Taking a gap year - should I let my child?

(15 Posts)
nomadspirit Wed 25-Mar-15 22:38:41

My daughter wants to take a gap year next year, however I have a number of concerns. I have read a lot of negative articles about gap year companies in recent months (see below). Is it better, safer and more ethical to travel independently and find volunteering opportunities with local charities when they are away?

www.theguardian.com/travel/2008/sep/06/gapyeartravel.workingholidays

frontier-enquirer.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/who-and-what-is-frontieracuk.html

CliveCussler Wed 25-Mar-15 22:40:53

How old is your child? If she's over 16 and she can afford to do it, I'm not sure it's up to you.

BlessedAndGr8fulNoInLaws4Xmas Wed 25-Mar-15 22:41:32

Well you can't stop her if she is 18 - just advise her on how to minimise risk taking and staying safe.

glittertits Wed 25-Mar-15 22:42:02

If your child is of gap year age, it isn't your choice.

penny13610 Wed 25-Mar-15 22:47:12

Gap year does not have to mean gap year company.
Can your daughter afford to buy a gap year package holiday?
DD1 and DSD1 both had a gap year, worked for 6 months and then traveled, pursued hobbies etc.
They gain a lot more if they do it under their own steam.

dangerrabbit Wed 25-Mar-15 22:52:48

If you are referring to an adult child, she doesnt need your permission.

If she wants to volunteer abroad without paying for the privilege, try european voluntary service?

europeanvoluntaryservice.org

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 25-Mar-15 23:12:19

Good luck stopping her...

Hippopotamousse Thu 26-Mar-15 13:01:10

Hi, I don't have any experience of gap year companies but did go out to New Zealand on their working holiday visa scheme - I think Australia and Canada run similar schemes. When I did this (about 10 years ago) the visa allowed multiple entries into New Zealand so you could base yourself there but also go off travelling. I guess it depends what part of the world your daughter would like to see and what she'd like to do when she's away.

NotCitrus Thu 26-Mar-15 13:07:34

Buy her travel insurance for her next birthday/Christmas present and wish her well.

specialsubject Thu 26-Mar-15 19:20:15

no, get her to buy her own travel insurance and contribute to the cost.

the gappie companies make a fortune out of those who like to think they are super-cool independent travellers but are anything but. Tell her to research WHVs, work opportunities, insurance, etc etc. It is ALWAYS cheaper to save up in your own country and then go as a tourist.

she will be of limited use as a volunteer unless she has some specialist skills and life experience; it is indeed unethical to take the 'easy' stuff from the locals.

ExplorerMum Mon 30-Mar-15 11:32:18

Is she actually looking to volunteer during her gap year or just travel around? Websites like the Year Out Group have lots of information on gap year companies, so take a look at that if she is looking to volunteer. There are also quite a few non-profit organisations, so make sure she does her research if she'd rather volunteer for a company that isn't all about making money!!

Lancelottie Mon 30-Mar-15 11:35:13

Gap year = holiday, or a year of mixed experiences before university?

DS1 is having a very useful (and reasonably well paid) year in industry before university. It's doing hi the world of good.

DS2 is musing about 'travelling the world on his gap year'. No way are we funding that, but if he wants to earn enough first and travel later, that's up to him.

MillyMollyMama Mon 30-Mar-15 11:57:10

I think some gap year volunteering abroad is fairly useless - just an extended holiday really like William and Kate M did. I think proper volunteering needs skills and not sure how an 18 year old gets these along the way. I think volunteering in the UK has much to offer. You need to commit to it here for a longer period of time but you acquire far better skills. It says far more about you than a jaunt abroad paid for by Mummy and Daddy. (Lots of my DDs friends did the latter). Work related to future degree/employment is also good. Travelling is fun and should be seen as such. Volunteering should be a commitment to make a real difference - not a bolt on to a holiday because it makes you feel better.

specialsubject Tue 31-Mar-15 11:26:32

cheers and applause to that!!

cassyp Fri 23-Sep-16 15:20:23

A lot these 'volunteering' organisations charge a fortune or ask the volunteers to raise lots of money.

If you volunteer through the European Voluntary Service it's fully funded by the European Comission.

A safe organisation is the International Voluntary Service www.ivsgb.org

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