Travelling abroad with children

Introduction

This page gives general information about travelling abroad with children. Check the latest travel advice before travelling abroad.

Before you travel abroad with your children, there are certain things that you should consider. Check that your passports are in date and find out if you need to get any travel vaccinations before you go. There may be other things to consider about the travel destination.

Passports

A child must have their own passport, and cannot be included on their parent’s passport. A child’s passport is valid for 5 years. You should ensure in advance of travel that all passports are in date with at least 6 months to their expiry date. See our page on passports for children for further information.

Travelling with a child under 18

If you are travelling with someone else’s child or with a child with a different surname, you may have to explain the relationship between you and the child to immigration officers in the country you are travelling to. If you are travelling alone with your child, you may have to provide evidence that you have the other parent’s consent to travel.

If you are travelling to Ireland with a child under 18, you can find details of the required documents from the Department of Justice. If you are travelling with a child to another EU country, you can find further details of the required documents on Europa.eu.

Vaccination and health

If you normally live in Ireland and are travelling abroad, you should check whether you need vaccinations to travel to the country or countries you plan to visit.

If you plan to travel within the EU, you should get a European Health Insurance Card for each person travelling before you leave Ireland as this will give you emergency treatment in another EU country while abroad.

Sun exposure

Children (especially infants) can be very sensitive to the sun and sunburn is a common cause of discomfort. Heatstroke can occur because of very hot temperatures, extreme physical exertion or sunburn. Seek advice from your pharmacy or doctor before you travel about using high factor lotions, creams and sunblock and remember to take sensible precautions and keep children covered up.

Food and water

Trying out new food is part of the experience while travelling abroad but taking sensible precautions can lessen the risk of illness or infection. It is also important that everyone particularly young children, drink plenty of bottled water if travelling to a hot country.

Animals

Encourage your children to stay away from all animals while abroad and never attempt to bring an animal into Ireland on your return. The risk of rabies infection may be quite small but you should seek medical advice immediately in the event of any bites or scratches, especially those from dogs, cats or monkeys, while abroad.

More information

The Department of Foreign Affairs provides travel advice for those planning to travel abroad on its website. The HSE provides information on its website on travel vaccines.
Page edited: 10 January 2023