1. Always have a signed parental consent form if only one parent is traveling.
Traveling from Brazil to the UK for Christmas, my daughter and I were supposed to meet her father at the airport. When a series of disasters en route meant that it looked like he was going to miss the non-changeable flight, we agreed that my daughter and I should check in without him. That was when I was told I’d need his written consent to take my daughter out of the country. He arrived just as check-in closed and we caught the flight by the skin of our teeth. Since then I always have a signed consent form when my daughter and I travel by ourselves. Some authorities ask for it, others don’t, but it’s always a good idea to have one.