Friday, February 22, 2013

Legal tips: travelling abroad as a family

Travelling overseas as a family can be exciting and rewarding but it requires thoughtful planning and preparation. To make your trip a memorable experience without getting into troubles in a foreign land, you may find these legal tips useful.  

Five, ten and twenty Euro bills.
  Unless you are embarking on an adventure to an obscure location, you can almost always find an ATM everywhere during your trip. Prepare several bank cards and make sure there is enough credit in your accounts. In different countries, the maximum you can take out each day can be different. You may be charged extra fees when your withdrawal exceeds that number. Sometimes you may find travelers checks useful in an urgent situation. Also, always, always carry some US cash in the event of an emergency – this currency is accepted by most banks. Give some cash to kids just in case. When you need to exchange currencies, buy airline tickets or traveler’s checks, always go to authorized outlets.

Visas and passports
Your passport is your most important travel document. Make sure all of your children, including newborn infants have their own passports. Carry a few photocopies of your passport and some passport photos in case it is lost or stolen overseas and you need to replace it while away. What will happen during your impending trip is unpredictable. In addition, make copies of your passport details, insurance policy, traveler’s checks and credit card numbers just in case, and keep them in a safe location – ideally, they will be located in a separate space to your hard copies.

 Obey foreign laws, no matter how quirky they are
Do you know that if you forget to flush the public toilet in Singapore, you can get a fine? And in Denmark, wearing a mask in public can even lead to arrest. In a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. Do some research on the local laws and regulations before you set out and teach your children about them as well.  

Caution! No camera!
You may also want to learn something about the customs in the country you are going to visit. Respecting the culture and customs there can help you avoid lots of troubles. Some regions are very sensitive about photographs. In general, avoid photographing or filming the police and military installations, borders or scenes of civil disorder. Make sure the other family members understand these regulations as well. You can find out relevant information in the country’s tourist office or embassy.

  Check if there are any vaccinations or health checks are required for you and your family to enter that country. Normally you need to get your shots at least six months before you depart. If you or your family members need to take medicine overseas, make sure they are legal in the country you are about to visit. Discuss with the doctor the quantity you’ll need to take. You may also need to carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medications are and how much you are taking with you.

If you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford to travel
 Even out of the country, you still need to pay your local health care insurance – and you may also want additional coverage while you are overseas. Alternatively, always take out comprehensive travel insurance for you and your family. Medical costs overseas can be enormous. Although you may end up saving a few hundred dollars on insurance, you could end up paying these costs when things go wrong. Look for an insurance company that suits your family’s needs and is valid for the whole time. Make sure it covers medical expenses on injury or illness, theft of valuables, as well as cancellations or interruptions to flight plans.

Have a child with dual nationality?
Being a national or citizen of more than one country is called dual nationality. Some foreign governments don’t recognize dual nationality, which can affect your travelling plans. If that is the case with your children, it is important to understand the implications of local laws for dual nationals before you depart. Consult a lawyer to resolve any of these issues. You can seek help from a company such as Watts McCray Family Lawyers, who are experienced in family law issues.

Author bio: Yuan Liu is a freelancer who is currently working on her thesis about child custody. She finds Watts McCray Family Lawyers a good source for parents who need help in family law issues.


Guillaume Speurt said...

If travelling in Europe it is far better to have some Euros in cash than US dollars! :)


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