Are Your Kids Ready for a Group Tour of Europe?

There’s a time-honored tradition in many high schools and church groups of European summer trips for youngsters. Many parents fret over the idea of whether to allow their charges to take part in the popular excursions, many of which offer excellent financial bargains compared to individual travel. Why are some moms and dads reluctant? They fear for kids’ safety or worry that younger teens might get into trouble if they wander too far from the purview of the adult supervisor. In most cases, those fears are not well-founded, but mothers and fathers still need to consider several factors before signing permission slips and paying fees for a summertime journey to the continent. Here are a few critical points to ponder about group tours for children and young adults.

Church, School, or Other Sponsors?

The best trips, in terms of supervision and cost, are offered by schools, churches, and civic organizations. Most feature official sponsors, vetted chaperones, and highly organized itineraries for the groups of teens who take part in the excursions. Avoid letting your kids take part in any large European tour that’s run by a travel agency and does not include proper supervision.

Save Money by Paying in Advance

The majority of school and church trips to Europe are excellent bargains and offer total package prices about 40 percent lower than for individual travel. Still, if you want to send one or more children along for a few weeks of exploring historic and scenic areas of Rome, London, Paris, Berlin, and other famous cities, the price tag can be significant. Many moms and dads choose to take out personal loans to pay for the entire bill upfront. Then, they can afford to give kids a spending stipend for daily purchases during their weeks away. The beauty of personal loans is that you can use the proceeds however you wish. Depending on how much you choose to borrow, the money can cover spending money, airfare, and special side trips that are often a part of such trips.

Interview the Chaperones

It’s crucial to meet the adults who will be supervising your youngsters during the European travel. It can help you feel better as a parent to be this thorough. There are usually two chaperones, one male and one female, who attend to the children’s personal needs and keep them out of trouble. Before departure, spend some time getting to know the background and interests of the adults who will be filling those roles.

Stay In Contact

In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with youngsters who are traveling. If your sons or daughters are on the other side of the Atlantic for a few weeks, allow them a bit of independence by not trying to check in with them multiple times per day. Remember that they are, after all, under the care of responsible chaperones. What’s the right way to strike a balance? Before they depart, make an agreement to communicate via text, email, phone, or video chat at least a few times during their travels. Set several agreed upon dates and specific times at which you’ll communicate. Occasionally, check with the group supervisor via the social media account set up to receive parent messages.

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