As a parent, your child’s first overnight trip with school is likely to be a little daunting. After all, while they are in good hands throughout, you may not be used to spending this much time apart. Whether they’re travelling for a single night or a few days it can feel overwhelming. They might have stayed with family or close friends but this can feel different.
However, these trips are also very beneficial. They can help your child succeed in school by providing them with hands-on learning experiences and the chance to connect and bond with their peers. It strengthens their independence and deepens their friendships.
With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to help prepare your child for their first-ever overnight trip!
SUPPORT THEM WITH ANY WORRIES
In the same way, in which you may be worried about sending your child off on their trip, they too may be experiencing anxiety about being away from home. As such, you should have conversations with them ahead of time. Especially in the lead-up to the trip. Keep it positive and give them space to voice their concerns. Opting to talk through problems or worries instead of sitting with them can help you raise optimistic children. In turn they’ll be able to handle any situations that come their way.
PACK THEIR BAG TOGETHER
While your child may be keen to show just how grown-up they are by packing their own suitcase or backpack, it’s important that you oversee this task. Don’t take over the job but guide them so they can successfully do it when it’s time to leave the trip. If you leave them to it they’ll end up travelling with a suitcase full of toys and games. Instead of the things they actually need. Usually, the school will provide you with an itemised list of things your child may need when travelling. This depends on the nature of the trip. If not, you can easily find this information online. For example, if you were packing for a ski trip, you must pack thermal clothing, skiing equipment, and sunscreen to name a few!
WRITE DOWN EMERGENCY NUMBERS
While your child’s school will likely already have access to your contact details in the event that something goes wrong, you may also want to write this information down. Place it inside your child’s bag or case. This way, it’s easy to contact you if necessary. This will give you both greater peace of mind moving forward.
INVEST IN A DISPOSABLE CAMERA
School trips are often a screen-free adventure. This is excellent news for parents who are worried about the amount of time their children spend in front of a screen. However, as they’ll want to capture the memories they are making with their friends during this time, you may want to invest in a cheap, disposable camera that they can take along for the ride. This way, they have something to look forward to upon returning home but aren’t tasked with carrying around an expensive or fragile camera. It’s also a great way to get their unique perspective of what they have experienced rather than simply the photos taken by teachers.
ENCOURAGE THEM TO GET ENOUGH SLEEP THE NIGHT BEFORE
Everyone understands the excitement you get just before a holiday – the kind that makes it nearly impossible to sleep. However, as your child has an action-packed few days ahead of them, they must get some shut-eye the night before. Stick to their bedtime and encourage them to save their energy for the big day!