Traveling after graduating high school is a great way for a student to further their education beyond the classroom.
Travel expert Liling Pang owns and operates the travel website trekaroo.com which is a community of families focused on exposing kids to the world of travel. She says more and more high school grads are choosing to travel before attending college.
Pang says travel is a great way to learn about different cultures and how people live outside the United States – lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom.
“Getting a greater context of the world that we live in, and becoming less naive of this amazing planet that we live in and all the different issues that people face in different parts of the world,” Pang said. “Being there immersed is so different from reading about it in a textbook or magazine article or even on TV.”
Pang added it’s a good idea for a student to identify a goal before traveling. If they’re seeking independence, a trip with friends or a siblings is a good option. But if bonding is important before they go off to college, then a family trip may be best.
And Pang says there are ways for students to travel without sending parents into debt.
“There are a lot of churches that organize trips as well that may not be quite as expensive,” she said. “If your parents have friends that live overseas, maybe arranging for a kind of an exchange family to family, where I'll host your child and when they’re ready you host my child, and finding those local families willing to volunteer are all good ways to reduce the cost a little bit.”
Pang also said it’s also a good idea to look at organizations where students can volunteer in a particular country, as it not only opens up the world of travel, but teaches team building and life lessons at the same time.
Be sure to check any government issued travel bans, warnings and restrictions, and contagious disease outbreaks when planning a trip.
The National Geographic Expeditions’ website is a great resource for planning international travel.
You can find all of Liling Pang’s travel advice at www.trekaroo.com.