As a parent, it is only natural to feel concern at the thought of your offspring heading off into the sunset with no definite idea where they are actually going or what they’re getting up to. The most helpful thing we can advise is to ensure your child is as prepared as possible for their trip. You can make sure that they are well-informed about how to maximise their personal safety, while still encouraging them to follow their dreams.
Talk to your child about their trip. Find out where they plan to go and how they are financing it. You need to know whether it is an organised trip with a group, or if they are setting off on their own. Ask for a rough plan of the trip, and encourage them to let you know of any major changes to the plan once they are under way.
Help them with their travel research if they are happy for you to do so. Sometimes, making a few phone calls on their behalf may help ease your mind. Offering to check the small print on any insurance documents can also be helpful, as it is may be something that your child is new to.
Discuss what they would do if....
- they got their bags stolen;
- someone tried to attack them; or
- their friends ended up getting drunk every night.
Pre-trip discussions like this will hopefully stick in their memories and could be of help if they were to get in a difficult situation.
Agree on the best way to keep in touch while your child is abroad. E-mails are the most cost-effective and great for quick catch ups; a quick one-line email can let you know your child has arrived safely at their destination.Travel blogs and networking sites are also a good way to keep up-to-date with events and recent photos. You may wish to encourage them to use their mobile phone - check what the costs of this will be with their network because they will usually be charged both to receive and make calls when overseas.
The Time of Your Life
The DVD was filmed as part of our Education in Schools programme for students or young travellers about to embark on world travel. It’s a great way to get the message of safer travel across to young travellers.
Download our Safer Travel App. The app provides specific information as well as travel safety tips for a variety of popular destinations. It may be useful for both you and your child to have a mobile and continuously updated source of information about the destination to which your child is travelling.
Encourage your son or daughter to follow their dreams, and help them to acquire the knowledge they need to stay safe wherever they may travel in the world.