Puerto Rico is a great destination for families with children. Puerto Ricans welcome children, and many activities and even whole hotels have been designed with kids in mind. There are, however, a few questions that come up when considering a trip to the island with children. Do children need a passport? Do parents need to bring the child's birth certificate? Are regulations different for non-US citizens flying into Puerto Rico because it is not a state? Are there any health restrictions?
Children, who are U.S. citizens, do not need a passport to fly from a U.S. state or territory to Puerto Rico, whether traveling by themselves or with a parent. Traveling to any of the U.S. territories or commonwealths, like Puerto Rico, is not considered entering a foreign country. On the other hand, for children who are not U.S. citizens, a passport or birth certificate is required just as it would be if flying into the continental United States.
Parents are not required to show a child's birth certificate upon entering Puerto Rico if that child is a U.S. citizen and her flight originates within the United States. Non-U.S. citizens will need a passport or passport equivalent to enter the United States.
U.S. citizens whose flights originate from a foreign country must meet these identification requirements. U.S. airline requirements differ as to what form of identification if any, a minor under 18 must present when boarding an aircraft for a flight within the United States. For most, no identification in any form is required; the airline accepts the word of the responsible adult, even if that adult is not accompanying the minor. For flights into the United States which originate outside the country, a passport or passport equivalent is required for passengers of all ages, including U.S. citizens.
Health Restrictions and Special Needs
Although there are no governmental health restrictions for flying into Puerto Rico from the United States or a foreign country, parents should keep several things in mind. First, parents should have contact information for local physicians and hospitals. Second, all children should be up-to-date on their vaccinations. Third, travelers should keep a close eye on what children eat, as this is a major cause of medical problems while traveling. Fourth, authorities advise parents to bring a small medical kit, including items particular to the child's health, such as remedies for the child's more common injuries. Parents of children with special needs should consult Puerto Rico's Director of Children with Special Health Needs.