Everyone remembers their first international adventure away from home: waking up to the great outdoors each day; huddling round the campfire; mustering the courage to summit the climbing wall! It’s all those little things that make it more than just a holiday, but an adventure that will ignite your curiosity, shake your senses and warm your soul!
With younger members of The Scout Association it can seem like a large undertaking that involves a lot of preparation and detailed organisation, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to do it!
We’ve put together our top 5 tips for international travel with younger members to ensure that your Cubs don’t miss out.
- 1. Plan in advanceWith any trip, especially one which involves leaving the UK, there’s a lot to think about – from fundraising and budgets, to passports, visas and insurance – so our number one tip would be to give yourself plenty of time for the planning stage so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. The good news is that there is plenty of help available on The Scout Association website and from your ACC – International. FS103832 Colony and Pack Visits Abroad is an extremely helpful read, particularly if this is your first experience organising an international trip for your group. Colette Davey, Senior Tour Co-ordinator for Venture Abroad, says, “the planning phase can be as long or as short as you feel it needs to be, but we find that most of our groups start planning at least 18 months in advance of the trip. In our experience, this gives them plenty of time to complete all the necessary paperwork, fundraise, and ensure they have all the boxes ticked without it becoming overwhelming.”
- 2. Choose the right destinationFor younger members, close-to-home destinations such as France, Belgium and the Netherlands are a perfect choice. They can all be easily accessed by train, road and air, and with a manageable travel time from the UK, trips can be kept to a shorter duration of 4 or 5 days.
- 3. Carefully consider activities and visitsCombine age-appropriate, adventurous activities with cultural and educational visits to create the perfect itinerary. Hiking, swimming, climbing, archery and high ropes are all exciting activities for your Cubs to get stuck into, and with some research into your chosen destination or by using a specialist tour operator such as Venture Abroad, you’ll be able to find some great cultural experiences too.
- 4. Seek the right helpThere’s plenty of help available, it’s just about knowing where to go. A great start is by having a chat with your ACC – International. They should be able to provide you with support and information throughout your planning phase and could link you up with others who have done a similar thing before. Contact a specialist tour operator. Organising international trips for all members of The Scout Association is what we’ve been doing for over 45 years and we use all this experience to create the perfect tour for your group, supporting you before, during and after your tour.
- 5. Enjoy! Let’s not pretend that this process is going to be completely stress-free, but the most important thing to remember is that it’ll all be worth it in the end! You’ll be giving your Cubs their first taste of international adventure that will continue throughout Scouts, Explorers and beyond and they’ll never forget it – and neither will you! So, once the time comes, be sure to enjoy every moment!
Let’s get started!
Why not take a look at our top destinations for Cubs? Alternatively, chat with our team online or by calling 01332 342050 to find out more about how we can help you.