When you’re a parent, it can seem like the blink of an eye between the time your child is a toddler and the time they’re planning a trip abroad.
There are plenty of reasons teens go abroad. Young teens often travel with school groups to places throughout the world. There are also summer programs specifically for teens, or they may just be going with another family.
You want your kids to have enriching experiences, but it can also create a lot of anxiety to think about having your child go to another country without you.
The following are some things to do if your teen is going abroad soon.
Plan On Sending Money
You might think about giving your teen a set amount of spending money for their time away, but you can also definitely count on them going over this allotment. You can plan to use an online service to send them money when they need it.
Sometimes it can be better to provide your child with a little money before they leave, and then they can ask you for more as they need it. You could send them with a credit card, but since most teens aren’t known as having excellent money management skills, this may not be the best option. Credit card fees can also be expensive in other countries.
Another option along with sending money or credit cards could be using a travel gift card. These are specific to traveling, so the currency exchange fees are low, however, if your teen runs out of money before their trip is over, you’ll either have to refill this card, or end up send them money anyway.
Start Early on Paperwork
When you’re getting your teen ready for a trip abroad, you never know what might come up regarding passports and other requirements, so it’s best to get a head start on everything. No one wants to feel like you’re rushing around at the last minute.
You also don’t want to have to pay rush fees for a passport. Even if you think your teen has a valid passport, check the date well in advance because they’re only good for five years when they’re given to minors.
When it’s time for the trip, your teen should bring some important things. You should make color copies of their passport and give it to trip leaders or chaperones, copies of credit or debit cards, an insurance card, a list of any prescription medications your teen is one, travel insurance information, and any important contact numbers.
Have a Plan For Communication
Finally, there are quite a few different options you can choose from when it comes to communicating with your teen while they’re abroad.
You may be able to get a short-term international phone plan, and your teen can use their existing phone, although these can be expensive.
Another option is using an unlocked phone and then getting a sim card and data plan once your teen arrives.
There are pay-as-you-go plans for travelers, or you could use a phone that is WiFi only, although of course, this requires your teen to actually have access to reliable WiFi.