Is Your Child Capable Of Traveling By Themselves?

Airline travel has certainly made the world a whole lot smaller. And in the age of disintegrating marriages, many parents will need to face the possibility that their child may need to travel between each parent by themselves. Would your child be able to cope with such a scenario? While a lot of airlines offer an unaccompanied minor program for those between the ages of five and twelve, what happens once your child becomes a teenager? Read on for a few thoughts you should consider before this situation arises for you.

The most important item you need to consider is whether your child is indeed comfortable with the idea of traveling by themselves. While some kids will view the whole journey with a sense of adventure, others will see it as a scary process that fills them with anxiety and dread. If your child falls into the later category, then you should not force them to undertake the trip until such time that they are 100% comfortable with the idea.

We instill a sense of stranger-danger into our children from a very young age. This can sometimes lead to a sense of confusion within the child as to when it is appropriate to ask for help, and who should be asked. Make sure that if your child is going to be traveling on their own, that they know exactly who they can ask for assistance if they have a question, and how to generally protect their own safety in certain situations and locations, such as public restrooms.

Your child needs to be able to buy themselves something to eat and drink while at the airport or on board the aircraft if the need arises. Ensure that they are taught how to handle money, locate what they need and process through the checkout system. Also ensure that they are given a wallet or purse to keep their money safe during the transit. Remind them of the dos and don'ts for flashing large amounts of cash around while in the public eye.

Take your child out to the airport prior to the first journey and teach them how to read the information boards. Let them see firsthand the different columns and what each piece of information means. Make sure they know what to do in the event a flight is delayed or cancelled. An inexpensive pre-paid cellphone for emergencies would be a good investment so that they are always able to contact you to ask questions if in doubt.

Give your child a list of telephone numbers to ring in the event of an emergency. Not only the basic 911 type of numbers, but also your home, cellphone and work telephone numbers as applicable, so that they are never unable to contact you in the event something goes wrong.

Once your teenager has undertaken their first trip, their confidence will grow and traveling will become easier each time they make a journey. By arming them completely with all the skills they need to venture out into the great wide world, you can be confident that they will arrive at their intended destination smoothly and easily each and every time.

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