Trips abroad with their classmates sounds like a great thing for a child’s education. And it definitely can be! But there’s no denying that sending your kid away on their first trip abroad without you can seem a little daunting. Here are a few things you should be thinking about before they head off!
Keeping in touch
Thankfully, it’s easier than ever these days to stay in touch with your kids while they’re overseas. If they have a smartphone, then you should consider letting them install WhatsApp – this allows them to talk to you for free as long as they have a WiFi connection. Make sure they have your home, mobile, and business numbers. You should also make sure that you have the numbers for the venue at which they’ll be staying, and maybe even a couple of the teachers who are going with them.
A trip abroad will hopefully help your children mature in new ways. Still, they’re not quite adults yet, and may still need a bit of a helpful push when it comes to safety! The type of safety rules they have to follow may differ depending on where they’re going. If they’re going to the U.S., for example, it might be useful for them to know how the road crossing system works there, as it’s often a little confusing. Of course, if your kids are going on school trips, then it needs to be highlighted to them that they shouldn’t be straying away from the teachers or even the other students.
Don’t try to convince yourself that you shouldn’t need to give your kid some spending money! It’s best to make sure they have something, for spending purposes and for an emergency. The question isn’t so much “Should I give them spending money?” as it is “How much should I give them?”. If your child is old enough, you could give them a pre-paid travel or debit card. But, in most cases, you’ll probably need to give them a bit of cash.
What else to pack
The kids are probably tempted to take the money you give them and run – but don’t let them do it! You should probably go over exactly what they’re bringing with them. It’s possible they’ve forgotten a bunch of essentials, or may even have packed things that won’t make it through airport security. Make sure they’ve packed correctly for a long stay away from home.
Talk to the teachers
Of course, the best way to know as much as possible about what will happen on the trip and what will be needed is to speak to the school about it. The school should have a full itinerary for the trip, which gives you a good idea of the schedule – where they will be, what they’ll be doing, and on what day and time. This information may have been sent to you via post, but if not, then you should be able to request that the information is printed out and sent to you. Talking to teachers also gives you a chance to highlight any potential problems, such as allergies, dietary requirements, or other potential health issues.