Can you remember the first time you went on vacation without your parents? Well, now it’s your child’s turn. But who will pay for their vacation, and how? Below we discuss three options.

A vacation funded by their apprentice salary

If your child is an apprentice and earning their own money, it is a good idea for them to draw up a budget at the beginning of their training that also takes into account the cost of their first vacations without you. Depending on their salary, they can save between CHF 90 and CHF 250 a month for things like vacations and driving lessons.

If they don’t budget like this, their vacation money will come from other savings they may have, as well as their wages between now and when they go on vacation.

A vacation funded by their Jugendlohn (“youth salary”)

The situation is similar with the Jugendlohn. It is a good idea to discuss your child’s solo trip with them and how they will finance it with their Jugendlohn, if you have not done so already. If your child decides not to join you on your family vacation because they are making their own arrangements, you could also consider putting the money you saved towards the costs of their own vacation.

Nevertheless, you don’t have to pay all of your child’s costs: they can also use their Christmas money or money they earned during a summer job. Find out more about the Jugendlohn via this link (in german).

A vacation funded by alternative means (no funds of their own)

Does your child have neither money from an apprenticeship nor from their Jugendlohn or pocket money? Yet you still trust them to go on vacation without you? Then now is a good time to sit down as a family and discuss whether your child deserves more financial autonomy. After all, they seem to be independent enough to go on vacation without you. So clarify their annual budget for vacations and leisure activities, as well as whether you as a parent should make a financial contribution at all.

Safety first

There are numerous ways to go on vacation on a budget – but your child’s safety is paramount. For example, at night it can be a smart move to take a taxi back to their accommodation rather than walking. Talk to your child about their vacation plans in detail and lay down some ground rules. Clarify what they should do in a financial emergency, such as losing their bank card or wallet, and how such risks can be minimized.

The main points in a nutshell:

  • Your child’s first vacation without you is an adventure, including for you as a parent. Don’t forget to discuss the subject of money; it can teach your child a great deal.
  • Teenagers and young adults should include the cost of their vacations when budgeting (apprentice wages, Jugendlohn) so that their overall financial limits are clear.
  • The first vacation without parents is not the same as the first-ever vacation. By talking openly about the budget for family vacations, teenagers will get an insight into the necessary financial planning involved.
  • Discuss what they should do in a financial emergency and how to prevent such an emergency from arising.

UBS’s educational principles

This article was written in collaboration with educator Marianne Heller, who has years of experience in teaching financial education and debt prevention programs for children and young people.

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