"We travel not to escape our life, but to stop life from escaping us"
Tilley in one arm and Lucy on my shoulders. I step up to Indian immigration with papers in hand. The officer eyes our little rabble and looks at the paper work. He thumbs through the passports and visa, looking up from them at us from behind the desk comparing our pictures. Lastly, out of the crisp manila envelop, he pulls the letter that confirms Sheena (my wife) knows we are traveling. A few stamps later and we are off on our adventure, ready to start exploring.
So today I though I would write about a few things you can do to make traveling alone with your kids, through a international boarder crossing a little less stressful. Firstly, if you are traveling alone with your kids as mentioned above a notarized letter signed by you and their other parent is gold to an immigration officer. We pulled a template of a letter from the web and rewrote it to suit us. After that we took it to the local notary and after signing in front of him he stamped it and we were good to go. Now when I say this is gold to an immigration officer I mean it makes their life much easier. Having an official document, sign by both parents and notarized by a credible source means they can make a fairly quick and easy decision about weather you traveling legitimately with your kids or up to no good.
Next, there is nothing worse for you or the person behind the desk at the boarder than someone who arrives still digging out their documents and papers. Have your travel documents organized and out ready to show or at least together and easily accessible This will also mean that you can hand it all over quickly then concentrate on keeping the kids together are calm while the officer looks at everything.
Lastly, probably the biggest things that will easy the pain of going through immigration, prepare your kids. We start early, making sure they eat some snacks and use the bathroom. I'm also never above bribing my kids. It's surprising what the promise of a chocolate bar or ice cream can do to keep my kids subdued while passing through immigration. The more prep you can do the better. Keep your kids happy through the process is the key to passing through an international boarder happily and efficiently.