There are many benefits to traveling, regardless of your age. A stay abroad can help us to learn more about ourselves and the world and to develop valuable life skills. For young people, trips abroad can be an advantage in order to gain independence and learn new things.
Without the usual parenting support, teens can make new friends with interesting people, get an idea of what to expect in their careers and life in general, and develop skills they would not get from sitting around at home. However, if you plan to allow your teen to travel abroad alone, it is important to prepare them as well as you can. Here are some ways your teen can get the most of their first international trip without you.
Carry out research on the travel destination
Find out more about the country and city or region your child will be traveling to. The more you both can uncover about the goal, the less shocked your teen will be by what they find. Having a good idea of where they will live and will also help alleviate anxiety.
Investigate factors such as culture, food, clothing, laws, religions, customs and more. Also, do research on basic things like the internet and smartphone service so you know whether or not your child has reliable methods of communication. You will also learn how to get to school and other necessary locations and what medical facilities are in the target area.
Help your child choose the right exchange or other program
Teenagers who wish to travel abroad alone usually enroll in an exchange program or group mission or other international organization. This support is beneficial as teenagers can get help with housing, eating, getting to and from school or other locations, and more. However, make sure that you and your child select the best program for their individual needs.
Take into account the country your teen would most like to live in and whether they would like to learn a new language, how much support is available, your child’s personality type, hobbies, interests, and the like. This should help you narrow down the choices to the ones that suit you. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as necessary of each organization to get all of the information it needs to make a decision.
Participate in well-considered conversations
Traveling abroad for long periods of time alone is challenging enough for seasoned adults, let alone teenagers. So prepare your child as best you can by having thoughtful conversations that address some key issues, not just logistics. For example, ask your teen what their goals are for their absence and discuss how they could be proactive to make these results as achievable as possible.
Talk about their fears, insecurities, fears, etc., and reassure them that nervousness on a big trip is not only common, but expected. Keep reminding them that just because they might be far from home doesn’t mean you can’t support them through video chat, phone calls, emails, etc.
It helps students prepare to talk to you about some of the challenges they might face during their absence and how to cope with issues like homesickness, language barriers, awkward relationship situations, money stress, and the like. Advise them on how to avoid and get out of trouble and general safety precautions. Also discuss how they can respect the culture and environment they are in, such as: B. by wearing respectful clothing and not engaging in activities that encourage the abuse of animals, such as taking pictures with creatures for money or riding elephants.
Develop a checklist
It will help your teen if you work with them to develop a packing and other prep checklist. For example, the list may include the types of clothing they wear when traveling, such as high quality teenage leggings or jeans, sportswear, or comfortable dresses or shorts, if applicable. You also need technical items, snacks, and recipes.
They may also need vaccinations and various papers before they leave, including a passport, credit or debit cards, health and travel insurance information, where they are and who they are with – the more detailed this checklist, the better.
You can also help your teen prepare for the trip by helping them learn new language skills and find other travelers to talk to before they leave. Connect them with other young people who have traveled to their destination or participated in the same program.
It can be overwhelming for children and their parents to think and plan so much. But if you take plenty of time to prepare and break things down one step at a time, your teen will soon be ready for the adventure of a lifetime.