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Hey there, fellow adventurers!

As a single parent, taking a trip with my 7-year-old to Japan was both exciting and a bit daunting. Traveling from Amsterdam to Hong Kong with a 10-hour layover, and then from Hong Kong to Japan, was no small feat. Here’s how we made the most of our journey and some tips I picked up along the way.

Pre-Trip Preparations

The key to a smooth trip is preparation, especially when traveling with a child. I started by making a detailed packing list, ensuring we had everything we needed for our long flights and layover. Snacks, entertainment, and comfort items were at the top of our list. I packed plenty of healthy snacks like fruit, an sandwiches to keep us fueled throughout the journey.

I also loaded up our tablet with movies, games, and educational apps to keep my little one entertained. Don’t forget the headphones! A few new books were also packed to surprise and keep her engaged.

The Flight from Amsterdam to Hong Kong

Our flight from Amsterdam to Hong Kong was long, but manageable. We had a late afternoon flight, which helped my child sleep through a good portion of it. I brought along a cozy blanket and her favorite stuffed animal to make the airplane seat as comfortable as possible. For myself, I had the Support stockings bought on amazon, which I had been skeptical about but decided to give a try due to my swollen feet after long flights. To my surprise, they really helped with circulation and kept my legs feeling fresh throughout the journey.

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Surviving the 10-Hour Layover in Hong Kong

A 10-hour layover can be a challenge, but Hong Kong International Airport has plenty to offer. We spent some time exploring the kid-friendly amenities, like the aviation discovery center and the children’s play areas. We also enjoyed a delicious meal at one of the airport’s many restaurants, giving us a taste of the local cuisine. and took a quick strol to hongkong station

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To help pass the time, we did some duty-free shopping and found a quiet corner to rest and recharge our devices. I also made sure we took short walks to stretch our legs and prevent restlessness.

The Final Leg: Hong Kong to Japan

The final leg of our journey was a 3.5-hour flight from Hong Kong to Japan. By this point, we were both tired but excited to finally reach our destination. I kept my daughter entertained with some new activities I had saved specifically for this part of the trip, like sticker books and a travel journal where she could draw and write about her experiences so far.

Arrival in Japan

Arriving in Japan was a dream come true. We were greeted by the efficient and friendly staff at the airport, and the process of getting through customs and collecting our luggage was smooth. I had pre-booked a shuttle to take us to our hotel, making the transition from the airport to our accommodation as seamless as possible.

Our First Day in Japan

Our first day in Japan was spent acclimating to the new time zone and exploring our immediate surroundings. We visited a local park where my daughter could run around and play, and we enjoyed some authentic Japanese cuisine at a nearby restaurant. The excitement of being in a new country helped us shake off the fatigue of travel, and we both went to bed that night eager for the adventures to come.

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Our Journey from Osaka to Tokyo

We started our adventure in Japan with a stay at the Via Inn Shin-Osaka on our first day. I chose this hotel because of its convenient location—just a 3-minute walk from Shin-Osaka Station. This proximity made it incredibly easy for us to catch the bullet train (Shinkansen) to Tokyo the next morning.

Booking our Shinkansen tickets was a breeze thanks to Klook. They reserved seats for both me and my daughter, making the process stress-free. It’s always very crowded at Shin-Osaka or any major station in Tokyo, so I felt a huge weight off my shoulders doing this via Klook. Just redeem your ticket at the Shinkansen machine, and you’re good to go!

After a comfortable night at Via Inn Shin-Osaka, we boarded the bullet train and enjoyed the scenic and speedy ride to Tokyo, where we spent the next eight days immersed in the vibrant culture and attractions of the city. Tokyo offered us a whirlwind of experiences, from historical temples to modern skyscrapers, incredible shopping, and delicious cuisine.

Stay tuned for more details about our Tokyo adventure in the upcoming posts!

Check out Via Inn Shin-Osaka – it’s the perfect spot for a seamless transition from Osaka to Tokyo.


Final Thoughts and Tips

Traveling solo with a child can be challenging, but with a bit of planning and a positive attitude, it’s absolutely doable and incredibly rewarding. Here are a few tips that helped us:

  1. Prepare for the long haul: Pack plenty of snacks, entertainment, and comfort items.
  2. Make the most of layovers: Explore the airport amenities, rest, and stay active.
  3. Stay organized: Keep important documents(consent letter etc) and items easily accessible.
  4. Be flexible: Things might not always go as planned, but that’s part of the adventure.

Consent letter

Getting a Consent Letter for Traveling as a Single Parent in the Netherlands

Traveling as a single parent with your child can be a wonderful experience, but it’s important to have the right documents to avoid any issues. One key document is a consent letter. This letter shows that the other parent agrees with the travel plans. Here’s what you need to know:

What is a Consent Letter?

A consent letter is a written permission from the other parent or guardian. It states that they agree with you taking the child on a trip. This letter is especially important for international travel.

Why Do You Need It?

Authorities might ask for a consent letter to prevent child abduction and to ensure that both parents are aware of the travel plans. Without it, you could face delays or even be denied entry to a country.

What Should Be Included?

  • Child’s Information: Full name, date of birth, and passport number.
  • Travel Details: Dates, destination, and purpose of the trip.
  • Parent’s Information: Full names and contact details of both parents.
  • Consent Statement: A clear statement that the other parent agrees to the travel.
  • Signatures: Signature of the consenting parent. It might also need to be notarized.

If the Other Parent is Not Involved or Deceased:

If the other parent is not involved in the child’s life or has passed away, you will need an official document to prove this.

  1. Proof of Sole Custody: If you have sole custody of the child, you will need a document proving this. You can get this document from the court or the gemeentehuis.
  2. Death Certificate: If the other parent has passed away, you will need to provide the death certificate.
  3. Notarization: Even with these documents, it is a good idea to have them notarized for official use.

How to Get It in the Netherlands?

  1. Talk to the Other Parent: Explain why the letter is necessary.
  2. Write the Letter: Include all the required information.
  3. Get the Letter Notarized: In the Netherlands, you can have the consent letter notarized at the gemeentehuis (town hall) or at a notaris (notary).
  4. Court Order (if needed): If the other parent does not agree to the travel, you might need to get permission from the court.

Steps to Follow:

  1. Visit the City hall: Go to your local town hall with the letter and both parents’ identification documents.
  2. Notary Services: If you prefer, or if the city hall cannot provide the service, visit a notary (notaris) with the necessary documents.
  3. Court Permission: If there are disagreements, contact the family court to seek permission.

Tips

  • Check Requirements: Different countries have different rules. Always check the requirements before you travel.
  • Make Copies: Keep a copy of the letter with you and give one to the other parent.
  • Plan Ahead: Start the process early to avoid last-minute issues.

Having a consent letter can make your travel smooth and stress-free. It ensures that you have the proper permission to travel with your child and avoids any legal complications. Safe travels!

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