keep teens safe when they are on overseas trips

Traveling without parental supervision is every kid's and parent's dream. Travel safety for teens is a must to shield them from the perils that could befall them without a concerned adult to guide them. There are a few steps that you should take before letting your teen go to a foreign country without you.

1. Travel documents

Teens to know how vital their travel documents are to their safety and identity. Losing travel documents like passports, visas, travel itineraries, credit cards, hotel reservations, airline tickets, train tickets, travel insurance, etc. is very bad for a few reasons:
  • Replacing them is a complex and lengthy process.
  • Replacing them in a foreign country is much harder
  • It could result in a teen getting stranded on the trip.

They must be copied in case of loss or theft. The traveling teen should have a copy, someone traveling with the teen should have a copy as well, and the parent should have a copy. A copy of the lost document would significantly reduce the time used to replace it, especially if your country's embassy is closed or short-staffed.

The best way to copy documents for travel is to scan and store them electronically on an email account, an online cloud, a portable device like a laptop or a tablet, or a memory stick. Passwords are also necessary to secure them since they would be valuable to identity thieves. 

2. A packing list

A packing list is essential in preparing for the trip, depending on where the teen is going and how long he/she will be gone. The teen must have the essentials, pick the right kind of luggage for the trip, and even take medications along. It is also essential to avoid packing too much for the trip.

The teen will have to manage everything packed on the trip alone. The more things you take, the easier it is to lose track of something, and the more likely it is that something will go missing.

3. Staying in contact

Keeping in touch with teens is a great way to verify their well-being on a trip. One can stay in contact with a teen traveling abroad in many ways. A simple method of staying in touch would be via email. Sending an email every so often would keep a parent informed of a teen's health and whereabouts during a trip. Of course, there is a chance that the teen simply creates a mailing list to send messages to his/her parents automatically.

Fortunately, some apps allow real-time communication between a parent and teens. Skype, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, iMessage/FaceTime, and Facebook Messenger are available for a wide range of devices and are excellent for keeping in touch on the go.

Also, it is essential to create and stick to a realistic communication schedule. This will help solve the issue of contacting someone in a different time zone.

4. Handling money

Protecting and managing money is a big task for teens traveling abroad. If lost, the teen is stranded and unable to purchase food, lodging, or travel arrangements. A parent would need access to whatever bank or credit card accounts are under the teen's control. This will facilitate monitoring their expenses and ensure that the accounts haven't been hijacked by unscrupulous parties.

A good idea would be to get the teen a credit card with no foreign transaction fee. This is especially useful if the teen travels through different countries, each with its own currency. The money would last much longer without the need to exchange currency and suffer extra bank charges.

Cash is a safer option in more minor purchase situations. Cash is a preferred option if at a restaurant or shopping where the credit or debit card must be taken out of sight. The advantage of using cash is that the teen will not have to expose his/her credit card number or debit card PIN. Hence, his/her finances are protected from theft.

5. Social media

In the age of social media oversharing, doing so while traveling can create dangerous situations for teens and anyone they're traveling with. Social media posts can even be used to steal identities and facilitate social engineering attacks.

The social media accounts of a traveling teen must be made as secure as possible before traveling. Unsecured internet connections might be the only available, and proper precautions must be taken. Teens must refrain from posting travel information, like flight details, online. If such data needs to be shared, which it probably doesn't, he/she can wait until after the trip. Information like that can be used to create elaborate phishing scams or fake kidnapping scenes to demand ransoms from family and friends.

6. Medical insurance

Given the myriad situations that teens might encounter when traveling abroad, medical insurance is a necessity to ensure that they are covered. A good plan's coverage should start when the teen departs his/her home country and cover treatment for any illnesses contracted overseas.

Ideally, the insurance should be purchased before the trip, but one can still be acquired after the trip has begun. It will still cover illnesses contracted after the policy becomes effective.

7. Tracking location

Even with all the above measures, a parent might still feel the need to keep a closer eye on the teen while he/she is abroad. Apps like Spokeo allow you to search for phone numbers and see the locations the teen is visiting. They are also good for checking all social media profiles.

With services like reverse phone lookup, parents can check and verify the location of any calls they receive from a teen abroad to ensure that he/she is exactly where he/she is supposed to be. Some reverse number lookup services like Spokeo will provide a detailed dossier on the owner of the number.

Using reverse phone lookup can be a helpful tool for parents or guardians to monitor and ensure their teens' safety during overseas trips. Still, it's important to balance safety with privacy and trust. Here's a guide on how to use reverse phone lookup responsibly in this context:
  • Establish Trust: Before the trip, have an open conversation with your teen about safety concerns and the tools you'll use to ensure their well-being. Emphasize that your primary goal is their safety and that you trust them, but you want a backup plan in emergencies.
  • Educate Them: Teach your teen about the risks associated with traveling, such as getting lost, encountering scams, or falling into dangerous situations. Make sure they know how to handle themselves in various scenarios and how to reach out for help if needed.
  • Set Ground Rules: Establish clear rules and boundaries for phone usage during the trip. Let your teen know when it's appropriate to use their phone and when to keep it silent or put it away, such as during tours, meals, or group activities.
  • Privacy Considerations: Respect your teen's privacy while using reverse phone lookup. Only use it when you have genuine concerns about their safety or if they've gone off the grid unexpectedly. Avoid using it to monitor their every move or as a tool for micromanaging their activities.
  • Emergency Contacts: Make sure your teen has a list of emergency contacts both locally and back home. This should include contact information for you, other family members, trusted friends, and local authorities. Encourage them to reach out if they find themselves in a troubling situation.
  • Check-ins: Agree on regular check-in times with your teen, whether it's through phone calls, text messages, or messaging apps. This way, you can stay updated on their whereabouts and well-being without resorting to reverse phone lookups unless necessary.
  • Use Reputable Services: If you need to use reverse phone lookup, ensure you're using a reputable service that prioritizes privacy and data protection. Read reviews and research the service thoroughly before providing any personal information or payment details.
  • Emergency Response Plan: Plan what to do in an emergency, such as a lost passport, medical issue, or natural disaster. Ensure your teen knows who to contact and what steps to take to stay safe.
By approaching reverse phone lookup with trust, communication, and responsible monitoring, you can help keep your teen safe during overseas trips while respecting their independence and privacy.


Even though parents want their kids to have a good time while traveling, travel safety should be addressed. Use these ideas to keep your teen safe. I hope they are helpful to you.