Don’t Worry Mum: Gap Year Safety for Students and Parents

As Senior Manager for Private Client Services, part of Salamanca Group’s Merchant Banking and Operational Risk offering, Merlin Hanbury-Tenison advises on a wide range of security and risk management concerns.  With A-level results looming and summer holidays underway, we asked Merlin to focus for this Tanager Talks on strategies to help keep young adults safe while travelling abroad and at home.

Every year approximately 250,000 young people set off from Britain on gap year adventures. According to Merlin, one third of those young travelers will be involved in some kind of accident, illness or crime. While not all events are “show stoppers”, any event of this nature is concerning for parents, costly and can often curtail or even end the young person’s experience.

To lessen the chance that a young traveler becomes a statistic, Merlin points to preparation and passive and active engagement as ways to mitigate gap year risks.

To prepare, there are websites such as FCO Foreign Travel Advice and CIA World Factbook that parents and students can consult and it is key that parents are actively involved in itinerary planning. Beyond that, a bespoke and hands on offering can be provided by Salamanca Group to ensure that risks are mitigated prior to travelling.  Through Salamanca Group’s security services, the team can aid preparation by reviewing itineraries, providing briefing packs and short courses in basic medical skills and security awareness.

Once the trip is underway, a key ingredient to managing risk is to have someone on the ground to turn to if there is an emergency. This can be a friend, relative or business associate but in locations where families do not have a contact, a company like Salamanca Group with offices around the globe and a focus on high-risk countries can help. Technology can help as well with GPS trackers installed on students’ phones and hotline services monitored by professionals trained to deal with emergencies large and small.  In country security 24 x 7 consultants provided by Salamanca Group are an unrivalled aid when actively engaging with travelers post natural disaster or political uprisings which can occur at short notice.

Merlin ends the discussion by touching on the importance of security and continuing life support for individuals and families relocating to London, of which tailored relocation, immigration, property acquisition and security services can also be provided through Salamanca Group.

Listen to this informative interview here:

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