When we went on our last several “big” vacations, I made sure to have some sort of “ID” on our toddler. One trip, it was a keychain with mom and dad’s names and cell numbers, but more recently I made up these travel ID cards for my boys because I knew Toby would get a kick out of having his own ID card. What kid doesn’t want to have their own “grown-up” ID?
A little further on, I’ll share a printable template with you so you can make your own travel ID card for your child. Feel free to customize it. I did (we swapped out the allergies section for flight information).
Some travel tips for you:
- Teach your kid what to do if they get separated from you. While we stressed to Toby that we weren’t going to leave him, I did talk with him a number of times about what to do if he was not with us and needed an adult’s help to find us. Knowing your parents’ names and their cell phone numbers is a big help, so we worked on that. And since he doesn’t have our phone numbers memorized yet, I told Toby to show the adult the phone numbers I had written on his keychain, or the ID card in his pocket.
- Write your number on their arm with permanent marker. I picked this tip up on a blog somewhere — the blogger kept a permanent marker in her purse and whipped it out at amusement parks, airports, and other busy places. That way, the kid can just point to their arm (or hopefully the helpful adult can discern that the numbers are a contact number to call if lost.
- Make hand-holding fun. Sometimes kids are just at the cusp of being independent …but aren’t ready yet. We were able to bridge that gap by offering our hand and asking for “help” — either in knowing where to go (i.e. “look for the gate with the numbers 45”) or maybe as an extension, asking for help with the luggage. Many rolling suitcases are very kid-friendly!
- Safety information is important to review, but doesn’t have to be scary. My toddler had a blast looking at the emergency instruction sheet in the airplane. We talked about why those instructions were there and what to do in an emergency. Find a way to stay upbeat and positive, it doesn’t have to be scary.
Okay, and now onto the travel “ID” card. Here is what the printable travel ID card looks like:
After inputting all the details, and adding a picture to the card, I “laminated” the whole thing. And I say laminated in quotes because I didn’t use an official laminating product, but simply two pieces of packing tape. Information that I added to the card for our airport excursion? The airline we traveled on, flight numbers, and destination cities. I figured that way any airport personnel could get my toddler to the right destination if needed.
Of course, all this will do you no good if you leave it at home. So either make two and keep one in your purse until you get to the airport, or be prepared for an excited toddler to misplace it before your trip. Toby was so excited about the surprise I’d made for him that he took his ID card out of the backpack pocket… and once we were enroute to the airport I discovered that the newly made travel ID card was somewhere in our home. Oh well.