It’s never an easy thing to see the little bird fly out of the nest, but you knew that this day would come eventually. It was only a matter of time before your teen asked you for permission to travel the world and go abroad on their own for the first time, and you as the parent would need to be as supportive as you could.
You also need to be strategic and methodical in your approach to this new challenge in order to make their dream come true while staying in control. After all, you as their parent need to ensure their safety, satisfaction, and that they have a positive experience.
That said, you also need to make sure they come back home in one piece and that their whereabouts are known at all times. Even though many countries are still in lockdown, now is the perfect time to start planning this post-pandemic escapade. With all of that in mind, here are the five quick tips you should use to prepare your teen and yourself for their first solo trip abroad.
Packing the smart way
Teens are rarely organized when it comes to packing for an extended trip abroad, and it’s up to you as the one with more experience in the family to make sure they pack right. Too often, your teen will pack too much of what they don’t need and completely forget to pack the absolute essentials. If your teenage daughter is going to a warm climate, she may bring five dresses but completely forget to pack a sun hat or sunscreen. Or what if it’s a northern climate and you have a stubborn teen who is “never cold”?
Don’t let them lug a suitcase filled with useless stuff around the world, help them out. Take an organized approach to packing according to the destinations they’re going to visit. Check the local culture, weather forecasts and climate, and other factors that might necessitate a specific type of clothing. Make sure they have their essential tech gadgets packed as well, which brings us to the next important point.
Make sure they’re always connected
No matter where they are in the world, you want to be able to get a hold of them on a moment’s notice. Unless they are traversing the Amazon (which they shouldn’t be doing as a teen), there is no reason for them to have no cell phone signal or to be disconnected from the internet.
Staying constantly connected should be one of your non-negotiable conditions as a parent. If they want to travel the world, then they need to report to you daily and be available to pick up the phone at any time. To that end, make sure they bring a durable smartphone with a large battery, get them a signal booster and an external battery, and make sure they buy a local SIM card when they arrive.
Choosing the right accommodation
Even though your teen will be traveling when the pandemic subsides, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be wary of the virus. Choosing the right accommodation can mean the difference between getting infected and staying safe, not to mention that you need to choose accommodation that is safe and comfortable. Take Hong Kong as a great example.
Traveling to Hong Kong is one of those unforgettable experiences, but in such a vast city, you need to make sure that your teen is staying in a safe service apartment in Hong Kong that resides in a secure location and has all the amenities to ensure personal safety and comfort. Serviced apartments are becoming increasingly popular, and they ensure that hygiene is managed daily by the staff while having excellent security and connectivity.
Make sure they stay healthy at all times
Speaking of safety, this leads us into the next important point, and that is personal health. What if they get ill on the road, what if there is an emergency? You have to make sure that they’re able to seek and receive medical treatment should anything go awry.
Check the healthcare systems in the countries and destinations they’re going to visit and make sure they note down all emergency numbers. Get them the comprehensive travel insurance package so that they can visit the doctor at any time, and have them get a comprehensive checkup back home so that a medical professional can sign off on their trip.
Approve of destinations according to safety
Finally, but probably most importantly, you have to make sure that your teen is heading to countries that are generally safe. Don’t fall for that “I want to experience the world first-hand and visit this culture and that culture” – if the destination is dangerous for women, she’s not going. Luckily, some of the top places for post-COVID travel like New Zealand or Italy are pretty safe.
The same goes for a male teen. If the destination is dangerous in any way, he is not going. End of story. Never let your emotions get in the way, because they are underage, and you are still the decision-maker in their lives. Make sure you sign off on all the destinations, and everyone will be happier for it.
It’s a scary moment when your teen asks you to travel abroad without you, but it’s nothing you won’t be able to overcome with a calculated approach and a clear strategy. Use these tips to organize their trip from start to finish and ensure they have an amazing time while staying safe and healthy.
About the author
Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on interior design, well-being and sustainable living. She loves to experiment on daring new home decor trends and write about it as a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator blog. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.