Next week I'm heading off to Crete for a week with my two young nephews, aged 7 and 8. It will be just me, them and our all-inclusive package deal, and I'm taking them away for a treat. I'm clearly quite deranged, but planning the holiday has brought up a whole lot of new considerations in that I'm taking children abroad that are not my own.
Parental letter of consent
Even though the boys are my nephews, I am going to take a letter from my sister to show that she has given authority for them to be in my care on holiday for the week. Just in case.
The boys partly share my own surname, so no questions are likely to be asked, but I've travelled with my own son before where it has been queried at customs (US, unsurprisingly) where his dad is, and why he wasn't travelling with us (sadly, his dad has died, but the authorities do randomly check whether you may be fleeing the country with your kids to gain custody!).
As well, should you need to make a quick decision about the children's health, such as if they need a blood transfusion, you need to discuss with the parents that they are happy to give you that authority in their absence.
It appears that because of the policy I purchased, I can't put my nephews on my own travel insurance, so they are going to have to bring their own. But some insurers need to specifically know that the children are not travelling with their parents, it seems - so ensure the parents are aware of it when buying the policy. It is not likely the children can use the insurance the parents have unless they are actually travelling with their parents.
Make sure you are given policy documents from the parents to take with you, and make sure the children are adequately covered. Compare the Market can look at different insurers who will cover children alone.
It doesn't apply to my nephews, but for children who have any health issues such as allergies or diabetes, you should ensure to take their medical notes and instructions for medication, as well as what to do should they become ill.
What to pack
Parents may well have different ideas about what is suitable to pack, and don't assume they will know what the right things are for the holiday you're taking! If you're going to be doing any particular activities, it may be worth you writing a list for packing.
I am only going on a beach all-inclusive, but I've insisted to my sister that I absolutely do not want to do any washing while there, so the boys must have a clean t-shirt for every day and some shirts for the evening!
Wish me luck!