Last Thursday’s ‘A level Day’ saw all sorts of records being broken, including the number of students being accepted onto University courses (410,000) and the national pass rate (now standing at a new high of 98.1%). So its probably fair to say that a record amount of celebrating went on at the weekend up and down the country (but particularly the North East which had the highest overall pass rate) with relieved students – and no doubt quite a few parents – celebrating their successes or commiserating their failures.
Although most people will experience many more milestones in their lives (getting their first job, getting married and having their first baby are all probably right up there), getting the right A Level results will always be one of the most memorable ones, representing as they does, the opening of a new chapter in a young person’s life.
The A level Day also represents a starting gun for all those young people who had been too preoccupied to plan their getaways, holidays or gap years. Some young people may also now be changing their previously made travel plans as grateful parents show their appreciation of a job well done with the offer of extra spending money or as they now deliver on agreements struck regarding financial incentives (bribes?) that were to be paid out if the right results were achieved.
For those that can afford it, travel seems to be the day that follows the night (of revision). It represents the most striking contrast; between hours of concentrated study, usually spent alone and indoors, with the joys of being outside, doing nothing, meeting new people or enjoying new experiences.
For many students, travel also represented the great prize that would be awarded to themselves once the exams were over. It was the carrot that spurred them on.
These soon- to-be-had holidays have been keenly anticipated and are felt to represent due recompense for months of self-denial. For these reasons, it is vital that they go according to plan.
As travel is in our company name, we applaud any young person’s decision to reward themselves with a holiday that involves travel. But as insurance is also in our name, we are keen to ensure that those holidays don’t go wrong and fully live up to their expectations.
Here’s some tips to help you. Like the revision plans offered to you by your teachers (and no doubt now gleefully discarded), they won’t guarantee success, but they will lessen the chances of your being disappointed.
Do plenty of research before you go
Apart from some very isolated destinations, the chances are virtually anywhere that you’re planning to go to, lots of people have already been there. And they will have written about it, either in traditional print media or on social media. Take the time to read their articles, reviews and postings.
Take out travel insurance
You’d expect us to say that, but it could make all the difference between a truly great holiday and a truly miserable one.
Manage your parent’s expectations
They will worry about you. (And telling them not to doesn’t mean they’ll stop). Agree with them a means and frequency of communication that works for you both. And stick to it.
Never travel alone
It’s simply not worth the risk.
Spend more on a good camera
Then learn how to use it.
Take less other stuff
Think hard before you take your expensive smart phone, tablet, laptop, watch, speakers, etc. However careful you are, the chances are they will get damaged. Or lost. Or stolen. (Sorry, but we are a travel insurance company!)
Think before you use social media
Not everyone will be interested in what you eat every night. And time spent on social media is time spent not immersing yourself fully in the experience you’re having. The balance lies somewhere between the two.