As nice as it is to travel with the family there will come a time when your teenager will want to start travelling on their own. It doesn’t matter if it’s a school field trip, a mission, or just with their friends, it is definitely something that they should experience. In order to get both, you and them ready and comfortable for travelling on their own, you should prepare. If they are travelling with an organisation they will have all the information ready and them prepared, but if they are going on their own here is how you can prepare them. Here are some key points that you must go over with your teen at least for your own peace of mind.
What Do They Need To Pack
One of the first things you need to teach your teen to do is how to pack for where they are going. They need to understand the local climate and think about all the activities they are going to be doing in order to pack proper clothes. Another thing that your teen needs are their electronics. So, if they are travelling out of the state, it is likely that they will need to have adapters for foreign outlets. They should also make sure that they pack medication they need, wet wipes, bug repellents and so on. Something you should look into is if there will be laundry facilities or just a washer in their accommodation so they know how many clothes to pack as well as seeing if they need coins in local currency for the laundromat.
Teach The How To Stay Safe
Travel will increase how mature your teen is, so to prepare them you will need to have some unpleasant and adult conversations with them in order to keep them safe. The best thing that you can do is be honest with them. Ask them questions about how they would react if certain things happened and tell them your opinion on how you would react in that given moment. It is really important what you show your teen that you trust them and believe that they will make the right decision.
Ensure That They Stay Healthy
It is never fun having to think about all the possible medical issues your teen can encounter whilst on their trip. But having them prepared will let you have peace of mind. If they are staying for a longer period of time, make sure that they have access to some form of medical care when they are there. Another thing that you should do is have a small listing of their basic health information that they will keep on them. Make sure that you are including emergency contact, their health insurance number as well as any conditions and allergies that they have. Something that not a lot of people know is that travelling to a foreign country sometimes requires vaccinations, so make sure that you do it in advance as for some you need to get multiple doses. When it comes to keeping your mind at peace, you can get a drug test kit and get your teen tested before they leave so you are sure that they haven’t done any drugs.
Talk About Money
Of course, your teen will be spending money while they are travelling. But the question is how much money will you let them bring. As they are teenagers and they can quickly make stupid decisions, think about providing them with emergency funds on a debit or prepaid card in care there is an incident. Make sure that you teach them how to budget the money you gave them or their own money if they are working a part-time job and saved up. A great way to make them more aware of spending the money is to have them pitch in with their own money. On the other hand, if your teen has their own money, they should know how to budget it. Make sure that you go over the local currency rates and they learn how to convert their money, so they don’t end up wasting it.
Prepare Them For The Possible “culture shock”
If they haven’t travelled a lot, having a culture shock is something everyone will encounter at some point in life when travelling. One of the best ways you can prepare them for it is to make sure that they do their research on where they are going. That will ensure that they don’t have any uncomfortable encounters. They need to understand their etiquette and social rules before they leave or they can get into some unfortunate situations.
Create Rules For Staying In Touch
As we live in such a digital era, staying in touch isn’t something that is complicated or expensive. If they have a phone, you will be able to reach them at almost any given moment even if they are on the other side of the world. But as they are still kids in a way, it is important that you put down some ground rules of when they will be calling you to check-in. Another thing that you should do is put your number on a piece of paper that they can carry anywhere in case their phone goes missing. Also, teach them that there is something called roaming and that they shouldn’t be using their data, calling or sending SMSs. Basically, tell them that they shouldn’t be using their phone if it’s not connected to Wi-Fi as the roaming costs a lot of money. And why waste money when there is free Wi-Fi.
Even though there will be so many different challenges involved, every teen needs to have their own first solo-travel experience to become a grown-up. Keep in mind that your teens first trip alone is a big milestone. The better you prepare them for it the better experience they will have. It is essential that you stay calm and give them the freedom that they need.
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