Parents, we feel your pain. It can be pretty tough to let go of your (not so) little ones, especially when it comes to travelling. A lot of Real Gap Experience customers are first time travellers, and as responsible travellers ourselves, we know how important it is to stay safe on the road. Rest assured, the priority of the Real Gap Experience team is to keep your kids safe and to ensure they have the best time ever!
It's for this reason why we've put this page together for you, so we can answer any impending questions you may have. In the meantime, we reckon it's definitely worth reading more about us.
One thing we do want to make clear is that the personal and financial security of our customers is of the highest priority, and something we take extremely seriously.
Our quality control team complete risk assessments on all our programmes abroad. Of course, we cannot eliminate every possible danger or risk on the road, but we aim to reassure participants and their loved ones, that we consider their safety paramount. We have a 24/7 emergency helpline in place just in case any accidents do occur, and if a minor incident takes place then it's logged by our team in-country and assessed by our Customer Operations team in the UK.
Still a little worried? We run a safety awareness course, which is great for travellers who want to learn the basics. It's incredibly informative, and will clue your kids up on everything from basic first aid, to cultural and religious differences, to how to act in challenging circumstances. Want to find out more? Jump over to our safety course page.
Real Gap Experience is one of the biggest providers of gap years in the UK. We provide financial protection for your booking. We are a member of ABTOT which means that in the event of our financial failure, your child would either receive their money back, or continue with their trip (or be repatriated) if they have already departed the UK. For more information, click here.
Practical issues like travel health can sometimes be forgotten by first time travellers. It is worth reminding your son or daughter that they should make an appointment with their GP 6-8 weeks before they travel to find out about any vaccinations they might need for their chosen destination.
Staying in Touch
One concern you may have is how to stay in touch with your child while they are abroad. WiFi is readily available at hostels, cafes, restaurants and bars in many destinations and WhatsApp and email are cheap and easy ways to keep in contact. Skype is also a great way to speak to your child face to face, although you may have to take the time difference into account!
Your son or daughter will be provided with a 24/7 support line for while they are travelling. This number reaches our UK office and we will support them with any issues they have while they are travelling. You may also wish to keep a copy of this number for your own peace of mind.
Your son or daughter will be provided with a recommended budget for spending money before they travel. Hopefully, they'll be able to stick to this, but you should be prepared for a late-night phone call asking for a top up! We recommend your child takes a pre-paid travel card which can be topped up by you at home in an emergency. Pre-paid travel cards can be found in our travel store. It's also a good idea for them to take a backup card which is kept separate from their main card to be used in case of an emergency.
Let them be independent
As tempting as it might be to check up on your child every day, a big part of travelling is the feeling of independence. Keep in regular contact, but you should also take a step back and let them enjoy the experience for themselves. Don't worry, your child will soon be in touch if anything goes wrong!
For more tips from real parents of first-time travellers, check out our case studies.
Or, if you have any more questions about your son or daughter's trip, give us a call on 01892 277040 and we'll be happy to help.