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A Note to Parents
We understand that seeing a son or daughter off on a gap year or independent travel experience can be a distressing and worrying time for those left behind. Where you once had some control and therefore some ability to protect your family, that rug is pulled out from beneath you.
The countries now open to independent travel are much more varied and much more accessible then they once were; areas that only a few years ago were war zones, are now travel destinations.
The limited life-experiences of young people can land them in hot water, it doesn’t mean that they get in any real trouble, but it can put them at more risk. When they are far away from home even small problems are greatly magnified by unfamiliarity.
Our Independent Travel Safety & Cultural Awareness Workshop helps participants to understand and reduce these risks and provides an insight into what they can expect during their travel.
Two of the main objectives for our workshops are:
- To provide relevant information to independent travellers to enable them to travel more safely, having prepared sufficiently.
- To lessen the concerns of the family and friends they are leaving behind, in the knowledge that the participant has prepared effectively to reduce the risks associated with their travel.
Our workshop concentrates on the needs of those travelling, while affirming the importance of maintaining communication with those left behind.
Many parents take some comfort by their children enrolling with a gap year or volunteering company of which many have sprung up over the years. Some of these companies are excellent in both the work they do and the training and support they offer. However this should not be taken for granted and we strongly recommend that participants do independent research into the company and don’t rely on the glossy brochures. One recent survey suggested 3 out of 4 of these companies provided inadequate training for their participants.
Amongst the angst of a parent, it is easy to forget the benefits of a gap year or independent travel. We believe in promoting the merit of independent travel; the majority of participants experience nothing but positive life-changing experiences which help to develop confidence and a greater understanding of the magnificence of the world around us.
When gap years are constructive and well planned, they are recognised by the vast majority of employers as a positive contribution to an individual’s CV.
There is not a single gap year, volunteering project or independent travel experience which does not challenge the participant. These challenges can be difficult but once overcome they develop skills and confidence which is unique to those involved.
When your son or daughter returns home from a successful trip, the difference will be immediately obvious; the stories they tell, the attitude they have and the experiences they want to share, will easily compensate for the anxiety you may have felt.
If you have specific questions on which you would like our opinion, please do not hesitate to Contact Us, we will always do our best to assist you. Our Consultancy Service can also address the specific needs of individuals or groups with professional travel safety and planning advice.
Our objective is not to eliminate your worry, we know that is impossible. Our objective is to provide your son or daughter with some of the critical tools which will help them reduce those risks which are ‘predictable’ and meet the challenges they will face with the confidence to overcome them.
‘Gappers’ should take away from their travels overwhelmingly positive experiences, which they will cherish for a lifetime.
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