Parenting, Travel

Parenting Tips for First Time Solo Teen Travelers

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

The summer holidays are among the busiest time for travelers, and teen travelers have to take extra precautions when it comes to navigating roads and airports. This past Fourth of July holiday, the AAA reported record-breaking numbers: 3.8 million Americans traveled on this day, making it the ninth consecutive year for travel increase on July 4th. Between Memorial Day and Labor alone, the TSA has also prepared for additional record breaking travel during summer holidays (roughly 2.7 million per day). With these numbers in mind, it’s important to consider your airplane travel during these very busy summer months, when everyone is looking for some fun in the sun. Here are a few tips to get you through: 

Chat with Your Doctor about the Simple Stuff

Chances are your kid knows what their body can handle, but it’s always best to have a candid chat with your doctor about whether they’re equipped to handle long-term flight travel—especially if you’ve never done it before. During the summer season, dehydration can also be an issue, and certain illnesses — like asthma for instance — tend to come on stronger as the heat continues to build towards the end of August. These are things you should discuss with your general practitioner. 

Plan your End-to-End Route Carefully 

As you already know, calling your airline a few days before your flight and/or at the time of booking can ensure your journey from your door to your gate. First, you want me to make sure their transportation to the airport is sufficient to manage your child’s inexperience, especially if you’re using a van transportation service you haven’t tried out before. Always arrive at least an hour earlier than the recommended two hours. A rushing teen is a forgetful one; things like passports get lost when mind becomes frantic. 

Lastly, be sure to have a backup plan. Every teen should be prepared to react in situations where plans don’t go accordingly. When traveling during busy summer days, plan for delays and cancellations. Speak with your child about keeping their head on during especially frustrating times.

Dress for the Journey

When you’re traveling through an airport, it’s best to wear layers—yes, even in warmer summer months. The reason why this is so important is because you’ll run into several micro climates throughout your journey, and the airport can feel like its own habitat. While you’re waiting on the tarmac for the plane to take off, you might be hot and start to sweat. But as you ascend and the air conditioning kicks in full steam, suddenly you’ll feel like you need a blanket. 

If you’ve ever traveled on a plane, you know how frustrating it can be to access items you’ve put in your overhead bin. To better prepare you for the back and forth weather of airport travel, go for a layer of meriwool. Meriwool is an adaptive clothing textile that adapts to your body’s temperature. It’s itch-free, sweat absorbant, and odor-resistant. You can learn more about meriwool here: Underneath your layer, a tank top or tee shirt will do. 

Book Accessible Accommodation in Advance

The summer season is particularly busy, chock full of people searching for summertime fun, family vacations, and relaxing beach days. But the number of accessible accommodations is limited, and if you want to beat the summer crowds, accommodation should be a top priority. For example, in European city centers, a large majority of hotels have limited accessibility for emergencies. The older the hotel, the more likely this will be the case; and if you don’t book quickly, those rooms could go to vacationers who don’t need them. 

Know Which Days to Travel

Based on data, we can use online resources to glean which days will have heavier traffic at major airports. For example, the Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta predicted their busiest travel day to be July 21st, while the Chicago O’Hare International Airport predicts August 10. Similarly, there are certain popular days of the week depending on which airport you’re going to. The busiest day of the week at the Denver International Airport is Sundays, while the at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport it’s Tuesday. You can check out this online airport traffic resource to see which airports have heavier traffic on those days. 

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is critical for every traveler. In the event of an emergency, you don’t want to be faced with a hefty bill. Comprehensive travel insurance is always worth the cost. Your travel insurance will cover flight complications, from delays to lost baggage. And of course, medical coverage is necessary to ensure you’re covered when you’re visiting other states and countries. 

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