If your child is planning on taking a gap year to travel abroad, the chances are that you are feeling a bit nervous about it. That is only natural – any parent who doesn’t would be in the minority! The good news is that gap years are nothing to be afraid of and are actually great for your child’s development into adulthood. When they come back, they will be full of self-confidence and will have had life experiences that will aid them in becoming well-rounded individuals.
How to help your child prepare for their gap year
Many of the concerns you will have about gap years will revolve around safety and your child staying in touch. Taking the time to plan to resolve these issues and others that may be worrying you is a positive way to deal with them. Here are some other useful ways to make their gap year less stressful for you:
Help them plan for it – if you know where your child is going, who with, and what they plan to do, then you will feel much less concerned about it all. That will not only ensure they are travelling safely but also that you will know where they are going to be throughout the trip.
- Make plans to stay in touch – one big issue you will be feeling concerned about is keeping in regular contact with your loved one while he or she is away. To get around that problem, make firm plans on how you will stay in touch and how often you will speak to each other. Social media is an efficient and easy way to do that, as is a video call service like Skype. Some parents prefer to set regular days or times when contact will be made.
- Suggest setting up a bank account – one great way to address money concerns for you both is to recommend that your traveller sets up a bank account in the country they are visiting if they are staying for several months. That will allow them to pay in money they earn from any work they take while in the country. It will also make it very easy for you to transfer extra money to them if needed in an emergency, or to send a cash gift if they are away for their birthday. When you need to send money abroad, it is best to use a money transfer company. If you are based in the UK Midlands, an international money transfer company in Birmingham is definitely worth checking out, preferably before your traveller leaves on his or her great adventure.
- Try not to worry! – that is easier said than done, but it is best to not worry too much if you can help it. That will not only help them enjoy their gap year to the maximum but also be better for your own health.
Gap years need not be stressful
It is only normal to feel a bit anxious and apprehensive when your child is about to leave for their gap year. Hopefully the above tips will help to address your concerns. Gap years are very useful for helping a young person to develop more self-confidence while also having a great time. You will be amazed at just how much they will have grown in many ways after they have enjoyed a fulfilling gap year.