I have previously blogged about my own travels and my husbands travels for work. Now, I would like to let you all know that both my children also enjoy getting out into the world on their own, without their parents.
While some parents might struggle to let their kids travel without them, neither my husband, nor I, have any doubts when it comes to the benefits a child can gain from a trip ‘sans parents’.
School trips are of course one of the best ways to let your kids experience travel without you. A week away with peers can be a real baptism-of-fire, once-in-a-lifetime experience for many kids, while for others it is at the very least a cherished memory.
Whether it is a skiing trip, a PGL adventure holiday, a sporting week, a music tour or a language exchange, travelling with your school mates accompanied by teachers should happen at least once in a lifetime if at all possible. For those that might struggle with the expense of it (and boy can these things be ridiculously expensive) there is often the possibility of assisted funding.
The first music festival
Now this was a tougher one for me. The initial request I got from my eldest to attend his first Download music festival really made me have to think. My own experience of Glastonbury was one filled with the mixed pleasures of rain, mud and bad behaviour… not to mention a little too much exploration into ‘all that life has to offer’.
Luckily, all I had to do was insist he pay for it himself – which he perceived as a reasonable request having just received a set of drums for his birthday. It turns out that the cost of these things is more-often-than-not prohibitively expensive for the average teen.
End-of-school summer week abroad
Having just watched ‘The Inbetweeners‘, this is another baptism-of-fire, once-in-a-lifetime moment for many young school-leavers.
I never had such an experience but hearing my husband laugh out loud and reminisce over his week in Ibitha as we watched the movie made me realise that this should also be added to the ‘should if you could’ pile.
While my eldest was way too busy moving to actually live abroad at this point in his life, my youngest has permission to pull this blog out as evidence when he reaches the point of asking permission to attend such a trip.
The gap year
I have already expounded on the benefits of a gap year abroad in my previous blog about our need to start teaching Chinese in British schools. I believe that travelling is a great way to learn and expand a young mind as well as a more mature one. However, I also believe that young people should understand the concepts of earning experience and hesitate to applaud those parents who finance their children’s gap year without question. I would like to think my children were smart enough to find a way to fund their own travels. After all, learning how to gather funds or work your way around the world is half the battle to being able to keep travelling throughout your life.
My eldest is already proving my theory correct.
Happy Valentine’s day!