Advice for parents

Taking a gap year is a wonderful opportunity for young people to broaden their horizons, see the world and gain valuable life experience. Yet for parents, the prospect of waving their son or daughter goodbye as they set off on a gap trip around the world can be a daunting prospect. Whether you're concerned about how your son or daughter will finance their gap year, manage their money or stay safe and healthy while travelling, it's natural for parents to worry about the idea of their child going on a gap year.

Get involved in their gap travel preparation

It is completely natural to be worried, but a good way of alleviating your own fears, and those of your children, is to get involved with their gap travel preparation. There are lots of ways that you can help to get them prepared for the gap travel experience. You are well-equipped to give them advice on managing their money, setting up a bank account or helping them with opportunities to find paid work abroad. If they book their gap trip with Gap 360 you will be safe in the knowledge that every booking is 100% financially secure and with a low deposit for making the initial booking, this will allow plenty of time for them to save up the rest of the money and secure their onward gap year finances. If you go through all the practical and emotional preparation with them it will make the transition into travel easier all round. Before they go, tick off all the items on our check list and it will help put your mind at rest.

The whole set up of Gap 360 seems marvellous. It certainly makes me feel reassured and confident. They've got a very good safety net and back up system for any form of assistance... and so friendly.

Health and safety concerns

One of parents' biggest concerns about their children travelling abroad is the question of health and safety. We offer health and safety advice about every destination we travel to, as well as undertaking risk assessments, so parents and travellers can put their minds at rest. Travelling with a gap year company is a much better way of making sure safety is made a priority. Make sure your son or daughter has visited their GP or a travel clinic around 6-8 weeks in advance of travel, to get any necessary vaccinations or medication. Putting together a first aid kit to take abroad is also a sensible precaution. Gap 360 also offers a 24/7 emergency support line for all our travellers, so you can rest assured that your son or daughter can get through to speak directly to one of our team at any time should they need to. Our health and safety travel advice pages offer detailed information on staying safe and healthy abroad.

Stay in touch while they are abroad

Once they are abroad, one of the key concerns is how to stay in touch. Thanks to the internet, the world has become smaller and staying in touch is easier than ever. It's important you agree on regular contact, but it is equally important to strike the right balance between parental concern and letting them get on with it and learning to find their way in the world independently. If you maintain regular, balanced contact then before you know it you'll be planning for when they return. In no time they'll be back and dying to share all their gap year adventures with you!