Do I need permission to take my child on holiday?

Do I need permission to take my child on holiday?

As worldwide Covid-19 travel restrictions are lifting, many people are starting to plan international trips, whether to be able to see much-missed loved ones, or perhaps for the chance of a some winter sun. Nowadays, we are a global society with connections across the world. However, the laws of our new favourite destination countries don’t always make travel easy for modern family set-ups.

Many people are unaware that, depending on where you are travelling, you may need to provide additional evidence, follow specific processes, or perhaps even have a court order, to be able to travel with your children. If you are travelling with children and are a single parent, or a parent travelling abroad without their spouse, it is worth checking out travel requirements of your destination country well in advance of booking your trip.

Parents travelling with children with a different surname may face additional procedures and risk not being able to travel if they arrive at the airport unaware and unprepared. There may also be different requirements for people of different nationalities, whether flying into or out of the UK, or elsewhere.


Below are six “top tips” to help ensure your family are ready to meet any foreign travel requirements:

  • Do your research early, ideally before you book your tickets;
  • Understand the rules of the country you and your children are travelling to;
  • Check with your airline;
  • Speak to your embassy and the embassy of the country you are travelling to;
  • Gather the documents needed to travel and evidence your relationship; and
  • Get a letter from any other biological parent early, providing their written consent to travel. Depending on the requirements of the country you are traveling to, this may need to be witnessed or notarised.

What if my ex won’t consent?

If you experience any problems with this process or consent from the other parent is not forthcoming, you may need a court order to be able to travel. It can take months to get a court order, and so it is important to plan ahead and leave enough time to take this step if needed. The court process is not always straightforward and it is worth seeking legal advice about the necessary application and process, and consider representation at court if your children’s other parent is objecting to the trip.

For more information, please get in touch with Sarah Green.

This article is for general information only and does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you have any questions relating to your particular circumstances, you should seek independent legal advice.