Parents whose children are away at boarding school or university need to plan their travels months ahead. Picture: Markus Spiske/Pexels

It is that time of the year when proud parents travel with their teenage children to various parts of the country, or abroad, to get them started at boarding school or university.

As joyful and scary as it may be to leave your child to fend for themselves, having them in another place can give you the opportunity to plan those travel getaways you always wanted during the holiday period.

Avukile Mabombo, Group Marketing Manager of Protea Hotels by Marriott and African Pride Hotels, says over the next two weeks,parents  will make travel plans to assist their children with the big move. Mabombo says parents should research the area and plan accomodation accordingly.

“Decide beforehand whether you want to include a holiday element to this trip and how long you want to be away.

“This will allow you to make a good decision about the accommodation you select. It’s a time of many changes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take time out for yourself too,”he says.

Jennifer Morris, the owner of Travel Savvy, agrees. She believe while parents can spend time getting their children settled, they should also make time for themselves.

Here are some tips from Morris on how to maximise your parent-child trip


* Plan well in advance. Try to book flights and accommodation as soon as the holiday schedule is released to ensure lower prices.

* Have a look at accommodation options close to the school/university, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area

* Self-catering options, like Airbnb, give you more freedom of movement.

* If you are hiring a car, make sure that you have a valid credit card for the deposit.

* Ask your kids themselves. Chances are they have a pretty good knowledge of the area and will be able to advise on where to stay and what to do.

* If you plan to spend time in the area, make sure that you book this accommodation well in advance. Self-catering units on the coast are booked as far as 9 months in advance for school holidays.

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