The advantages of traveling while young

With the news of many travellers being injured or even killed while travelling abroad, it is not surprising that a number of parents are reluctant to let their children travel abroad without some kind of adult supervision. However, it is important to remember that travelling has a number of advantages for young adults and that, provided they follow a few safety tips, there is unlikely to be any problem while travelling. Here are some reasons why young adults should be encouraged to travel. 

Learning responsibility

Many young adults are chafing at the bit in a bid to gain their freedom, but what they don’t realise is that, once they have it, they are going to have to take on the responsibility that comes with it. Travelling teaches them the rudiments of this. Suddenly, they will have to decide how to get from A to B, what to do when they get there, where to visit and what to eat, and be safe while doing so – there will be no-one else around them to decide it for them. On return, they will be much more confident and able to manage themselves. 

Widening horizons

Travelling is extremely educational. It is easy to watch programmes about other countries on the television, but young adults are much more likely to remember something that they have experienced themselves. It is impossible to travel without soaking up some of the culture and maybe even a bit of the language. They will try new foodstuffs, meet a wide range of people and learn a great deal about lives in other countries. Being young, they will be more flexible, and prepared to try new things. 

Learning to be less judgemental

Whether the young adult has been brought up in the countryside or the city, the chances are that they only know one way of life and presume that that way is best. When travelling, they are forced to see how other people live and realise that not everyone has the same opportunities. It will help them to see that, just because someone is poor or unfortunate, it doesn’t mean that it is their fault – everyone has their cross to bear, but for some it affects whether they eat or not, rather than whether they can afford to go to a concert that week. 

Managing money

Travelling alone or with other young adults, the chances are that they will have to manage their own money. It won’t be possible to turn around and ask mum and dad for a hand-out (unless it’s a real emergency), so budgeting for food, accommodation and sight-seeing will have to be done carefully. This will help them to learn how to manage their money, a lesson that will last them long into their adulthood. Paying bills will not seem like such a challenge then. 

Less likely to do it when older

Once someone grows up and has responsibilities, like bills, rent or a mortgage and a family to support, it makes it very difficult for them to go travelling for more than a week or so at a time. The gap between school or college and starting work is an ideal time for them to go travelling and burn off some energy before having to commit to a nine to five job. Travelling at such a time will create amazing memories that they will carry with them for years. 

Time out to plan

Many young adults are just starting their lives and don’t really know which direction to move in. Having just finished exams, they are probably exhausted and don’t have the energy to put into seriously planning their future. Travelling will give them some time to think about what it is that they want to do. Then, on their return, they can start putting their plans into action, with the confidence that, having been travelling, they do have the ability to forge some kind of future for themselves. 

You cannot force a young adult to go travelling if they don’t want to, but giving them the encouragement to do so could help provide them with the skills that they need to create a great future for themselves.