Parents Survival Guide
Watching your loved ones go away on significant adventure for the first time can be a daunting process. So we've put together our top tips on how to keep updated. But before you begin reading please remember our top rule here at Choose a Challenge:
"No news, is good news"
Meaning that if everything is running as the itinerary says it should, there’s no adverse weather and everyone is happy there is quite literally nothing to report so don’t expect hourly updates from the teams in-country!
In saying this, we do our best. So here are our top tips to keeping in touch with your loved ones in-country:
- Like our Social Media streams. We will post updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Find out your family and friends group hashtag. All our groups this Summer will have their own hashtag to make surfing for photos, updates, and reports much easier. Make sure you know it and feel free to use it when tweeting us. They’ll be sent their hashtag in their final checklist.
- Tweet us, message us and get involved. We love to hear from you so if you are nervous on the way to the airport, have a picture of all your kit laid out or a particularly successful fundraising activity, use your hashtag and let us know. We will do our best to share, reblog and retweet. Although we hear daily reports from our in country teams – ultimately the best source of photos are always the teams themselves.
- Be aware of where the updates will come from. As we don’t want to flood all your feeds constantly, we structure our updates as so; We post most regularly on Twitter sharing every update we hear back from a team in-country no matter how minor it may seem. On Facebook, we’ll do an album at the end of each week of our favourite photos. Finally we don’t live update on our Instagram account but use it mainly for our very best photos.
- Familiarise yourself with our itineraries and FAQ’s so you know what to expect and when. If you are confused as to when and what you expect to hear back from the group you are following, check out their trip itinerary available which will give you a day by day breakdown of what they will be doing. Similarly get a copy of the map sent out in the travel packs (available for Machu Picchu and Kilimanjaro) and stick it to your fridge so you know where they are every day of the trek.
And some general points;
- Due to the nature of the trekking we will hear from some of our teams more. This could be for a number of reasons from weather conditions, contact with the team, phone signal and the trail they have taken. Do not worry, even on days when we are unable to receive photos back from the teams, we do still check in with the teams via radio to confirm everything is ok. It is not uncommon to go 3 or 4 days in Peru without being able to receive any photos back.
- Please allow for global time difference when wondering why you haven’t heard anything from a particular group.
- In general, we will always have an update or photo of an airport departure or arrival, the team before they set off on their trek, and a photo and full report from the team when they arrive back in their hotel. It is best to assume that any photos on top of this are a bonus.
- Feel free to tag photos and share photos from your own trips – it’s sometimes hard for us to tag everyone so we love it when you help us out.
- All our hotels have WIFI so once groups are back in the hotel we tend to stop covering their progress. This is the same for all our extension trips.
- Outside of emergencies, we don’t work weekends so we will do our best to keep our feeds updated but updates and replies may be a tad slower than normal.
- If your child isn’t in a photo with their group don’t worry – sometimes they can just be in the toilet or still having a meal. This is especially true at high altitude, although it would be ideal to get a group photo of the whole team together at the top of a summit. This, unfortunately, isn’t always possible. Summit night can sometimes go on for 16 hours + and teams will be spread so it’s just not possible to keep people waiting on the summit for a full group shot.
Finally, in case of emergencies, our emergency line is manned 24/7 and is available for both trekkers and parents. However, on the off chance that someone you know has to be taken off the trekking part of the trip, rest assured they will be well looked after. All our guides are well versed in first aid and we have English speaking expedition doctors stationed along our high altitude climbs. On top of this, our in country teams at all our base camps will make sure all participants are kept happy and well until they can rejoin the team.