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student IDs for kids

My boys will be 12 and 15 when we go on our 6 week trip to Europe in the summer of 2009. They are homeschooled and do not have a traditional school ID. Is there some kind of ID I can get for them/make up for them that will work for student discounts, or will their age/passport be enough to get a discount anyway? Thanks.

P.S. I am so excited about this trip that I am already writing the packing lists for their one bag! We did 6 weeks road trip across the US in 2006 and I was ready to do it again about four days after we got back.

Posted by
87 posts

My kids were similar ages to yours when we went last year. Although I did carry their school ID I can't remember using anything but the passports, if I needed anything. If I recollect properly I read something somewhere that sometimes student passes may only be relevant if you come from that country(?) I think though if there was a discount/no charge for children we didn't have a problem and I don't think I even had to produce anything because they looked like children. Does that make sense?

Posted by
11507 posts

A passport is the most important piece of id the kids have, I cannot imagine a single place refusing it.

PS In France where many museums( not all ) are free to kids under 18, no one asked to see my sons id even once. He was only 14, and not huge, I imagine if a child looks "old" for their age the id is a good idea.

Posted by
576 posts

If I recall properly, in Spain and Italy, the student discounts were only for children from the European Union countries. We did enjoy the free (with parents' tickets purchase)museum passes the kids got in Paris, though. In our 5 trips to Europe, we've never needed any kind of ID for them except their passports.

Posted by
486 posts

Passports should be sufficient as most places would realize they are students. If you want more, kids 14+ can usually get state issued IDs and many local police departments have IDs for young kids. As a volunteer for local sheriff's office, I do civilian fingerprinting and also do free picture IDs for kids from birth to 13. This might be good for kids as it allows them to carry ID and not have to carry a passport they might lose.

Posted by
505 posts


Student discounts in Europe are generally available to ALL student, not just citizens. I've NEVER run into a 'resident's only' discount except in Australia. A 12 year old might qualify for some great childrens discounts as well. (Children are usually a separate category, whilst students are sometimes counted with 'concessions'. And there are discounts in lots of places - restaurants, museums, historic sites, public transport etc. I've gotten discounts in Denmark, Sweden, Spain, UK and Switzerland, and they are often sizeable!

The 12 year old can probably get away without an ID, but I think it would be worth getting them each an ISIC card. They will pay for themselves and you won't have the risk that goes along with having to take a passport in and out of it's 'safe place'. Plus in many places the staff are very familiar with ISIC cards so it saves having to flip through a passport.

Go to to get the application.


Posted by
1170 posts

At the Louvre two years ago, my daughter and son got in free because they were under 18. No questions asked, no IDs either. I thought they were much nicer about giving discounts than in the States to be honest.

Posted by
61 posts

I think that most issues with needing a student ID are for college students, over 18, who need to prove that they are actually enrolled in classes and not just young adults trying to pass as students. I had problems getting student discounts in some locations on a trip a few years ago for my college students. The next year we got the ISIC cards. We didn't get to use them much, but they more than paid for the cost of having them issued.