‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.’ – St. Augustine
A lot of wise people believe that if you want to give your kids something for life, send them on their travels. For most people that is easier said than done. Not because travelling is so difficult but because letting go is so hard.
Worrying about a child’s safety comes with parenthood, it never stops and continues long after they have left the nest. Understandably the first big trip abroad is a challenge for every parent, both emotionally and organizationally. Here are a few tips to help prepare for any eventualities, to help keep the parents sane and the kids safe.
The biggest worry when travelling is money, you need enough of it and you do not want to lose it. For any trip abroad a debit card is a must, regardless of the destination. are cheap, easy to access and you can only spend what you have on the card. This has a few benefits, if the card is hacked, or stolen, the financial loss is limited; you can define a budget and keep a cap on it and in an emergency anyone can deposit money in the account. Just in case you do not have immediate access to your bank or the internet, friends or family can jump in to help.
If the destination is a little more exotic, where an is not a given, then having enough cash to keep you going till the next city is important. It is best to have a mix of local currency and hard currency. You will always be at a disadvantage if you pay your bills in dollars or euros. If you want to be on the safe side, hide some small gold coins, or bars, in your clothing. There is always the chance of losing your money or being robbed, in an emergency in the world.
It is always good to know where your kids are and how they are doing. The best option when travelling for a longer period is a local prepaid SIM card, you can find them in nearly every port of entry. Your provider’s roaming services can be very expensive, and even unreliable abroad.
Apps like Skype or WhatsApp that use are the cheapest option where there is easy access to the internet, but some countries do block these services. In such cases you can use alternative paid services like . The service is not completely free but you can still use it in case you lose your own phone and on the plus side the call recipient does not need an internet connection or special app to receive your calls.
The same company offers another useful service called . With this service you can send credit to foreign prepaid cards to recharge the credits. So if your kid is in Jamaica, for example, and can not call or recharge their SIM card credit, you can easily do it for them. This is also practical if you are an expat and you want to support family members back home. Apparently MobileRecharge also has a lot of promotions and daily offers, so if you keep an eye out you could grab a good deal.
The quality, cost and availability of medical services abroad differ from country to country. Even if you have a good health insurance coverage, the devil is in the fine print. You will be surprised how many exceptions might be in your policy. There are lots of really affordable travel insurances that cover the bulk of possible expenses. Again read the fine print to make sure they cover what you think they cover.