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Foreign Country and a 4 Year Old Girl

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Foreign Country and a 4 Year Old Girl

Old 01-02-2010, 05:30 AM
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Default Foreign Country and a 4 Year Old Girl

The wife and I are packing our little 4 year old niece up and flying off to the Caribbean.

While this trip sounds exciting to all 3 of us, I'm kinda nervous about the whole deal. First I drive to JFK and get a room, done this a million times, but never with her. Than we get up at 4 AM and fly non stop to an island 3 hours away (nice short flight) she's never flown before. Off the American Airlines plane and onto a twin Otter puddle jumper for a 30 minute flight to our final destination.

Monday through Saturday on a tiny island. I'm not worried about keeping her busy, she can play with a rock for 3 hours.

She has always lived in Rural White America if you know what I mean. She will be welcomed into these locals homes and places of business and I don't want her to be scared because she's not used to the color of their skin.

We want her to experience different cultures, one of the reasons we are taking her.

I'm looking for general tips on flying and traveling with little girls.
We have all her paperwork in order, judges orders, passport, etc.

She will probably be going to school with these little local children as well for a couple of days. This is typical for this island. They very much except us

Heres some things we thought of:
  1. ID bracelet with her name
  2. Doctors check up before departure have ears checked
  3. Medical consent forms so we can be her proxy while there (she's not our daughter)
  4. Dollar store toys that we can give her a different one quickly during flight
  5. snacks and drink boxes for travel.
  6. Carry Pics of her on our person
How do you buy juice boxes for airline flights, they are over the 4 oz limit for travel??
Thanks for any experienced help you guys may have.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:38 AM
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For long trips the wife used to prepare "brown bag surprises"

Each bag contained a "surprise game" or puzzle or book to share some time reading

Have fun
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:48 AM
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Last I knew, TSA would allow enough juice through for a little one to have enough for the flight. Don't expect to take a case through the checkpoint, maybe 4 or so. Again, last I knew, no packaged "ice" packs, use real ice.

What about a laminated card with your LOCAL contact info pinned into her pocket?
Sounds like you are going to St. Lucia....
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:05 PM
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I would keep a watchful eye on her at all times and never leave her in the care of anyone but myself or my wife. I would find out where the nearest medical facility is on the island, if there is one and what to do in case on a medical emergency. Just me but I would not take one of my children out of the US at this time.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:21 PM
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Make sure you have the legal documents needed in order. I think you will need letters from both parents authorizing you to take her outside of the country. You should also have a medical power of attorney in case there is a medical emergency during your travels. Children 4 years old don't care what color people are.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:25 PM
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http://thefutureofthings.com/pod/124...s-locator.html
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by auguste View Post
For long trips the wife used to prepare "brown bag surprises"

Each bag contained a "surprise game" or puzzle or book to share some time reading

Have fun
I like that Idea. Thanks

Originally Posted by Steve_250 View Post
Last I knew, TSA would allow enough juice through for a little one to have enough for the flight. Don't expect to take a case through the checkpoint, maybe 4 or so. Again, last I knew, no packaged "ice" packs, use real ice.

What about a laminated card with your LOCAL contact info pinned into her pocket?
Sounds like you are going to St. Lucia....
Thanks, Not St. Lucia, but a part of the Turks and Caicos Chain. Salt Cay.

Originally Posted by MacCTD View Post
I would keep a watchful eye on her at all times and never leave her in the care of anyone but myself or my wife. I would find out where the nearest medical facility is on the island, if there is one and what to do in case on a medical emergency. Just me but I would not take one of my children out of the US at this time.
Paperwork is all in order. There is a medical building and full time nurse on the island, all major emergencies are transported out via flight. We've been to this island many times and thankfully are familiar with the process.

I can't just let this little girl grow up without exeriencing the things that are out there, just because were not happy about things on the homeland.

Originally Posted by itwonder View Post
Make sure you have the legal documents needed in order. I think you will need letters from both parents authorizing you to take her outside of the country. You should also have a medical power of attorney in case there is a medical emergency during your travels. Children 4 years old don't care what color people are.
Thanks, she's not your typical 4 year old. Has no dad and Mom has no custody, we do have all her authorization in order, but we plan on checking with the airports and local authorities to make sure they accept what we have as documentation.

We have a medical proxy, but we want to make sure that the medical staff at this location will accept it. That could be a struggle. People are simply not used to a "parent" or "mother" not being present for such things.


This idea we LOVED but it doesn't seem as though you can buy it yet

I kicked around the idea of buying a SPOT for this purpose. It's not foolproof, as it can be taken off her, but it's better than nothing? And may provide us some piece of mind before we go. Besides, I can use it when we get home
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:34 AM
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Has your niece had any recent shots for things like hypothesis and all that other good stuff? Four year olds are still at the age of putting their hands/ fingers in their mouth or getting bumps, bruises and scrapes.
How’s the drinking water down there? Do you need to take special precautions for toddlers?
How are you going to deal with your niece’s ear drums when she experiences the cabin pressure changes? Does or will a child’s aspirin help or is gum still the easiest method for popping the ears?
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:21 AM
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Mike,

My wife and I fly with our girls all the time. It's harder on me than anyone else, just bc i have to carry all the, errr, stuff. It sounds like you have everything covered. Bring lots to do on the plane. A portable dvd player works wonders too ,and definitely have a stash of new stuff.

I would not send her to school though, on an island, in another country.

