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Tips to keep teens safe on their first holiday WITHOUT YOU

So phew, the GCSEs/A-levels are over and yay, now your teenagers who you could swear were still smearing  baby rice on their faces like five minutes ago are off to celebrate with their mates in some Mediterranean hell hole hotspot WITHOUT YOU.


OMG, this is a nightmare for bubble-wrap parents, right? Just thinking of the list of things that could go wrong is torture: they might get burned, sun-stroke or alcohol poisoning, they might lose all their shit, they’ll almost certainly get drunk and then they might drown, they might come back with a tattoo, an STD, a…..baby???


My son went off to Ayia Napa with his mates the summer between his GCSEs and A-levels and had the time of his life – while I didn’t sleep properly for a week worrying about what he was getting up to.


He was fine. Of course he was fine. But seriously, some kids do get carried away when they go away with their mates for the first time, so you probably should at least make sure they’ve read ABTA’s super-sensible latest advice to try to keep them safe.


Some of it will make their eyes roll, for sure, like the suggestion that they set up a WhatsApp group with their mates – I mean, talk about the bleedin’ obvious – but there are some really good tips which just might sink in, like stay away from balconies when you’re drunk and don’t buy laughing gas from a stranger. Wait, what – people will try to sell them laughing gas???


Other tips include leaving a copy of their passport with you, just in case they lose it/get robbed, and make sure they’ve got an EHIC for medical emergencies, plus they must buy travel insurance, of course. Travel insurance is vital. Also, they should download apps to use offline, and save the location of their hotel/apartment/campsite in case they got lost (when they’re drunk – sorry mums!). And they should take two forms of ID and an emergency stash of cash, says ABTA.


Most of the advice will probably go in one ear and out the other, but here’s a tip that I think your teenagers will go for. They should get an app-based pre-paid currency card like Revolut (other cards are available) so they don’t need to take loads of cash with them because they just top up the card directly from their bank account when they need more money, and if they lose the card (which, let’s face it, is highly likely), they can just freeze it from the app.


And here’s the best bit: if you get them a card on your account, you can track their spending from the app, so you have a bit of an idea what they’re up to. Genius, no?!


You can read more info on pre-paid currency cards on this blog, and if you want a free one from Revolut, which I like because it doesn’t charge commission, it has good exchange rates and you can withdraw up to £200 of foreign currency free from ATMs every month, just click on the ad below.


Full disclosure: I receive a small fee for any card orders as a thank you for the info, however, I only accept affiliate links to products I’ve tried and tested myself and can hand on heart recommend. And like I said, other cards are available. However, this site doesn’t offer financial or legal advice so if in doubt, you should seek professional advice before buying a product.

Linsey McNeill

A journalist and travel writer of 35 years' standing, a once-a-week yogi, terrible skier and out-of-order mum to 2 teens. Previously Editor of TravelMole.com, bylines also include The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, the London Evening Standard, Which? and The South China Morning Post.

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