teen_travel
active family travel,  Travel

Teen Travel – When Are They Ready To Go Solo?

Solo Teen travel is something that most parents will have to deal with at some point. In this day and age of spread out families, international job opportunities, and easy long distance travel, solo teen travel is becoming more common. The question becomes this: How do you know when they’re ready to travel on their own?

Maybe your teen has taken the bus around town or the train to an Aunt or Uncle’s Home a few cities away. They have most definitely done a bit of family travel with you their parents. But as for flying on their own, well that’s a whole other ballgame. I mean airports alone are terrifying even to many adults. So what’s the right call and when?

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Solo Teen Travel – When is the Right Time to Travel Without You

There is no set way to decide if your teen is ready to take a trip on his or her own. However, there are some general rules of thumb that can help you figure out if they meet your personal criteria for them to head off into the wide open world without you there.

Responsibility

How is your teen doing on the responsibility front? Do they get their homework done on time? Can they keep track of everything? Are they able to manage some of their own money without being absent minded or overly distracted? Did they earn some of their own money with an after school job in order to get the chance to travel? How are they doing at their after school job? No problems at school? All of these questions are important because they show you the level of responsibility your teen is able to handle.

Behaviour

Is your child a good kid? Do they stay out of trouble? Can you trust them to make good decisions? Do they stay cool under pressure? These are all important things to consider. Good behaviour and the ability to remain calm are two things that will serve your child well throughout life and during solo teen travel.

Common Sense

This one is a bit of an X-factor, but it’s important nonetheless. Common sense is more subjective of course, but there are a few things to be considered. Does your child understand that giving out personal information or information about their itinerary to strangers during the course of a conversation is a bad thing? Do they have an adequate amount of caution concerning travel and the things that could potentially happen during travel?

Emotional Stability

Is your child emotionally stable enough for teen travel? That probably sounds like I’m asking if your teen is going to have a breakdown mid-trip, and in a way, I guess I am. Honestly, I know some adults who would never leave their town unless they were forced. If there are adults with a ton of life experience who have severe anxiety when they travel, then it’s not a long leap to consider if your teen can handle the stress.

Solo teen travel is a tough thing. They’ll be away from their parents, they’ll be making their way through the great big world, and they’ll be doing it alone. They will be traversing airports, boarding, planes, and luggage pickup by themselves. It’s a big deal, so know if your teen is emotionally ready for it a big question to consider.

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Teen Travel – It’s no Small Thing

Solo teen travel is a big deal. It’s their first foray out into the world with no backup. They will be responsible for traversing the airport, security,  boarding, the flight, disembarking, luggage pickup, and all of the other hundreds of tiny things that happen in between all of those things. It is absolutely vital that you are sure they’re ready for it.

Of course it’s all subjective, but the above tips should give you a bit of a road map to decide if solo teen travel is something in your son or daughter’s immediate future or if they might need a little more time and scaffolding.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

10 Comments

  • Karen E. Hill

    Every teen should experience travel at some point. There is nothing more mind expanding than learning about the world around them first hand.

  • jan

    There truly is ‘no set time’. Some are successfully living on their own at 18 while others would not even be ready to think about that.

  • Elizabeth Matthiesen

    A great post with good tips to help parents decide if their children are in fact mature and responsible enough to travel solo or with a group of friends. Each child is different so it’s important that the above mention facts be considered for each child.

  • Travelbuds

    My 12 year old son traveled to Quebec with his school a few months ago (from the west coast). He wasn’t traveling along by any means but he didn’t have his parents with him so it was a great stepping stone to when he does want to travel on his own.

  • Angela mitchell

    I’ve been thinking a bit about this topic lately even though my daughter is a few years from a teen. I know she will have the opportunity for travel with school and with Girl Guides when she is older and I’m hoping that she’ll be ready for it.

  • Melissa Black

    I travelled myself when i was 13 and then again when i was 19. it’s such a great experience and there are such safe ways in which to do this.