Travel Tips and Ideas

How to Prepare Your Kids to Travel Without You

by Isabelle Raffin | Aug 09, 2022
kids travel

One of the greatest ways to travel is with the people we love- our friends and family. Often times we take a yearly vacation or two with our families. Sometimes the destinations are the same and other times we get to explore new places with our loved ones. It can be truly eye opening for children to travel with their family. They have the opportunity to experience new places and meet new people with the safety net of having their parents or guardians to guide and protect them. However, there will come a time when our children grow, and they may want to start traveling on their own. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these trips will be solo trips, but it does mean that they will have to learn how to navigate travel responsibly and without that familiar protection they once had. Let’s take a look at a few ways we can help to prepare our children to travel without us.

Preparing important travel documents –

Travel documents are one of the most important items needed for all trips, no matter the length of the trip or the distance that will be traveled. Consider going through or creating a checklist together of documents that shouldn’t be left behind. These might include confirmation documents for travel arrangements and lodging, passport or visa information, a list of emergency contact information (such as any helpful numbers they may need in the location they will be traveling to) and any other documents that you would usually bring with you when you travel. It may be a good idea for these documents to be stored in more than one location, for instance a digital copy and a physical copy of this list. Having them participate in the preparation of this list can help reinforce the importance that travel documents have on their trip.

Discuss their itinerary and the possibilities of it changing –

It may make both you and your child more comfortable if there is a clear, set itinerary for at least their first trip without you. Knowing where they should be is one way that safety can be prioritized. By going over their itinerary, and helping them craft it, you can help them understand how to best utilize their time in the most responsible way. You can schedule time for activities or events they really want to participate in, but also consider scheduling some down time for them. It may be daunting for them to travel without you for the first time, so having some time to recharge their metaphorical batteries can be important.

In addition, you can discuss with them the possibility of the itinerary not going exactly to plan. Most of us know that schedules don’t always go the way we intend them to. Give them some tools that can aid them in facing these alterations head on. It may be helpful to prepare a list of back-up options for them to choose from. Deviations from the plan don’t have to be scary or upsetting; sometimes they lead to our favorite memories from the travel experience.

Go over packing lists together –

Depending on how old your child is the first time they travel without you, they may or may not have experience with packing their own suitcase. If your child isn’t familiar with packing on their own, it might be a good idea to create a packing list together. Have them consider the location, climate, cultural norms and activities they will be participating in while they're away to create a comprehensive list of items that they may need. They can use this list when packing and check off items as they go. Also consider giving them some tips and tricks on what you find best when packing. For instance, do you roll your clothes or prefer laying them flat? Do you put like things together or pack by days so you know what to wear each day?

If your child has been packing for themselves for a while, maybe ask if you can take a look at their packing list before they zip up their suitcase. Chances are even if they’ve been packing on their own in the past, a quick double-check can be helpful.! Do they have all of their medications and/or emergency medications they may need? Did they consider all toiletry supplies and accompaniments that go with them?

Reinforce the importance of traveling safely and responsibly -

Some children may be thrilled to travel without you for the first time, while others may be nervous. No matter their outlook, it can be beneficial to discuss ways to stay safe and responsible. As parents, we can encourage them to make smart decisions while traveling.

If they find themselves in a situation that they are unsure about or feel uncomfortable about, you can encourage them to give you a call for some advice. If they need immediate assistance, it may be a good idea to make sure they know how to contact local emergency personnel. You can prepare a list of emergency contacts together!


It can be both scary and exciting to watch your child venture out without you. However, you can help protect their adventures with a travel protection plan. It can be a great resource for your child while they are away. To learn more about travel protection ask your travel advisor or visit our website. This can be a big step for both you and your child. We hope this list helps and we wish your child a safe and wonderful trip!






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