Travelling alone as a grown-up can be daunting in itself, and this is even more pronounced when it is a child who will be travelling by themselves. Sometimes, this must happen, and in fact, it will teach your child some incredibly valuable life lessons that will benefit them in future. If you take the necessary precautions, then the safety of your child won’t be in question and a successful trip can be had.
To help you plan, we have put together this handy list of top 10 tips to ensure your child’s solo trip runs exactly as it should. Read on to find out what they are…
Consider the individual
We are all unique and with that comes the reality that not every 14-year-old will be able to handle the same situation as another, so you need to rally assess the maturity of the child in question. Have you seen how they react when scared or under pressure? Are you confident that they will not be led astray and that they will follow the guidance laid out before they leave? If you have serious doubts then its perhaps wise to reconsider.
Plan, plan, plan
Do you need to order their meal for the flight beforehand? Small things such as forgetting this might panic the child and mean they go hungry, which will exacerbate emotion. Ensure you check the airline’s policy on unaccompanied children. If possible, perhaps arrange for them to have a guardian family for the flight so they feel they have someone there or even find out the name of a flight attendant who will look out for them. All this will help them feel safe.
Set the guardian’s plans in stone
Whoever will be collecting the child at the other end needs to be fully briefed on when and where to be. Then the child must also know exactly what to do and where to go to find this person quickly.
Brief the traveller
Not only must the child know where to go on arrival, they must also know of all the processes at the airport (if relevant) and also what to expect from the flight and any other journey they will be doing alone.
What to do in an emergency
Make sure they know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency, for example, by giving them a mobile phone with international roaming set up and emergency numbers to call. These could include the number of the guardian in the country and the local emergency services.
Send them with a letter for authorities
A letter detailing the travel plans and the contact details of the parents and guardian in the country could help if the traveller ends up with the authorities.
Feeling like you have forgotten something puts you on edge so pack with your child and show them everything you include such as their medications and first aid kit, all of which can be sourced from Click Pharmacy.
Give them a safety awareness talk
This should make them more streetwise and savvier to the risks of the more full world. Think of it like an upgraded ‘stranger danger’ chat so that they know what to do if approached inappropriately and also to keep their belongings safe.
Make sure they have enough money (in the right currency) of they need to buy drinks or get a taxi somewhere. You do not want them having so much it becomes unsafe, but they would probably feel better if they know they can buy some bits if they need to.
Give them a safe place to go to
If they get lost or cannot find who is meeting them, the world will suddenly seem big and frightening so make sure they know where to go to whether that be a local police officer or airport security.
When needs must, it can be safe for children to travel alone, just make sure you out the right plans in place. Furthermore, while it might be easy to worry, try not to and think of the benefits, this will give your child.