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thisismyusername's avatar

Did you or your kids travel during high school?

Asked by thisismyusername (2940points) January 10th, 2018
5 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

My daughter is going to be traveling this summer. So far, we’ve been looking into Rustic Pathways and Global Leadership Adventures, and have been focused on service trips. Has anyone had any experience with these types of programs? Any suggestions or things to look out for?

Additionally, we have no money, so we’ll be financing this. Any suggestions re:best financing options would be helpful.

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Zaku's avatar

One thing we did which was good & cheap was driving about a day away to a cool park to camp and explore. It’s relatively cheap once you own tents and sleeping bags.

I know some people who signed up for Catholic service trips in Central America, Africa, etc… which were definitely experiences, and perhaps not 100% as safe as staying home (depending on how safe home is), though I though they also had at least a small vibe of making oneself look really good. And I’m not sure they were actually cheap.

janbb's avatar

This may not be advice you want to hear but since no one has had the same exact experience, I’ll put in my two cents. I would not borrow money to have my teen aged kids travel. That seems like a luxury and I would think you would be better off saving and borrowing for college. If you can find a service project that is cheap or free, that would be much better.

My kids worked in the summers while in high school, got into great universities and traveled during their college years. Work experience when young can be valuable too.

longgone's avatar

I spent a month in Matapalo, Costa Rica in a sea turtle hatchery.

Here’s my advice:

Make sure your daughter knows what kind of journey she’s in for. Get her a phone plan that will work reliably, plus some numbers on paper and/or memorized. For a first-time traveler, it might be best to pick a country whose primary language she’s fluent in. Lastly, be prepared for work that might be physically demanding.

To illustrate: In my case, I knew that I’d be picked up from the airport in San Jose. I had no idea I’d be traveling across the country in a bus for hours on my second day. I was nineteen, but it was still quite disconcerting – especially as the stops, as far as I could tell, had no names. I’d been told I’d be met my a member of staff at my destination, but the only person waiting at the stop was an older guy who smiled a toothless smile and pointed to his pickup – which, being white, was the vehicle I’d been told to look out for. I had no way of communicating with him (or anyone else), and getting in that car did not feel safe at all.

This is not to say I didn’t like it. I got to ride horses on the beach, hold a wounded toucan’s beak while he was treated with iodine, go zip lining and white water rafting, drink from a fresh coconut, paddle around in a clear little pool with butterflies zooming overhead, and carry baby turtles to the sea. I even made some friends – I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

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