Bubs was about 9 months old when he traveled to the Philippines to meet his relatives and friends. We were excited and nervous at the same time since this is a long haul flight. Every traveler’s pet peeves are babies who scream their lungs out for the whole trip. Oh and this is about 24 hrs trip – counting the layover times.
We prepared all the necessary things for the travel beforehand most specially his papers. One of the most important documents is the Passport. Everyone including babies needs this little booklet as an international identification. Applying for one is easy for babies. We had to go to the US Postal office to accomplish these. The requirements are:
- Complete DS-11 Form – the applicant has to apply in person and complete this form in person. Therefore, parents had to come over with the baby and apply in person. Provide the baby’s social security number as well. Do not sign the form unless instructed to do so.
- Certified Original copy of US birth certificate issued by the state. Don’t worry, they will return this back to you in 3 weeks.
- Both Parent’s certified birth certificate. They will give this back to you on the spot.
- Identification of parents: two of any of the following – US passport, permanent resident card, driver’s license
- Provide 2 passport photos. We were lucky that the person who processed our bub’s passport gave us the chance to take pictures in the post office itself and used that for his passport photo.
- Passport fees: $80 for application and $25 for execution.
Processing time will take about 4-6 weeks. If you wanted to expedite the process you need to pay their $60 expedite fee and it will take about 3 weeks for processing. We got ours for about two weeks only and we were surprised about it.
For more information about documents, fees and processing times, feel free to visit the US Travel site.
We bought a ticket from ANA airlines and it costs about $2000 for the 3 of us. We had to get tickets 5 months ahead before the travel. It was originally planned on Christmas and New Year, but we rescheduled it on first week of January. We had to consider the budget, the traffic situation in the Philippines (yes, Manila, I am talking about you) and the jacked up prices of the hotels, restaurants, and everything due to the most important holiday season. Most airline companies offer lowest rates right after the holidays anyway. The baby had to pay about half of the regular airfare price, or 50% of the ticket’s regular price. Why does the baby have to pay when he won’t use the seat? Because it is mandatory for an international flight, but not in domestic flight.