We all have first experiences that we wish we could relive time and time again. The idea of a teenager traveling alone can be daunting for both teens and parents. However, it’s important that we remember how incredible travel is for young people’s growth and transformation, as it can open doors in so many ways!
Why is travel important for youth? Travel is important for teenagers as it allows them to meet new people, teaches valuable life skills, and exposes them to new cultural and social experiences while making new friends and memories along the way.
5 Benefits of Traveling For Teenagers
The reasons why traveling is important are becoming more known in a world where travel is more accessible. But we’re here to tell you why traveling as a young person is especially important! The benefits of traveling for teenagers are endless, but here are just five:
1. Grows Confidence
Traveling and navigating your way through new environments will boost anyone’s confidence, as it requires adaptability and problem-solving skills! This is also why traveling is important for teens, since they are in a transformative stage in their life. Venturing outside your home town and any comfort zones can be challenging, but it gives them the confidence and invaluable experiences that contribute to their personal growth and development! Travel can broaden teenager’s horizons, allow for new perspectives and enhance their confidence to navigate through life. All of which can all lead to more opportunities and resilience throughout their social and professional futures!
2. Improves Social Skills
It’s easy for people to make friends very young, but making friends as a teenager can be intimidating. Being out in the world on their own means teens will be pushed to forge relationships and connect with people outside of their social circle. With study abroad programs, volunteer or summer internships, teens will meet people from all over the world, meaning they will be able to gain a new cultural understanding from their new colleagues or partners, who just might end up being lifelong friends!
Learning a language is a whole different can of worms, but learning and speaking another language in a native-speaking country can improve social skills immensely by practicing language skills with locals, classmates, and teachers.
3. Exposes Them To Educational & Cultural Experiences
Why is traveling important for learning? Well, being exposed to other educational and cultural experiences helps teens gain a broader knowledge of the different types of learning and norms that they are used to and to appreciate diversity! Living abroad and learning through first-hand experiences is another one of the many benefits of traveling for teenagers, as they thrive when exploring and discovering new things on their own.
4. Gives Experiences in the Workplace
Immersion in a professional setting exposes teens to working life and improves problem-solving skills by having challenging work assigned. Travel programs for young adults, such as summer internships or volunteer projects, can better prepare students for employment by giving them practical experience in the field of their choice and building on other attributes such as compassion and patience. The ability to work well in teams is important for any profession and volunteering can help build skills that are necessary for working together in groups! Having international work experience is also another reason why travel is important for teens, as employers take this into great consideration!
5. Boosts Independence
Living abroad as a teenager boosts independence, which is the final reason why travel is important. Teens will be able to develop essential life skills such as cooking, cleaning, shopping and handling finances by themselves. Learning to become more independent will also increase confidence and self-autonomy. I could go on and on about why traveling is important for teens. However, to summarize, travel can shape their futures, providing new experiences, a broader understanding of the world, and fostering personal growth into enthusiastic, appreciative, and knowledgeable individuals.
What Does Travel Mean For Teens?
In a recent survey by Telus, it was reported that 65% of Gen Z ranked ’travel and seeing the world’ as the most important way to spend their money. Recent trends have also shown that the young people of today are more value-driven when it comes to traveling. Traveling with the planet in mind is essential nowadays, and more younger people are looking for more eco-friendly accommodations, modes of transport and experiences.
What better way to travel than to volunteer and see the world? It gives us the change to give back to the communities that we have the pleasure of visiting!
Where To Volunteer as a Teenager
Volunteering has all of the major benefits of travel for teenagers while also being a more sustainable choice. But where can you volunteer as a teenager? Some of our top locations for teen travelers are India, Zambia, Eswatini, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Vietnam and South Africa. Here are a few of the amazing volunteer programs for teens that Kaya offers year round:
The project helps village children’s educational prospects providing them with learning tools that empower students to create a better future for themselves. Volunteers not only work alongside local teachers but also other volunteers that they live with in a shared volunteer house! Experience the rural life and the natural beauty of Cambodia.
Location: Samraong, Cambodia
Duration: 2-12 weeks
The project aims to make learning enjoyable while enabling the students to have an increased exposure to English, which is considered to be highly beneficial for the communities’ future job prospects and access to equal opportunities. With weekend excursions, this really is a cultural immersion experience!
Location: Jaipur, India
Duration: 2-8 weeks
Get up close and personal with the stunning wildlife like rhinos, elephants, birds and reptiles whilst developing photography skills. A course is included to put your skills into action whilst participating in essential conservation education and activities in the Greater Kruger Area, such as creating content for or wildlife trusts and other foundation’s social media.
Location: Private Game Reserve in Kruger, South Africa
Duration: 4 weeks
It’s time to let your teen flee the nest!
There are many things to think about before taking the plunge; however, the benefits of travel for teenagers outweigh the worries. Start researching under 18 traveling opportunities with Kaya and you will be able to see why traveling is important for teens in no time! Or point your teen in the direction of an article on why travel is important for teens to read.
Do you still have concerns about your teen traveling abroad?
Check out our Under-18 page. It is totally normal to have concerns or worries about your teen going abroad alone. Allowing yourself to feel these feelings and becoming excited about your teen’s new experiences can co-exist! Here at Kaya, we provide award-winning support for parents, volunteers and interns on the ground and online through our program advisors! If you’d like more information on safety, or specific programs, reach out to our advisors to ease any nerves. We are here to help!