by Jeff Gulleson
Overseas travel with teenagers may be easier to do than with pre-teens, but teens present their own challenges when traveling overseas. They may be more capable of taking care of themselves, but still, they may not be aware of the consequences of their actions.
Overseas travel with teenagers may be easier to do than with pre-teen children, but teens present their own challenges while traveling internationally. Even if they are more capable of taking care of themselves, they still may not be aware of the consequences of their actions.
Listed below are four ways you can prepare your teens for safe international travel:
1. Explain foreign travel hygiene.
Good sanitation is not important in many countries. Teach the importance of drinking clean water or bottled drinks and eating safe foods. Looks can be deceiving. Show the difference between a peeled fruit like a mango and one where you eat the peel like a peach.
Make sure they have lots of sanitizing gels and wipes for cleaning up when hand washing isn’t available – which can be often. Bring your own first aid kit, toilet paper and soap for emergencies. Enclosed shoes with thick soles are also important safeguards.
2. Teach foreign travel security.
Security is very different in developing countries from what your teens are used to. Men should never put anything in their back pocket. Anything on a long strap that simply hangs at your side, around your waste or on your back can easily be grabbed in crowded conditions, including backpacks. Keep in view your belongings and keep a firm hand on it. If you need to put down a suitcase or duffle bag, set it between your feet. Teens can do this just as well as adults if they are taught.
3. Bring healthy snacks.
Teens, especially boys, are known for having big appetites. However, there may not be any safe food available when your teen’s stomach growls with hunger. That is no reason to stick to a safe European hotel. You can explore other countries with your teenager as long as you plan ahead. Dried fruits, trail mixes and nuts can be filling, nutritious, and good tasting snacks. Oranges and apples will keep a while even in the heat.
4. Buy travel insurance that will cover your teen’s activities.
Teens and young adults want to explore exciting and sometimes extreme sports. Wise parents allow exploration within reason. But don’t forget to make sure your travel insurance will cover the activities your teen will be doing. This includes bungee jumping, scuba diving, and spelunking (exploring unmaintained caves).
By talking these things over with your teen, you will be preparing them to have fun not only for this one trip, but for many others.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Gulleson is the President of Good Neighbor Insurance that represents 10 international health insurance companies and provides international health and travel insurance for every country in the world. Email us for more information.