Tips for When Your Teen Travels Overseas

March 19, 2012 | Posted By: Sam Peters | Categorized in: Travel

With spring time only a few months away, many parents are gearing up for the gutsy decision to green-light a child's request to join in on a class trip overseas. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young adults too exciting to pass up for families that can afford the cost, but that doesn't mean it's not without its inherent risks. In order to put your parental mind at ease, and therefore ensure that your child has the safest and most worthwhile overseas travel experience possible, make sure to commit to the following before the trip commences:

Get them a credit card:

To lower the risk of unrecoverable theft or misplacement of cash, opt for credit cards with no foreign transaction fee that you can pay off when your child returns from their trip. Unless it has extremely high cash back rewards to offset the fees, however, it's probably still a smart idea to have your child withdrawal small amounts of currency for casual spending.

Get them a prepaid phone:

While emails and Facebook messages will work when it comes to touching base with a traveling teenager, increase your peace of mind by making sure your child has a way to call you in case of an emergency, and vice versa. It may never be used more than once, but knowing immediate communication is possible makes a big difference as a parent.

Get them an outlet adapter:

Whether it's the must-have hairdryer or the PSP, few bring-along electronics will work after a few days without being charged. Power outlets are different depending on where you are in the world, so invest in a universal adapter to keep this problem from arising during an international trip.

Get them checked out:

The last thing you want is for a health problem to arise when your child is half a world away. Before they set off on their trip, teens should always undergo a routine physical. If the trip is through a school, then proof of such an exam is a likely requirement.

Get them educated:

Even if your child is a third-year French student, how much does he or she really know about the country's culture and customs? It's even more important if they're a first year finance student. Not only that, but how much do they know about the rules and regulations regarding traveling in and out of the country? Have your teen read a Wikipedia article or two, or make them visit the State Department's site on safe overseas travel, before agreeing to pay for a trip overseas.

Get them a good backpack:

Chances are your teenager will be asked to carry their belongings with them as they go especially if several destinations are in the works. Invest in a quality backpack, something that won't tear from the weight of a weeks worth of travel needs. The last thing you or your child wants is a trip-spoiling tearing of the only piece of luggage they have.

The potential conflicts and complexities of international travel should always be sorted before departure. This is especially the case when teens are doing the traveling. When it comes to the safety and happiness of our children, nothing should get in the way. With a little forethought and practical planning, you can ensure that your child has the best overseas travel experience possible.

This Guest Post is by Sam Peters, who currently writes about Nerd Wallets credit card cash back best offers and how to get a credit cards with no foreign transaction fee.
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March 20, 2012 | Posted By: twinsdadnj
My daughter recently got back from a school trip to Costa Rica and Panama and we basically did everything above and we felt so much better about her traveling without us for the first time. If you have a cell phone plan through Verizon but your phone won't work where you are going, they will give you a "free" rental phone for up to 30 days. There is a $19.99 shipping fee to send the phone back and forth but it gave us peace of mind. Every few days we would get a text from her saying she was fine. I think the total bill for the trip was $25 inc S&H, best money I have ever spent.
March 21, 2012 | Posted By: sampeters
Thanks for adding this idea about sending a rental phone through Verizon along with your child when they go overseas. This is a really good idea that I was not aware of. Another option would be to use Skype for making free phone calls but that of course relies on a good internet connection, which is not always readily available when traveling around overseas.
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