Travel can be utterly overwhelming for adults, especially when it comes to connecting flights, new languages, and different time zones. Even when there’s a team of vacationers it can be hard to keep things straight and running smoothly. Knowing all of this, it can be especially hard to send your teenager out of their first solo vacation trip. Not to worry, good planning and preparation are the first steps. Set your teen up with a plan and a well-packed suitcase and they’re on their way to adventure.
Check out our tips below on preparing your teenager for solo teen travel:
The very first concern for anyone that travels is safety. Even if you are traveling during the day, in a well-populated, and touristy area, you should still always be cautious. That goes for even experienced travelers. This is the first lesson to teach your young travelers.
Here are some travel safety tips that each and every traveler should brush up on before an upcoming trip. First, know the area you’re visiting. Do your research before booking a hotel and planning your itinerary. Make sure to search issues, such as crime rates and how safe certain cities are. You can find a lot through research on the web but you can also talk to the locals to learn about an area once you’ve arrived. This can be a great way to get to know the area straight from the source. Do this during the day and ask more than one person, so you know you’re getting reliable information. Someone who is familiar with the area may be able to tell you things like, where the best restaurants are, and what parts of town to avoid after dark. I wouldn’t advise relying entirely on this information but it could steer you in the right direction.
Some other safety tips include bringing cash and a charger whenever you venture out. Always pack a first aid kit in case you’re in a pinch. Also, make copies and take pictures of important documents, in case you lose the originals. Last but not least, always tell someone where you are planning on going, even if they’re far away. Someone should always have an idea of where you are heading, especially if you’re traveling alone.
Safety is important for first-time solo travelers, but there are plenty of other fun tips that you can prepare them with as well.
Don’t Be Afraid To Have Fun Alone
If your young traveler is planning a solo trip they probably have a lot of ideas about what their trip is going to be like. However, once you’re out there alone it’s possible that they could feel somewhat lonely or homesick. Remind your young traveler that vacationing alone is a great opportunity but not written in stone. This allows a certain level of freedom that isn’t always possible in a group. Don’t be afraid to walk around by yourself and take selfies. Head to a nice restaurant and enjoy a quiet meal. There’s often a lot of stigmas attached to venturing out alone but it’s helpful to remind your teen to ignore that.
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Tell them not to be afraid to break away from the itinerary. This is your young travelers first solo vacation, which means it’s all about them. They are free to plan as many guided tours as they want but that doesn’t mean they have to stick to them. This is beauty in solo traveling. If you’re by yourself you don’t have to worry about disappoint anyone. If you get to the hotel, spend the whole day traipsing about a new city and crash by 4:00, that’s fine. If your first couple of nights on the local cuisine doesn’t float your boat, order something more familiar and enjoy it. If the weather and cold and miserable you don’t have to force yourself to stay outdoors all day, it’s okay to mix up your plans.
Last but not least, make sure they’re fully enjoying their first solo vacation. Remind your teenager travelers to put down their phone, unplug their headphones, and really experience a new place. Take this solo opportunity to really take it all in.
There’s No Wrong Way To Travel
There is no right or wrong way to travel, even for your first-time, teenage traveler. The most important thing is to enjoy the trip, stay safe, and have tons of fun! If you remind them of these tips, they’ll be sure to come back with some great stories.
Has your teen traveled alone or are you preparing your teen’s first solo trip? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!