The first thing you need to do before planning family travel outside the United States is to make sure all your children have passports.
The only exception is if you travel by land or water to those countries included in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, an agreement that includes the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the countries of the Caribbean Region. For those destinations, a child aged 15 or under only needs a certified birth certificate.
The key word here is “certified” — that means it must have a raised, impressed seal, the registrar’s signature and date of filing. But remember, this is only the case if traveling by land. Air travel outside the United States requires a passport for everyone, even infants. Youth passports are issued to those 15 or younger and are valid for five years. Passports issued to those 16 or older are valid for 10 years.
You must apply for any child’s passport in person and with the child. If both parents can’t be present, you must have a signed and notarized statement of permission from the absent parent. If you have sole custody, you must provide a death certificate or court order as proof.
You also need proof of the parent(s) identity and proof of your relationship to the child (in the case of adopted children, you will need the adoption papers). Passport photos are required, even for babies, and they must meet all the adult requirements: eyes open, full face, etc.
Once you have all the required documentation and the completed child passport application, you need to make an appointment to appear in person at a passport acceptance agency. This may be at a nearby post office, clerk of court office or other government office designated to accept passport applications.
Begin this process well before your planned travel, as current wait times are two to three months. For an extra $60 fee you can request expedited service, which shortens that to five to seven weeks.
Huntsville, Alabama, is one of those destinations helping define the family-friendly vacation. Home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the city is lovingly nicknamed Rocket City thanks to its history of always reaching for the stars. This is where you’ll find Space Camp, where kids and families can take part in various programs at the world’s largest space museum, U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Through Dec. 31, family travelers can enjoy the most unexpected thing in Florida: a white Christmas. The Now Snowing in Celebration festival in Kissimmee, Florida, embraces winter traditions for both locals and visitors. Free to visit, families will love heading to the town built by Disney.
Let family travels take you to one of these stunning aquariums around the United States. Recently, Aquarium Store Depot analyzed TripAdvisor reviews containing words such as beautiful, breathtaking and picturesque for 175 public aquariums across America. Each aquarium ranked based on the percentage of reviews to determine the most eye-catching aquariums.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
All aboard! A holiday afternoon tea on a vintage train winding its way through lush wine country? If that sounds a lovely to you as it does to us, the Napa Valley Wine Train is on track to offer you a great seasonal experience perfect for sharing with family or loved ones. Tea is served in a holiday-decked vintage Pullman rail car with historic features like Honduran mahogany paneling, etched glass partitions, sumptuous armchairs and gleaming brass accents.