You also seem to have all papers in order, but just make sure you bring everything - birth certificate, custody papers, medical forms etc. Can you check in with the U.S. consulate or state dept. and let them know of your situation just in case you run into a problem not being the biological parents?

and by the way, thanks for what you guys do for her. She is very lucky to have you and your wife.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:24 AM
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Sounds stupid but have the entire travel group wear matching bright shirts, if she is seperated some how you can spot her easily.

John
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:27 AM
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Try this one my friend.

http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/lo...Fag65Qod9xZFrw
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
Has your niece had any recent shots for things like hypothesis and all that other good stuff? Four year olds are still at the age of putting their hands/ fingers in their mouth or getting bumps, bruises and scrapes.
How’s the drinking water down there? Do you need to take special precautions for toddlers?
How are you going to deal with your niece’s ear drums when she experiences the cabin pressure changes? Does or will a child’s aspirin help or is gum still the easiest method for popping the ears?
I thought Hypothesis was "educated guess", so I really don't know what that is. She is current on her shots, but we will be sure before we leave for sure.

The water is plenty safe there, but I don't even drink my own water, so we buy cases of bottled water when we get there.

We plan on bringing "chewy foods" for the eardrums. I guess you never know how they are going to be able to clear until you try. We will check with the pediatrician before leaving.

Originally Posted by jpdeg View Post
Mike,

My wife and I fly with our girls all the time. It's harder on me than anyone else, just bc i have to carry all the, errr, stuff. It sounds like you have everything covered. Bring lots to do on the plane. A portable dvd player works wonders too ,and definitely have a stash of new stuff.

I would not send her to school though, on an island, in another country.

You also seem to have all papers in order, but just make sure you bring everything - birth certificate, custody papers, medical forms etc. Can you check in with the U.S. consulate or state dept. and let them know of your situation just in case you run into a problem not being the biological parents?

and by the way, thanks for what you guys do for her. She is very lucky to have you and your wife.
Turks and Caicos are under British Rule so I imagine we can call someone there to check on the procedures. They are not easy to deal with. But that is good advice. I am going to start with American Airlines. They have to clear us to board in the first place.

The school idea was a friends idea that lives on the island. There are probably 3 or 4 little boys and girls going to school there and it's not uncommon for them to welcome someone new into the school. They say it is a good experience for children. But we normally don't let her out of our sight, so this would be tough for us anyway. I certainly could understand not letting her out of our sight, these days. We'll see. But I gotta say, this place is WAY safer than DisneyWorld!

Originally Posted by jtburf View Post
Sounds stupid but have the entire travel group wear matching bright shirts, if she is seperated some how you can spot her easily.

John
This sounds like a great idea. I just gotta keep reminding myself that "No one knows me in this airport"!

I got some Hi Vis Shirts that I need to wear for work sometimes. That ought to be easy to see. The wife is going to balk.


Originally Posted by oneill469 View Post
I like it. It works to 600'. We would have to weigh that option.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:15 PM
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Does the country you'll be traveling to have a consulate or embassy in the US?
If so could you give them a heads up as to your travel plans, just in case there would be any issue once you arrive.
Foreign countries always scare me when it comes to documents so the more you have the better off you will be. Some are more progressive then others, it's the ones that lag behind with the court system you have to worry about.
you sound like you have it pretty much under control, try and enjoy the trip and not be uptight over things. It will more then likely go off without a hitch.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:26 PM
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I like auguste idea about the brown bag special but not sure how TSA will react.

Prior to this most recent bombing attempt we were able to bring juice, water, milk, baby food, etc as carry on for small children (all in original store bought containers). One airport did complain because we did not stuff all of it in quart bags and decided they needed to test apple sauce for explosives but other than that no real problems.

We usually bring coloring books or a small lap top for movies for our little girl. If she can chew gum it would be a good idea because it helps equalize the pressure in their ears, if not sucking on a bottle is supposed to do the same thing.

I was worried the first time but we just started getting her excited about a plane ride and then talked to her the whole time and it went off without a hitch. One thing have done recently is bought her her own backpack/suitcase so that she can do everything we do. Carry it put it through security etc and she really seems to like have a "part" or "job" to do instead of just being carried along.

jtburf - LOL. Mom made shirts for us one year and my brother and I still joke about that when the pics pop up. Do not remember much about the vacation but we still remember those shirts.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:12 AM
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Sorry Mike, that should have been hepatitis, not hypothesis....my bad.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:32 AM
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Oh, and not to scare you, but my 3 year old hates going through security. We talk to her about it and prepare her for it, but she still gets upset, distressed and cries trhough the whole thing. Usually it starts when we take her shoes off, she doesn't want to, there isn't time to reason with her, then all of her stuff has to go through the x-ray, which makes it worse.

Having a 3 year old take her shoes off is the stupidest f'ing thing. So is making me take mine off. What happens when some dude fiugures out a way to blow up his pants? do we take those off too?
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jpdeg View Post
A portable dvd player works wonders too


or an ipod with movies/t.v. shows.

make sure you have a couple of new movies...and of course at 4, i'm sure there's 2 or 3 that she will watch non-stop, again and again!

then, again, it seems like nothing has surpassed good ol' crayons and paper for kids that age, especially if YOU draw with them! my kids just loved to "create a world" -- start with a blank sheet of paper and take turns with the child drawing something new in the "world" -- change the color for each turn (although my daughter always went with pink and purple, haha)...keep drawing until the page is covered...makes great refrigerator art for granny and grandpa, too!
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