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The StudentUniverse Guide for Parents of Young Travellers

The StudentUniverse Guide for Parents of Young Travellers
19 July 2022 Samantha Anderson

As a parent, it can be tough to let your little ones fly the nest and explore the world far away from the watch of your protective eye. Whilst a young traveller sets off enjoying their newfound freedom, galivanting around the globe, parents will often find themselves counting down the days until their return home. But while the distance and time apart may be daunting, there are ways to calm your nerves whilst your nearest and dearest is off globetrotting.

We know the safety of your teens or young adults is an absolute priority, and although there is always an element of risk with travelling, being prepared and aware can help to minimize the stress of letting your loved ones venture off on their own. Sam Willan, Global VP of Marketing for StudentUniverse – the world’s largest student and youth travel marketplace – shares his top tips to help youths prepare for their travels and to provide peace of mind for apprehensive parents…

1. Share itineraries

Though you will be miles apart, there are many ways to stay up to date on their adventures. Before they leave, ask them to share their travel itinerary with you, including flights and hostels they plan to stay at. This way you will know roughly where they are supposed to be at what time, and you will know where to contact if you need to reach out.

2. Stay connected

There are many ways to keep in contact besides the usual WhatsApp and Facetime. Life 360, a family tracking app, allows you to add people to your circle and your location is shared in real time. Obviously, these apps require internet access which is not always available on trips further afield. Advise your teen or young adult to download the Wi-Fi Space app which shows local wi-fi hotspots and tells you whether they are password protected or not. Alternatively, picking up a local SIM is a good way to ensure access to data, even in the most remote locations.

3. Splurge on safety

Whilst it’s great to take advantage of cheap flights and hostels, it’s more important to be safe. Encourage spending a little more on trusted hostels that have good reviews, rather than simply booking the cheapest option. Likewise, a budget flight is great but if it arrives in the middle of the night, it might be a difficult and unsafe time to find further transport to a hostel.

4. Do destination research

Make sure your teen or young adult has done their research on the destination and they know how to reach the local emergency services and embassy in case of emergency. It’s also a good idea they get clued in on any local scams that travellers often find themselves caught up in, such as broken taxi meters or false fronts on ATMs. This way, they will know what to look out for!

5. Pack the supplies

Some more practical supplies to buy before they head off on their travels might include a filtered water bottle, a small first aid kit and a padlock, to secure valuables in the lockers that are available at hostels. For extra safety, you can also get smaller locks for backpacks or safety straps which secure your bag to you whilst catching some z’s on a long train journey or flight!

6. Encourage them to join a tour

We know that solo travel can be daunting for first time young travellers, so it might be a good idea to encourage them to join a tour in their first destination. This way both their (and your) worries can be put at ease by making it easier to connect with others in the same position. You never know – they may make friends for life.

7. Be prepared with insurance

We all know that travel insurance is an essential for any trip abroad, but it’s important to get the best cover policy possible. Before they (or you) book insurance, be sure to read the terms and conditions. Ensure that they keep a digital copy and make several paper copies of every important document. It’s very easy to end up with a soggy paper travel document after getting caught in the rain or taking a dip in a beautiful waterfall, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

8. Read the fine print

Booking a cheap flight or hotel is great but often doesn’t offer flexibility. Paying slightly more often means you can change your booking should something unplanned arise. So read the fine print as well as the price tag – BEFORE you book!

9. Try not to worry

Lastly, as hard as it is, try not to worry. Trust that your teen or young adult is smart and savvy enough to navigate their way around the world with ease, or at least with minimal catastrophes! Remember, a big part of travelling is to go with the flow and gain independence. So don’t worry if they don’t contact you one day, they might be busy living like a local at a remote village in Thailand or hiking up a mountain in Peru! The memories they come away with following their travels will stay with them for life.

Students and youths can access exclusive deals and prices on flights when booking through StudentUniverse. Membership is free and it’s super easy to sign up.

Visit for more information.


For further press information, please contact:
Charlotte Wright | Rosie Crass
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8927
E: [email protected]

About StudentUniverse:
Launched in 2000, StudentUniverse is a Boston-based tech company that operates the world’s largest student and youth travel marketplace. Through negotiations with a network of global partners, StudentUniverse offers exclusive pricing and terms for its members.

With operations in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and the Philippines, StudentUniverse empowers students and youth to travel more. Acquired in 2015, StudentUniverse is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group, one of the world’s largest travel companies. For more updates, follow our corporate blog and LinkedIn.