A quarter of young travelers tend to use the resources of parents and family to fund their trips. Young people have a lot of time, but often little money to spend. As a parent who is going to pay for their child’s first trip, you can help make their experience as smooth as possible. If your teen is planning a trip on their own or with friends at home or even abroad, it is important to adequately prepare them for what’s out there.  From making itineraries to properly handling finances, it is vital that your offspring knows what to do to ensure a successful trip and to keep them safe, all while they’re having fun.

Researching and Planning a Trip

Your child should learn the significance of planning a trip and what actually goes into it. While it may sound like a hard task, it might turn out to be the most fun. Help them brainstorm for ideas and turn their travel dreams into reality. Their interests could range from language immersion and cultural expansion to nature & wildlife sightseeing or city fun and nightlife. Whatever aspect draws them in, it is important to decide the length of the journey and thus from this length their schedules and budgets. Once they have an idea where they want to go and for how long, you can share your tips and knowledge on how to properly prepare and plan for the trip.

It is always a good idea to gather all the information and necessities that they would need for every step of their voyage. For example, passports and visas must be ready well in time before departure, this is very important especially when traveling out of the country. Vaccinations, health cards, and insurance must also be updated so that they are covered if they become sick while away. Recommend a travel budget tracker to ensure that there are adequate funds for their trip. As a parent, you probably have taught your child how to handle money and keep track of their spending, however the circumstances can be much different when they are unsupervised and in foreign lands. Prepare them for the financial experience making sure that there is a reliable way to access their money such as withdrawing or exchanging along with a way to keep track of their money and spending.  You can also send an emergency credit card with your teen as added security for less worry.

Culture Surprise and Safety

Even if your teen is traveling only to the neighboring state or region, there are variances when it comes to customs and traditions. Hence, it pays to read up on the area where they will go to avoid nasty surprises and so that your teen can behave accordingly without offending locals and disrespecting social rules.  It is so important to educate yourself on the area you are traveling to in order to avoid miscommunications and knowing the social norms and expectations of people. Understanding the destination’s etiquette will also keep them safe. 

Furthermore, advise your teen to always stay vigilant by paying attention to their personal belongings, documents, and money.  Teenagers can be seen as easy targets for theft or pickpocketing especially when an adult is not present.  To continue, with social media playing such a large role in teens’ lives today, advise them to post with caution and incorporate some guidelines.  Turn off functions that could reveal their locations so no one except for family, can track their whereabouts. Daily plans, local meetups, flight information, among other things, should not be revealed on social media.

A teen embarking on their first journey whether it is by themselves or with friends is always an anxious time for parents.  You can help make the trip a safe and successful one by teaching your child to prepare and research the visit along with behaving responsibly and appropriately.

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