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  • Writer's pictureConnie George

The Mistake Parents Make that Cancels a Trip Last Minute without Refund

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

2 adults, child, toddler, baby checking in at airport with luggage

It’s a mistake that can cost you your vacation and thousands of dollars down the drain for nothing. A simple error in some respects, but an unforgivable error when traveling. I'll go over the problem, who is at the biggest risk, and what needs to be done.

The problem popst up something like this:

“We leave for Mexico tomorrow. Someone just told me that my toddler has to have a passport?!”

“We’re at the airport, and they are telling me that Baby John can’t get on the plane because we don’t have a passport for him.”

“I just called my parents because I don’t know what to do. We’re at the port, and the cruise line says we can’t get on because I didn’t realize that preschoolers also had to have passports!”

The mistake? Forgetting that, no matter the age, a person is a person. Whether that person is a newborn or centenarian, you have to have proof of citizenship when traveling outside of the U.S. And that proof is usually required to be in the form of a passport booklet.

As the world slowly reopens, I’m reading these horror stories over and over again on social media. And who are the panicked people who are posting? Parents and grandparents who have booked a family trip. And what do they have in common?

  • They researched their trip and booked online.

  • They booked through an inexperienced MLM representative. *

  • They booked directly with airlines and cruise lines or resort.

In other words, they neglected to take advantage of the guidance and advocacy of a professional travel consultant.

reddish brown brick wall with graffiti saying you don't know what you dont know
You don't know what you don't know.... until you crash into a brick wall.

When someone takes on handling their own trip (or plumbing, selling their house, representing themselves in court, etc.), they take on the responsibilities of knowing all they need to know. The problem with that? You don’t know what you don’t know.So what happens at the airport or pier if you don’t have the needed passport for your child or grandchild? Sadly, your options are to cancel your trip or call the closest relative who can babysit your child while you are away.

The U.S. Department of State is now warning that passports may take “up to 18 weeks” to get back. They suggest that passport applications be sent “at least six months prior” to travel. Click here for all you need to know about obtaining a passport for children under 16.

Your vacation and the money you spend on it are too important for you to lose either. Hire an experienced travel professional whose career and livelihood are about vacation planning and relationships with their clients. They will support you in planning your trip, including letting you know what you need to know.

I’d like my office to be your travel agency. If you plan to go on an ocean or river cruise or on an escorted motorcoach tour, email or call 610-532-0989 to set up a complimentary consultation call to see if we’re a good fit for you.

Happy Traveling!


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