Accompanying a minor on a trip: all parents were once faced with this issue before. Do you have to ask for days to take him yourself? Is it necessary to organize with the spouse living in another city (because of separation) or a family member?
When no one can accompany the child during the journey, parents have 2 solutions:
– 1st solution: the child does not leave and remains in the nearest summer camp.
– 2nd solution: the child leaves with a third party who accompanies him during the journey
If you choose to have your child accompanied by a third party, you should be aware that there are different ways to do this.
Services directly provided by carriers
The main carriers offer escort services for children travelling alone.
SNCF and its Junior & Compagnie service
The Junior & Cie service supervisors have the BAFA (Brevet d’Aptitude aux Functions d’Animateur) and are trained to accompany minors in the railway environment. On average, one attendant takes care of about 8 children.
The child must have a bag of less than 10kg on wheels and a small backpack with its necessary (games, blanket, snack, drink – because he will not be able to go to the bar alone).
For information, the service starts at 35€ for 1 child (from 4 to 14 years old) and for a journey of less than 2h30.
Air France and its Kids Solo service
Children are welcomed and grouped together to board the plane first. They are taken to their seats, supervised throughout the flight and accompanied to the pick-up point at the airport of arrival.
The service is offered for children from 4 years (for domestic flights) and 5 years (for international flights).
For -11 years (domestic flights) and -14 years (international flights), it is included in the ticket price.
For +12 years (domestic flights) and +14 years (international flights), it is from 40€.
Aside from Ouibus which recently established a partnership with KidyGO (read the 2nd part of this article to find out), be aware that the companies making bus journeys at national and international level (such as Eurolines/Isilines, Flixbus) do not offer an accompaniment service for minors.
For domestic or international bus journeys, minors must be accompanied by a person of full age having parental authority or holding the authorisation of the legal guardian to accompany them.
You must therefore find someone (friend, family or other) to accompany the minor during the journey with your permission.
Services offered by companies
This service connects parents (wishing to have their 3 year old child accompanied by train, plane or bus) and private travellers.
These travellers are called KidySitters once certified by the company which has verified the following information: email address, phone number, valid ID, and (optionally if mentioned in the profile) diplomas, certificates and clean criminal record.
KidySitters offer to take care of children during their journey in return for a ticket or compensation (less than the ticket price).
Since June 2018, they have had a partnership with Ouibus.
This website connects families and individual travellers whose profile has been verified (identity card, civil liability certificate, clean criminal record) in order to ensure the seriousness of the accompanying person for train and air travel for children aged 4 and over.
The families who are registered can use the website free of charge as they pay for the full accompanying person’s ticket.
The accompanying person can register and use the site for free during the first 6 months. Then it is 45€ to use the account 12 months more )( the price is not very high when we calculate the fact that the accompanying person can travel for free thanks to the families who need him)
You can also do the opposite. Instead of looking for a person available on the dates of the journey who will take care of your child (even if she is not a childcare professional), you can choose people whose job is to take care of children and who will be available to accompany a minor during a journey (bus, train, plane).
The professionals working at Baby Prestige are already selected on the basis of a minimum of 3 years’ experience in the children’s field. It will only be necessary to check availability to accompany the minor on the trip. Pick up can take place either at the parents’ home or at the meeting point (station or airport).
Discover this summary of the companies which offer a solution of minors escort, alternative to the solutions of the carriers:
Now you have all the information you need to enable your little treasures to go on holiday either with the services offered by the transport companies or thanks to the websites that put you in touch with private individuals or between private persons/professionals.
So you no longer have excuses not to let your children go!
Photographic credits : Pixabay