It is understandable that parents and staff may have some concerns about their children or students travelling internationally. Several members of our Student Horizons team are parents, and so we can absolutely empathise with the anxiety that comes with sending your child off to another country without you. As for teachers, we know just how daunting it can be to take responsibility for so many peoples’ precious children! It is our mission to make sure every person travelling on one of our tours is as safe and prepared as possible.
We are all well seasoned travellers who have learned a thing or two along the way, so we would like to share with you our top school travel safety tips:
Pickpockets are very common in big cities, and in a crowded area it’s especially easy to end up a target. Keep small bags close to your body and always make sure they’re zipped or otherwise shut. Carry or wear backpacks on your front when in a crowd or on public transport – this is also more considerate for other passengers if a train is really packed!
Stay together! Make sure you are always with at least one other person from your tour group, and always keep the group within sight when you’re out and about. It can be very easy to lose each other when walking around a busy city, so even running to catch up is better than getting separated! If you need to split off from the group for some reason, take a friend with you and make sure a teacher knows where you are at all times.
It’s also a good idea to get your teacher’s cellphone number (they might be using a different one overseas) and have it in your phone so you can always contact them if you get lost or something happens. Keep hotel and emergency contact numbers on you as well. Student Horizons makes this easy with our emergency cards: printed with contact numbers for all your accommodation, embassy numbers, and local emergency numbers, they are small enough to fit in your wallet.
It’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Being mindful of people around you can help you avoid a dangerous situation, and noticing buildings and landmarks can help you find your way back into a familiar area if you do get lost. Make sure you always know where your belongings are, and get into the habit of doing a cursory glance back at where you’ve been sitting before you leave a place. This will ensure you don’t leave anything important behind!
Be careful and subtle with your cash. Don’t wave your money around or draw attention to yourself with it. Even if you need to look at each bill to find the amount you need, try and do so in your wallet or bag. It’s also a good idea to keep some of your cash and cards separate from each other, so you don’t lose everything if your bag gets stolen or lost.
Always carry water on you, especially if you’re going out for the day. Know whether the tap water is safe to drink where you will be travelling, and prepare bottled water if needed.
At Student Horizons, we believe that no matter how unlikely a situation is to occur, groups should feel prepared for their tour and be able to help themselves if something goes wrong. We are proud to say that we take as many precautions as possible for our tours, before you depart and during the tour, and with our 24 hour assistance, a team member is always available to offer advice and help from behind the scenes.