How to Prepare Your Child For Their First Solo Trip
- Mums Tips
- Travel with kids
- Published on Thursday, 04 October 2018 15:08
- Last Updated on 04 October 2018
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Every parent will reach the point where they realise that their child is both old enough and responsible enough to start travelling alone. The challenge is allowing them the space to make the journey, whilst also ensuring that they are going to be as safe as possible at all times. Whether your child is travelling to meet with distant family members or going as part of a school trip, there are some basic steps that you as a parent should make to give you a much better chance of some peace of mind. Letting your children travel solo can be stressful for everyone involved, but if you want them to learnthe joys of travelling then you’re going to need to balance care and freedom.
Check the rules and regulations
Every form of transport has its own rules when it comes to children travelling alone, and your first task should be to make sure that your child is aware of the regulations for each stage of their trip. When it comes to flights, every airline has their own rules, so it’s worth checking with them to make sure that you don’t encounter any issues on the journey. Flights can be very stressful, especially if your journey is affected by flight delays or even cancellations. There isn’t much you can do in these situations other than wait for the issues to be resolved, but it is always worth checking with FairPlane in case you are entitled to any compensation for delayed flights. The more prepared you and your child are, the easier their first solo trip will be.
Preparing for a new culture
If your child’s first solo adventure is going to be in a new country, then it’s a good idea to make sure that they learn a few stock phrases in the local language. There’s no need to go overboard and start teaching them everyword in the dictionary, but knowing some basics can go a long way to keeping them safer. Knowing how to ask for directions is a useful skill for them to learn before they arrive, and can reduce their chances of becoming lost, or even help them deal with the potential stress of being lost. This is also a good opportunity to subtly hint about the cultural experience of visiting a new country, and if you focus on food and drink translation, you could end up inspiring them to try new things, which is the whole point of them travelling in the first place.
Dealing with the paperwork
Every traveller is occasionally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of vital paperwork that needs to be carried when somewhere new. From passports to Visas to health insurance, these pieces of paper can dramatically impact your travel plans if they are not looked after carefully. Make sure that you have everything that you need before you set out, and it’s a good idea to have photocopies of each document too. Keep those photocopies in your carry-on bag in case of lost luggage, and it’s even worth taking photos of each document too. That way you are covered in case of luggage loss as well. Always make sure that your child is holding all of the relevant documentation before they leave, and your peace of mind will be more secure.
There’s little in life that is better for personal growth than the thrill of travel, and children can benefit greatly from the experience. Make sure that you help them prepare, and both you and they will have a much less stressful time.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums