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Kid passport question

My husband and I will be traveling to Italy and London with our 3 children. Our oldest son is 14 and on the autism spectrum. He has language and can answer questions about his family but is slow with processing. Our other two kids are 11 and 7 and they are neurotypical with no language or processing issues. My question is should my husband and I hold our kids passports for them during our travels or should they be with them at all times for one reason or another. Thanks for any insight that you can offer up.

Posted by
6784 posts

Definitely keep your children's passports with you! The kids do not need to hold them or keep them or even touch them while you are traveling. In all likelihood, the only place you will show them is at the airport and the hotel. When they need to be shown, the parents just give all the passports to the clerk - the kids do not need to.

Just think of the problems that would ensue if one of your kids lost their passport!

Posted by
1079 posts

Your should keep your kids passports for the entire trip, a lost passport can cause a big headache in the middle of a trip. A 11 and 7 year old don't really understand the importance of protecting the passport. There is no reason for the kids to be carrying them, in fact we usually leave our passports locked in the hotel safe of our hotel room.

Posted by
33113 posts

I know that when I was their age - back when chisel and rock were popular pen and paper - my mother would never have given them to me and my brother. There's no need to either. The kiddoes will be in eyesight of one or both parents all the time??

Posted by
149 posts

Our last trip to London this past December. Our kids were 17 and 22. My husband held onto the 17 year old's passport. there was no need for him to have it and I honestly can't imagine that until his brain is more developed that i would trust him with it! :)

I think the only reason that he didn't hold on to the 22 year old's was that she was on a different itinerary than we were so she checked in separately than us.

Posted by
1382 posts

Is there a specific reason you’re asking this question? Are you afraid your kids might get lost and need some form of ID in order for police or other officials to assist them?
If so, you can get them a bracelet or wristband with your telephone number and contact details written on it. If you do a search on Google, you will see plenty of these available.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for the responses. I thought that would probably be the case where my husband and I just hold on to them but I wasn't entirely sure. I am marginally fearful of a situation where one kid may become lost but I plan on having trackers on all of them anyways since we are going to highly populated areas with big crowds for most of our trip. Thanks again!

Posted by
23411 posts

When we traveled with our two sons in that age range, we held the passports. But we always had a 20 euro note paper clipped to a hotel card with their name on it and buried in a secured pocket. If separated we were to return to the last spot everyone was together and wait. If that didn't work, find a taxi back to the hotel. The system was never tested but that was the plan.

Posted by
33113 posts

The other trick to din into them until it is second nature (and you too, for that matter) is what to do if some of the group (you know who it will be) gets on before anybody else and some of the group (you'll know who) dawdles and misses the bus/métro/tube etc. If the whole party is not together the first folks get off at the next stop and wait(s) on the platform in the same place, and the second group all get on the next whatever and they also get off at the next stop. Party fully recombined, no fuss, no muss, minor amount of tears and worry. You could even practice it, and teach them how to get off the bus/métro/tube etc.

Posted by
9763 posts

I will say that I noticed only when boarding when I left Atlanta in December to come back that at the moment of boarding, the agents needed each member of family (or other) parties to each hold their own passports. So you should be ready for that in case that is the situation when you are boarding your transatlantic flight. (In this instance, you would still hold your children's passport until the last possible moments in line, and have them give them back to you as soon as each person has scanned their passport for boarding.)

Posted by
998 posts

My daughter is 29 and has special needs (Williams syndrome) and can communicate well, but has cognitive and processing difficulties. I do not allow her to carry her passport. On our last trip to London, she lost her crossbody purse on the National Express bus. Thank goodness I had her passport. She lost a CC (that I could freeze) her non-driver's license ID and a little cash.

My advice would be to make sure you have a routine. Have him practice with his luggage and a small backpack for instance, so he is familiar with carrying two pieces of luggage. Make sure he has a certain pocket for an ID card - a school student ID card would be fine and if he lost it he can easily get that replaced back home. Put your phone number on a card if he can't remember it. You could even have it noted somewhere on a card that he has autism and where he is staying.

Have a great trip.

Posted by
1501 posts

Heck, I even do that with adults in my family. I hold on to Mom's, hubby's, and sons' passports if they are traveling with me. They feel cared for and safe with me being charge of the important bits and I can relax knowing that a responsible person is in charge. Have a fabulous trip!

Posted by
27 posts

I always hold everyone's passports in my money belt for safe keeping. I hope your entire family has the best trip ever to London!