When I went travelling back in my early twenties, my excitement was palpable. Perhaps some may call it selfish, but at the time I could only think about the adventure that was awaiting me, and it never occurred to me how my parents must be feeling – that their daughter was stepping onto a plane with just a backpack and flying off to the other side of the world, and that they weren’t going to see me for at least eight months…
Back then mobiles weren’t sophisticated; emails were a new fad, and we were still in the age of dial-up internet, so communication was a little hit and miss. My parents would go weeks without hearing from me.
Now I’m a mother, I can empathise with how my mum and dad must have been feeling at the time. And, while I want my two boys to go off exploring the world when they are old enough, I know it will be painful for me to let them go.
But like my parents had to, letting go is perhaps the hardest thing to do… particularly if you have younger children who may perhaps be going on a school trip. There are a few tips that can help ease the worry, however, and help prepare your kids for their first adventure by themselves out in the big wide world – whether they’re going off on an organised trip, student exchange, studying abroad, or on a gap year.
Work Out the Finances – Prep, Prep, Prep!
One of the most important contingency plans is to make sure you can get money to your child easily. Some out-of-the-way destinations may prove a little difficult, so using a service such as Pangea Money Transfer will enable parents to easily send funds to their children abroad, via a bank account. Before the big trip, sit down and discuss with them about their finances and budgets – it may not be the most exciting topic, but it will give you peace of mind and help ensure that they won’t find themselves in financial trouble.
If your child is traveling through a travel company or school, they will more than likely be provided with a packing list. This will include necessities such as clothing, appropriate toiletries and walking shoes, etc. Be sure to take your child’s travel destination into account, too, as certain items or clothing may be more appropriate for certain areas than others. Prepare for all eventualities…
Research the destination(s)
Doing research beforehand on the country your child is traveling to is essential and make them aware that they should be respectful of different laws and cultures in certain countries. Make it fun, do the research together, and discuss the customs that they should be mindful of.
Prepare for Medical Conditions or emergencies
If your child has a medical condition, be sure to speak to your doctor about recommended steps to take for handling their medication while your child is abroad. Make sure your child has their medicine stock piled and/or has a way to get their prescription. Also prepare an important list of emergency contact numbers and make sure your child keeps them in a safe place.
Hopefully, any worries they may have will dissipate by the sheer excitement of their upcoming adventure. But by communicating with them beforehand and talking about different scenarios, it will go a long way to help make sure they – and you – feel less worried.
*This is a collaborative post