an individual passport, in fact from 2012 it is no longer possible to apply for the registration of the minor child in the passport of the parent. As for those passports of parents with inscriptions of minor children, it is good to know that they remain valid only for the holder until the natural expiry date.

What documents do you need for your passport?

The application for the issue can be submitted in the following places: Police Headquarters, passport office of the Public Security Commissioner and the Carabinieri station. 

The documents for the passport to bring with you are: the printed form of the passport application, different for adults and minors, a valid identification document, 2 identical and recent passport photos, the receipt of payment by current account of 42.50 euros for the ordinary passport and an administrative mark of 73.50 euros. Fingerprints can be issued only in the offices of the State Police even at different times.

How to make a passport for children?

Making a passport for underage children requires the consent of both parents, signed in front of the Public Official (who authenticates the signature) at the office where the documentation is presented. In the absence of consent, you must be in possession of the authorization of the tutelary judge.

Travel documents for children are required and from June 26, 2012 all children must be in possession of individual travel documents. There are two different types of validity: three years from 0 to 3 years, five years from 3 to 18 years. The documents to bring (after making an appointment) are: the application for a passport for minors signed by the parents, a valid identification document of the child, otherwise the parent can make a self-certification, two identical and recent photos, the receipt of payment and the value stamped.

Can a child travel alone?

Until the age of 14, children can travel alone by following certain rules. They must be accompanied by at least one parent or guardian. In case of travel with only one parent in the passport must be listed on the names of at least one of the parents as an escort, if not, at the time of expatriation the same parent must be able to prove the family relationship through, for example, the exhibition of the family status or the birth certificate of the child. For those exercising parental authority, documentation of the appointment as guardian or of the affidavit is required. Minors may also travel with an accompanying person, who must be accompanied by a declaration of accompaniment, or with an institution, also in this case with a declaration of accompaniment. 

When children are 14 years old, they can travel unaccompanied both within the European Union and outside the European Union.

The accompanying declaration must be signed by the parents, or by those who exercise custodial responsibility, and will remain in the records of the police headquarters. A paper declaration can be issued or the entry directly in the passport. The maximum period of validity of the declaration is 6 months.

For domestic routes some airlines or shipping companies require specific documentation for the child who travels accompanied by people other than parents, but the police will issue statements only for those who expatriate. It is therefore advisable to find out what documents are needed by the companies before leaving.

Health Card

If you are travelling in the European Union, please also bring your health card because it allows you to have medical coverage in all member countries of the European Community. Outside the European Community it is advisable to have travel health insurance.

The Health Card entitles you to free medical treatment in the countries of the European Union, so you should bring the Team (European Health Insurance Card) on the road. If you have forgotten, you still have the right to treatment, paying and requesting reimbursement on your return. The assistance is direct and therefore nothing is due, except for the payment of a possible ticket (for example: in France it is 20% of each service) which is the direct responsibility of the patient and therefore non-refundable.

Travel insurance

To travel safely abroad you may consider taking out travel insurance.

There are different types of policies with different coverage, even for the whole family. 

Among the various insurances on the market, it is important to take out health insurance when travelling outside the European Union; without insurance a small trip to the hospital could cost a lot of money.

Some companies offer good coverage even in case of cancellation of the trip, especially in the case of illness of one of the travelers, useful to save at least part of the expense for a last-minute illness.


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