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Home or Away: Gap Year guide for kids and parents!

Written by The Leap on 25 / 07 / 2017

Gap Year Advice

Home or Away: a guide for kids and parents when it comes to a Gap year!

Here we have it, the ultimate guide of the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ for Parents and students when it comes to gap year planning and executing…settle down everyone and tune in.

Now, we all know that parents want their kids to be safe as they gallivant around the world experiencing the spoils of life, but we also know that students want a little separation from their parents…a chance to grow up by themselves.

These types of situations are always difficult to define, how involved should the parents be? What constitutes as the student’s responsibility? There are thousands of questions and uncertainties.

Well, that all ends now… because we here at “Leap Towers” are going to share with you are top tips on how to be prepared when you are planning and on your gap year but ALSO a little guide for all the parents out there, on how to handle their kids gap year.

First things first, let’s start with the students…

Now Kids, you are going on your gap year, it’s time to start thinking like adults. This is a perfect opportunity to get out and see the world, before other opportunities in the work place or at university tie you down…but it is also time to start taking responsibility for your actions, in situations concerning money…to situations concerning personal safety.

So here are my four top tips for you, on how to prepare for your gap year and keep your parents at bay at the same time!

1. Get organised!

This is one of the most important points to make, because when it comes to travelling abroad…you have to have your wits about you… but also you want to make sure that you have booked all the best activities before they are full!

If you don’t already know, organisation is key for calming your parents. If they know where you will be, on what day, and what you are doing…they will definitely be more at ease, meaning that you will feel better too!

2. Do your research!

This point partially links in with organisational skills. Yes, it is important to actually know where you are going and what you are doing. Most importantly, you need to know that what you are doing is safe.

When you are researching trips such as this, make sure to look at reviews, ring and ask about accommodation or any questions that you might have about the trip, it is more important to gather as much information as you can to make sure that you are happy with what the trip entails when making a decision, than to worry about being annoying by ringing and asking a few questions.

Again, this minute action will subdue your parents! They are primarily concerned with your safety abroad and they just want to make sure they have all the facts before they send you off into bustling cities abroad.

3. Keep calm in any and all situations…

Being away from home for such a long stretch of time, when you aren’t necessarily used to it, can be a challenging thing. Things can always go wrong in life, that’s a given…however, when dealing with such a situation, remember to remain calm and it will instantly ease the situation.

When you are away, there is always someone that you can contact, hospitals that you can visit and, in cases of a more serious emergency there will be an adult around to help;

This is always the case with The Leap, where we have guides on the ground in all the places where we offer programs, to oversee projects and keep an eye on the Leapers to make sure that they are safe and having fun!

If you are away with us, and you have an issue, you can always ring us here at “Leap Towers” and we will do everything that we can to make sure that we can remedy the situation and ultimately make you feel better whilst keeping your parents updated – one less thing for you to worry about!

4.Challenge yourself…

Gap year travels are great fun because you are with your mates, getting out and seeing the world, but also doing volunteer work for others who might not be as fortunate as you!

On your Gap year, undoubtedly there will either be situations or opportunities where you might be able to try something new, and to really put your character to the test! And I urge you to give it a go.

Of course, there will always be times when you think ‘I really just can’t do this’, and that is absolutely fine, everyone has their limits…but, make sure to challenge yourself, this is a time to unlock the full extent of your potential…make it count.

Kids, our journey ends here. Go and get your parents because it’s time for us, here at “Leap Towers”, to offer up our top few tips to parents, to reveal to them how exactly to deal with you on your gap year!

So, without further ado…

1. Carry on...

Your kid is away on their travels having fun, and I am sure that you are excited for them, but of course there is always going to be a part of you that panics slightly…try not to. As they’ve done their job, you know they are safe, with a group of people and having fun…not so scary.

Certainly, keep in contact with your son/daughter, and get the scoop of everything that they have been up too during their time away, but bear in mind that they are busy, so they won’t be in contact with you 24/7.

Don’t panic, they are alive! Check in occasionally and get them to send over some photos, but otherwise, leave them to their travels…there is so much to see in such little time!

2. Be prepared...

Teenagers are a devious species, being one…I would know!

Gap years are a good time to explore and try something different, maybe even kick back and sip a few cold ones on the beach…Your kid, will most certainly have a bit of fun and go out once or twice, but don’t panic because it’s all a part of growing up!

This is the time to make mistakes, so don’t be surprised if they have a bit of fun and get it wrong…at the end of the day, they will learn from it! And the most important thing is that they are safe…!

3. Ask us questions!

As a parent, the last thing you want to feel is uncertain with it comes to the safety of your child. You will have countless questions about activities, accommodation, safety and health. And I am sure other questions will pop up along the way…put yourself at ease and just ask if you are unsure!

Here at The Leap, we are happy to help with any and all questions! We understand the need for absolute clarification on the whereabouts of your child, and honestly, we are always here to help…so just give us a ring!

So, there we have it, from inside our very own “Leap Towers”, the top tips on how to act if you are a kid or a parent discussing, booking or on a gap year! And remember some things you learnt best when calm, and others during a storm.

Until next time…

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All experiences include a mix of projects and adventures, travelling with a team and, of course, are risk assessed.

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