Going on vacation on your own at 16 or 14 – is it possible? You can find out what applies to children and young people when traveling in the article.
Young people want nothing more than independence. But in many aspects of life, minors need their parents’ consent. Boundaries always begin where the permission of the legal guardians is missing. But what about travel?
At what age can you travel alone?
Even if you already have a mind of your own at 14, 15, or 16, Minors can only travel with the consent of their parents. But if they agree to a trip, kids can also travel on their own. Because the law does not specify a minimum age for travel. As part of a duty of care, parents decide when their child is ready to travel alone for the first time. As a legal guardian, you should ask yourself whether the child or young person has the mental maturity and independence to find his or her own way on vacation. Apart from that, there are a few other things to consider when children and young adults travel unaccompanied.
Also interesting: when can kids stay home alone?
Vacation without parents: what should you consider?
The German Foreign Office recommends that minors traveling alone have one Informal Declaration of Consent as well as one Copy of birth certificate And the passport of the legal guardian (parents, the legal guardian). Because according to the Federal Police, unaccompanied minors are given special attention. To avoid discrepancies during the inspection, the consent form must include the following information:
- Approval of travel
- Personal information about the minor
- Personal data and the availability of the right to custody
- Itinerary information
- Personal details of any accompanying adult
Depending on the destination country, it may also be necessary To certify the signature of the authorized person. One can also Translation into the local language Target country or at least in English. You can download some ADAC Child Travel Authorization templates. You can obtain travel and safety information for all countries of the world from the German Foreign Office. In order to clarify questions in advance about the flight of minors, you can contact the diplomatic missions in Germany directly. You can find an overview here.
Under the age of 18 traveling alone: Subject to the conditions of carriage
Since children and young people cannot travel with their own car, you should also look at the conditions of carriage of the respective carrier in advance. Airlines in particular Generally do not allow children under 5 years old to travel alone and imposing special conditions on unaccompanied passengers between the ages of 5 and 16. However, there may also be special conditions of carriage for minors when traveling by bus, train or ship.
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Limited legal capacity for minors
Another circumstance that may lead to problems with minors traveling alone is their limited legal capacity. Children under the age of 7 are not legally eligible. The Federal Agency for Civic Education writes: “If minors enter into legal transactions without the prior consent of the parents, the contract is suspended ineffective, that is, it is either ineffective if the parents refuse it or becomes effective with subsequent consent. Minors can also accept gifts without the consent of their parents (gift). is a contract) and conclude sales contracts with the money available to them, where cash payment is a condition (§ 110 BGB = pocket money clause). “If the child if you book a flight abroad or have to conclude a similarly important contract, the parents will have to intervene from home. So it is important to prepare well for the trip.
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