As your son or daughter jets off on their adventures, you may find yourself checking your phone and emails with increasing regularity, as you hope for updates and confirmation that they are safe and sound. Keeping in touch is an important part of travelling, and you should discuss this with your child before they travel. But be aware that your son or daughter will likely be having the time of their lives and may not contact you as much as you would like!
Here are some tips for ways of keeping in touch that will keep both of you happy:
Ask them to contact you when they first land and/or arrive at their first accommodation in their chosen destination. This'll put your mind at rest that their journey was safe and they are settling into their accommodation. Be aware that instant contact may not always be possible, as they may be busy with arrivals procedures and check-in.
There are many ways of staying in contact with your son or daughter during their gap year, some of them cheaper and easier than others. It's best to (realistically!) agree on how often they will contact you while they are away. It could be that you decide on once a week contact via text or email, a video call every month or agree that they drop you a line whenever they decide to move onto a different destination. Make sure you make a mutual agreement about keeping in touch before they travel, so you both know what to expect.
It can be unsettling if you don’t hear from your son or daughter for a few days or weeks. This may be because they are out of signal or in an area without Wi-Fi. They may also have just got caught up in their incredible gap year adventures, so don't panic and immediately assume the worst if they don't get in contact when you expect them to. They are bound to be back in touch when they get a spare moment, or a phone or Wi-Fi signal!
With a bit of pre-planning and cooperation, staying in touch with your son or daughter whilst they are away shouldn't be difficult. Just remember to trust them and give them a bit of leeway as travel plans do have a habit of changing. One way or another, you can be sure that you'll soon be hearing all about their incredible experiences abroad!
For practical tips about how to keep in touch, click here.