After months of working for minimum wage, hours spent planning fundraising events, and endless nights spent at home alone in the quest to save money to finance their gap travels, your son or daughter will probably never have felt so relieved as when they have finally finished saving for their gap travels! But the hard work isn't over - now they've got to budget for their trip and learn how to manage their money.
Despite all their saving and good intentions to manage their money wisely, in a few weeks or months time you may still be woken up by a phone call from abroad, as your son or daughter begs you for just a little bit more money to fund their travels. It may come as a shock when your child realises that funds do run out really quickly, especially if they have not had to live on a budget before. Make sure you are prepared for any financial emergencies on their gap year, so you can transfer any extra funds safely and quickly, should they need it.
You can now set up a special bank account under your son or daughter's name that allows you to act as a 'third-party mandate', which means that you can transfer money across from your bank account into theirs. They can then withdraw these extra funds from a cash point abroad. You can set up these particular accounts with most bank branches, but make sure that you state clearly that the money will be withdrawn overseas in foreign countries, otherwise they will freeze the account on the basis of suspected fraud or identity theft.
The easiest and safest option for transferring funds is to use a prepaid travel card, which can be loaded with money prior to their departure. If they run out of money whilst they are there, the card can be topped-up by you at home. The cheapest and most popular pre-paid cards are issued by Travelex or Caxton FX as these are fee-free, but there are lots to choose from though some will charge for withdrawals and top-ups. Gap 360 offers a Caxton FX card, which can be applied for online.