When you first decide you want to take a gap year one of the first things you might need to do is convince your parents. Understandably parents are often really concerned that their child is going to be heading off into the big, wide world and will be fending for themselves for the first time. We have put together some tips to help you reassure your parents that taking a year out is a really good idea.
- Involve your parents in the planning. Parents tend to feel a lot more comfortable about things and are far more likely to get on board if you speak to them about your plans and ask for their input.
- Do your research. If you know what things will cost, what the possible dangers can be and what is involved in planning a gap year then you will be able to answer the questions that your parents might have. This is more likely to get them keen on the idea than saying ‘I dunno’ every time they ask you anything.
- Show your parents how you are going to fund your travels. Whilst it might seem a bit extreme, having a budget and a savings plan can be an excellent way to show your parents that you are taking this seriously and that it isn’t just going to be an extended party.
- Book with a company. You parents will feel so much better knowing that you are well supported before you go and that you will have support in country when you overseas. When they aren’t around they will be pleased to know that someone is there to look out for you. There is also the added bonus of financial protection which is something that parents tend to appreciate.
- Be reasonable with your plans. Don’t expect your parents to be delighted if you announce you are going to Thailand to hit up all the full moon parties or that you plan to bungee jump or sky-dive your way around the world. Parents are far more likely to be happy if you show that you are going to be doing something worthwhile and not too extreme. That isn’t to say you can’t have fun but just try to show that you are going to balance fun along with something more valuable.
- Ask your parents to speak to the company that you are booking with if they are concerned. We spend a lot of time answering all sorts of questions from parents. You are not the only one who has parents who aren’t sure about this whole thing.
- Try to understand that this is a big deal for them. To your parents it feels like only a few minutes ago that you were heading off to primary school for the first time and now they are expected to wave you goodbye on your first independent, overseas adventure. This is nerve-wracking so rather than getting cross that they aren’t on board try to see it from their side. This might help to show them that you are mature and responsible enough to do something like this.
If you would like to see what sort of gap year opportunities we have available then check out our website.