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Does my 17 year old daughter need power of attorney?

My 17 year old daughter is going to Switzerland June 21st by herself, meeting a Swiss friend and traveling the country for three weeks. E-mailing the Swiss embassy, they suggested that I give my friend "power of attorney" for my daughter in case of an emergency. It makes sense, and I never even thought about it. Any suggestions out there. I think I'll call an attorney and check it out.

Posted by
2779 posts

Joe, I can tell you're a loving and caring parent. But your daughter is going to travel into one of the richest, cleanest and nicest countries in the world. Statistically she'll be much, much safer over there than you are back home. So actually she should be worrying about you instead of the other way around. And according to your other posts she even won't be alone when there. She'll be very well taken care of. Plus should she have any question she can always post some emergency note into this forum and someone will help her with advice in no time.

Posted by
13227 posts

I think the concern behind the question is whether she can get medical treatment as a minor in Switzerland. It would not hurt for your daughter to carry a notarized letter authorizing your friend to consent to medical care for your daughter if she needs it.

Did you read what I wrote on another thread about phones in Switzerland? The good news is that your daughter can call you very inexpensively.

Posted by
223 posts

Joe,

Check this out as an example (you'd want to cut this down): http://www.tennhelp.com/RelCareGiver/Docs/Power_of_Attorney_for_Care_of_a_Minor_Child_Form.pdf

(You can also google for other examples. There are a lot out there for military persons deploying overseas).

This simply gives someone in your stead the ability to consent to medical care for your daughter. You can modify it to fit your circumstances.

If your daughter's mother also has shared parenting responsibilities, you'll want her notarized signature as well.

In almost all cases, emergency medical care would be provided to your daughter, with or without your consent. However, if she needed some other critical, but non-emergent surgery, you wouldn't want her to have to wait for you to get there to provide your consent.

As they say, "better safe than sorry." Plus, if you're using the Murphy's Law equation, this will ensure your daughter has a perfect, uneventful trip.

Posted by
31 posts

The other thing I killing myself over is buying her a US Airways ticket with a connection of 1 1/2 hours in Philly. Looking at their arrivals and departures, they look delayed or late more times than not. I stress out about that sometimes

Posted by
131 posts

I will second the previous post that you are clearly a very loving and caring father. Besides worrying for her safety, you are providing this incredible experience for her! One can also assume that were she not a responsible teen, you wouldn't want her to go on this trip. But it might be time to just stop thinking of extra things to worry about, because, what if she picks up on your anxiety? True, she should have the information about what to do if she misses her connection, and phone numbers, etc. But dealing with this all will be part of the experience-even for adults travel almost never goes perfectly smoothly! I am an uber- worrier. I have found the best outlet for this is to create a list with every conceivable phone contact, myriad instructions, etc. I limit myself to one page! Then I give it to my daughters. We agree I can go over it once and they will listen, eyes glazing over. Then they take it, stuff it in their bag, and I hope for the best :)

Posted by
31 posts

would I love her any less if I just canceled her flight and tryed it again another day? I trust my daughter very much and you are right that she is responsible, yet, after dealing with the people I talk to on US Airways, I can't help but think that I am throwing her to the wolfs. The agent I just talked to showed no empathy and they seem to care about the $$$ and customer relations be damned. I know that if I let her go she will survive and thrive. Just getting her past this first leg of the trip is the biggest hurdle. I want to cancel and I know she says she understands but really I know it would knock the stuffing out of her.

Posted by
138 posts

Joe,
I have two kids, and I understand your worries and anxieties as a parent. But if I were you, I would not cancel her trip altogether just because you have nerves. Imagine how she feels, she is all set to go now! I bought a ticket for a direct flight from SF to Zurich on Belair. On the way back, it stops in Las Vegas first before continuing on to SF. Of course, for your daughter it still would not be a completely direct flight, as she would have to fly from Seattle to SF first, but that's a short trip, and Belair flight is at 8:35 pm. If you like, you can contact me directly and I will be happy to give you the name and number of the agency that sells tickets for Belair. If you can afford it, cancel USAir flight and get her on Belair, it is a Swiss charter. They only fly on Thursdays.

Posted by
2779 posts

German charter carrier LTU (www.ltu.com) who you can also book directly online serve Vancouver to Zürich nonstop Wed and Fri during the summer season. So if you feel you'd have to rebook her, why not on a nonstop flight? LTU offer great service, plenty of movies, several meals... your typical European charter carrier (I haven't been on Belair since they got renamed from Balair to Belair but I'd imagine they'd be as good in terms of service and selection).

Posted by
223 posts

Hi Joe,

I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to toss my 2-cents in here, both as someone who traveled abroad at age 16-17, and who is now the mother of 16-1/2 year old.

I wanted to aleviate some of your concerns. I know people have been posting negative things about US Air, Philly, etc. and it is good to know the reputation and reality of what you are dealing with.

At the same time, however, (IMHO), your job as a parent isn't to smooth the way and all the wrinkles out for your daughter. It is to make sure that she's safe and has a reasonable plan.

I know you say that your daughter is somewhat naive, having not traveled alone before, but that is not the same thing as not being competent. I had plenty of situations while traveling where I had to figure things out (sometimes by calling my dad from a pay phone for advice), but I did it.

Safety is your job. Executing the plan is her job. It's all part of the traveling process that will build your daughter's character.

Posted by
31 posts

That is true Roxanne. And thanks to everyone about the direct flight information. I kindof made the decision without all the details about the connection in Philly. Today for example the flight from Seattle that was to be there at 4:34 came in at 6:52 pm. The Zurich flight left at 6:15. My wife and I I guess understand the growing up part and how safe Philly airport is but...
I like the direct flight information and I want to follow up on that. I also want to go to Europe next year with my family and plan to use Alaska Air miles. I want to exchange homes with someone in England for a couple of weeks and then a couple of weeks on the train to France and Switzerland. I think that she will be fine if she waited until next year.

Posted by
2779 posts

Do you really have to cancel the trip completely? Would it not be possible to just rebook her on an airline/connection you trust?

Posted by
31 posts

It would be possible. The other part of the story is my wife's concerns and living with that tension for three weeks. I just checked out LTU Airlines and I see that they have a direct non-stop flight from Vancouver B.B. Canada to Zurich. That would be the ideal solution to this flying dilema. I think though we have decided to wait until next year and go as a family. Sounds boreing I know but we are also talking about going with intervac and exchanging homes with someone in Europe. They come over here and see the Pacific NW part of the US (Mt. St Helens is 40 miles away) and we go there and have their home as our home base. It really is a good deal, and then my son, who will be 22 and graduated from college, can also be with us. We are not giving up on Europe as I have back-packed through parts of it myself and loved it.

Posted by
13227 posts

Joe, if is direct flights you want for your trip next year, you can use your Alaska miles on either British Air, flying non-stop from Seattle to London, or Northwest, flying non-stop from Seattle to Amsterdam. You can also use Alaska miles on American, but those flights are not direct to Europe. We like British and have flown that way a number of times on Alaska miles. And Air France starts flying direct from Seattle to Paris any day now. Or you can take Lufthansa from Portland to Frankfurt, non-stop, but Alaska miles won't work on Lufthansa.

If you want to do the home exchange, you should register with Intervac soon to explore your options and start setting something up. The good news is that the PNW seems to be a popular US destination listed by Europeans who are members.