Find A Travel Buddy For A Student Traveler
Going through airport security at Hong Kong airport was easy. The boarding process ( … first, passengers requiring assistance …, then boarding rows nn …) and finding my assigned seat (left aisle or right aisle?) were confusing. My experience went downhill from there. I did not know how to use the seat belt or audio/video entertainment system, and I was clueless about the meal service. When the plane landed at Dubai instead of London, I was bewildered. Did I board the wrong plane? Not knowing the plane needed to stop for fuel, with a sleep-deprived brain I disembarked and then had to go through a security check again before re-boarding. Eventually after many long hours, I was so thankful that a family friend picked me at the Heathrow airport.
If you have a young relative planning for the first long haul plane ride to their foreign pre-university or college, consider finding them a travel buddy (flight companion) through TripCompanion. The first solo long haul trip is quite an experience for anyone, and more so for younger travelers. Although you can explain the process to your young relative before the trip, it is hard for them to absorb so much information while there are farewells and packing to do.
Many trip companions have gone through similar past experiences; the just-in-time explanation and reassurance from a travel buddy reduces the anxiety for the first time traveler. A helping hand also lets the young traveler able take in the new surroundings with a more relaxed state of mind and be able to enjoy (rather than suffer through) the experience. A good first experience can also start them down the road to enjoying the sights and sounds of foreign lands so they will gain not only a good academic education but also learn the cultures of the world.