Traveling and Independence

Alekxa is a 17-year-old from Los Angeles, CA. She enjoys running, yoga,
eating, volunteering, and being with her friends.


When travelling with teenagers, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help keep the trip be as fun and enjoyable as possible. Because they are growing up, it is smart to include your teenager in the decision process of where you are staying, what activities you all will be doing, and the preparation for the trip.

Preparing for a big trip can be daunting, but rewarding for a teenager. Let your teenager do their own packing. Holding their hand through this process can feel extremely condescending and it only does more harm than good in the long run. Practicing acting independently now will greatly benefit teens for college and for the rest of their lives. The main thing to heavily stress to your teen is to pack smartly for health reasons. When traveling either across the country, or overseas, being safe and healthy is key to a happy trip. To prepare oneself for the possible risk of altitude sickness, one can gradually increase one’s altitude every day to get used to it. Acknowledging possible illnesses ahead of time is the best way to prevent becoming sick. The types of medication a teen should pack vary from person to person. You should definitely bring the medicine you take on a daily basis because they may be hard to find in another country if you run out. These may include any prescriptions you already take, such as inhalers, allergy medication, insulin, contact lens cleaners, and any vitamins.

Once you and your teen arrive, in what could perhaps be a foreign land, you both must review food and drink options. Going over what you can and cannot eat can be a lifesaver. A good rule of thumb is any foods that have been boiled are generally safe, as well as fruits and vegetables that have to be peeled before eating. Try to avoid eating uncooked or undercooked or raw meat. Stay away from foods that require a lot of handling before serving. Recently, I traveled with my high school to India. It was an amazing, life-changing experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. Because I went without my parents, I was truly able to experience independence and freedom, and the responsibility that comes along with this. I learned that acting cautiously and keeping your guard up is a full time job, especially in an unfamiliar place. From what I could not eat to respecting this new culture with my actions, I had to make sure I was being safe. Overall, international travel is thrilling, accomplishing, scary, and ultimately helped me grow as a person. If there is any piece of advice I would like teens to know before traveling, is to research the place of destination, be prepared, and have fun!


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  1. 7/15/11: Articles for Parents This Week | Radical Parenting - July 16, 2011

    […] Traveling and Independence How to make traveling with your teens the most positive experience as possible, while still giving them a sense of independence. […]

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