GPS Pest!

So you're been dreaming of that life-changing around the world backpacking adventure for as long as you can remember, and it's finally time to leave. 'Have you got everything?' Mum asks between sobs and boa constrictor hugs, 'Passport, money belt, youth hostel card ... GPS so I can sit at the kitchen table, tracking your every move on the internet, 24 hours a day ...?'.

This is how Harry Wilder, a 19-year-old student from England, is being forced to spend his Gap Year in Australiasia: hooked up to small satellite device, which transmits his location - to an accuracy of 15ft - back to his parents at home in leafy Oxfordshire.

In an interview with The Mirror, mum Rachel Wilder explains the advantages of tracking her son's travels by GPS: "If he was in Bangkok, for example' she says, 'I could see if he walks in an area which might not be safe, and ring or text him."

Can you imagine? I don't know who to feel more sorry for: Harry on his 'Mum Knows Best' Gap Year, or Mum - unwilling to accept that her son is a 19 year old man, who needs to be out in the world, making his own decisions.

And frankly, what does she think she'll do even if he does get mugged in a Bangkok back street? I can just see it: back against the wall, little Harry's phone rings ... 'Hello. Mum?' ... he holds out the phone to the muggers: 'It's for you. You'd better take it'.

Stay safe the old fashioned way on your Gap Year - by being careful and using your common sense. Also by reading our Backpacker Travel Tips - written by experts (read by Mums).

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