by Tanvir Kaur on 21 Jul, 2023
The summer season is here, and many of us are drawn to the allure of travelling and exploring new destinations. As an educator or parent, you play a crucial role in preparing and guiding students for their travels, whether it's for a summer vacation or studying abroad. Travelling alone or in a group can be stressful, but with the right information and guidance, you can help reduce their anxiety and ensure a safe and memorable journey. Here are some valuable tips you can utilize to help your students travel safely. The following suggested tips are all covered in more detail throughout the Travel Smart Course by Global Affairs Canada. You may find it helpful to have your students complete this course before travelling. It can help facilitate important conversations and provide useful information.
Introduce your students to various online resources that provide valuable information about their desired travel destinations. Encourage them to gather as much first-hand knowledge as possible, such as talking to people who have already visited those places. Utilizing your social network can help find experiences and insights shared by other travellers. This supplements information they learn through other resources when becoming familiar with the local culture, customs, visa requirements, weather conditions, or safety considerations from their destinations.
Discuss essential vaccinations, health insurance coverage, and necessary medications for travelling abroad. Direct students to reliable sources for health and safety advisories. Emphasize the importance of travel insurance and guide them on choosing a suitable policy. The Government of Canada offers detailed information on travel insurance, including why and how to purchase it and what it should cover.
Educate your students on passport application and renewal processes, as well as the visa requirements for various destinations. Inform them about the benefits of obtaining an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), such as discounts on transportation, accommodations, and attractions.
Encourage your students to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service. This will enable government officials to contact them and provide important information in case of emergencies, such as natural disasters or civil unrest. It also ensures that they receive instructions during emergencies and stay updated on travel advisories for their registered country.
Explain the basics of currency exchange and provide tips on finding reliable exchange services or using ATM machines abroad. Discuss the benefits of carrying multiple payment methods, such as cash, credit cards, and travel cards. Teach your students how to create a travel budget, including transportation, accommodation, meals, activities, and emergency funds. Share useful budgeting apps and online resources that can help them effectively manage their finances. ChatterHigh offers Money Management Courses by Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), designed to enhance students' financial knowledge and confidence at any stage of their financial journey.
Emphasize the importance of booking accommodation in advance to eliminate the stress of finding one upon arrival in a new country. Discuss various options, such as hostels, budget hotels, and vacation rentals. Guide your students in considering safety considerations, reading reviews, and making informed decisions.
Introduce your students to local transportation options, such as buses, trains, and metros. Explain how to use transportation apps, purchase tickets, and navigate public transit systems. Familiarize them with popular navigation apps that can help them find their way in unfamiliar cities. Discuss offline map options and safety considerations when using navigation tools.
Explain the options for international roaming with existing mobile phone plans and discuss the benefits of purchasing local SIM cards for data and calls. Inform students about alternative communication methods, such as messaging apps and Wi-Fi calling. Provide a list of important emergency contacts, including local authorities, embassy/consulate details, and the contact information of the university's study abroad office. Encourage students to stay connected with Canada through smart travel tools provided by the Government of Canada.
Discuss cultural norms, customs, and practices that students should be aware of when visiting their destinations. Emphasize the importance of respecting local traditions and sensitivities. Highlight general safety guidelines, including tips for staying vigilant, avoiding scams, and protecting personal belongings. The Government of Canada provides information to help recognize and protect against overseas scams. Travelling abroad can cause cultural shock, which is a feeling of uncertainty, confusion, or anxiety that results from being in an unfamiliar environment. It is essential to ensure that your students are acquainted with effective coping strategies. Share this valuable resource with your students to help them understand cultural shock and learn practical strategies to navigate it.
By implementing these tips, you can empower your students to travel safely and successfully. Remember to provide them with additional resources, such as the travel guide by the Government of Canada, which covers essential information on travel health risks, preventive measures, coping with health emergencies abroad, and accessing consular services.
The topics discussed throughout the list are detailed in ChatterHigh's Travel Smart Course by Global Affairs Canada, a valuable resource for teaching students about travel resources and ensuring a safe trip. It offers modules for both solo and group travel, providing practical guidance and insights through various perspectives. You can even facilitate conversations before travelling by having your kids complete this course.
As an educator or parent, you have the opportunity to equip your students with the necessary knowledge and skills to travel safely and make the most of their experiences. With proper preparation and guidance, they can embark on unforgettable journeys while staying secure and informed.