Fun for Teens in Europe: 2005
Summer is for hometown parties and hanging out with friends - payback for a year of hard study in school. But Mom and Dad want to go to Europe! How can a teen stuck in Europe with his family have fun? Try screaming on the "white knuckle rides" of Blackpool, England; mountain biking in the Alps, playing pool and darts in Irish pubs where minors are welcome to be part of the scene, etc. Share your favorite teen activities and sights in Europe.
shopping and a little extra
Shopping is very expensive in Italy depending on where you go(of course), but you get what you pay for when it comes to quality and price. From experience there is no need to go crazy but take special interest in things that are unique or are specialised in the area(florence-leathers) even if you do pay more for the quality, it's well worth it. Also, off topic try and learn a little bit of the launguage in each area or else have a phrasebook or something people are always delighted whne you make an effort with their culture and language, also bring little flags of your country or little pins of your hometown or something. I managed to make an entire cruiseship full of friends when two of my friends and I handed out canadian flags to the staff of the cruise ship, that ship alomost looked canadian by the end with the flags in the hair of waitresses or the hats of chefs or the bars all around the ship. Everyone really enjoys making new friends and are intrigued by different cultures and they are willing to talk to you or be friends if you make the effort.
BC Canada Sat 12/31/2005
Teens Shopping In Europe
Hola! I was just wondering if shopping is expensive in Europe because my school is taking a trip to Spain, Italy and France this summer and I just want to be prepared to shop!
Crete, IL USA Wed 12/28/2005
Fun in Paris
I am 16 years old and going to Paris with my family this winter, does anyone anything that would be fun for me and my family?
New York, NY USA Sat 12/24/2005
Two traveling through Europe
My friend and I are planning a trip through Europe (both turn 18 in August and leaving in September). We plan on staying in hostiles and are planning to do it with little prior planning (although we do have thoughts on where we would like to go) we are planning on seeing how far we cna get on $4000. Of course, we both think we can go further than we probably will. I've looked at train passes and checked into some hostel prices. Is there any advise you can give for us to plan our trip? Oh yeah, we have both spent numerouse nights in tents and are in very good shape. We are both guys too and we hope to get a few other, older guys we know, to come along. Any advose would be great. Thanks!
OR USA Mon 12/12/2005
Nightlife For Teens in France and Spain
I will be going on a school trip to Spain and France this summer with my best friend. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on places we can go in our free time at night (specifically in Madrid and Paris).
CA USA Thu 12/01/2005
Italy and France
My 12-year old boy and my friend's 18-year old daughter liked the Vatican especially Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Pompeii, riding a vaporetto (water bus), feeding pigeons in St. Mark's Square, hiking the trail in Cinque Terre. His favorite was St. Peter's Basilica and seeing the Pope. Our first stop was Rome where we stayed for 4 days then we took the night train to Venice. Day trips to Florence and Pisa are okay but not Siena, Venice, and Cinque Terre. Stay 1 or 2 nights to really appreciate the sights.
In France, he liked Eiffel Tower at night (wooow!), Louvre, Les Invalides, Rodin Museum, Hall of Mirrors in Versailles; and he loved the creperie next to the Comfort Inn where we stayed, on Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter.
He's now 13 and next month, I'm taking him to Rome, Munich and a 2-week tour of Spain, Portugal and Morocco. My friend's daughter liked the trip so much that she's now planning to study in Madrid for a semester to be back in Europe for a longer stay.
Glendale, CA USA Wed 11/23/2005
16 yr olds in italy
I am 16 and me and one of my friends might going to go study Italian in Rome at the School of Leonardo da Vinci and live with a host family, is this a good idea to go solo? We are girls
ks USA Sun 11/20/2005
Teens In Italy
I will be taking my 2 boys ages 13,18 to Italy this March for approx 12 days. I would like to see as much as possible and would like suggestions/comments regarding this approach vs the city based approach (having a home base say in Rome and doing days trips). I would also like suggestions regarding sights that might appeal to the boys. I am having a hard time getting input from them!! Thanks
Loveland, CO USA Sun 11/20/2005
Nancy of St. Paul~~take your daughter to Pere LaChaise Cemetary. My daughter who was 16 at the time and I was in Paris and she wanted to go to this cemetary. Jim Morrison from the Doors, Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, Chopin and many, many more famous people are buried there. You can get a map of the cemetary that shows where everyone is burried. It was very interesting. There is a metro stop right by the cemetary.
Ohio USA Wed 11/16/2005
Girl Scouts in Europe
We are heading for Europe next summer for the fourth time with groups of teens (mostly Girl Scouts, but several boys, too). My "well traveled" girls have given the following advice:
Germany: You have to see Neuschwanstein Castle (Mad King Ludwig's fairytale castle). While there (or in Switzerland), ride a luge. Take the Night Watchman's Tour in Rothenburg. Go biking along the Rhine to get to Rheinfels Castle. Be sure to take a flashlight to explore the "tunnels" under the castle. Stay in Castle Stahleck (Bacharach's 12th century castle and youth hostel). Visit Dachau for a sense of history.
Switzerland: Get yourself in shape to walk--they saw no fat Swiss, for good reason (it's all uphill both ways, but worth it). They loved the luges, the woodcarvers, the visits to glaciers (with rooms carved into the glacier), Trummelbach Falls. Swimming in glacial lakes (FUN??).
Netherlands: The open air museum outside of Arnhem was a big hit--wish we had lots more time there.
Italy: Cinque Terre, hiking, swimming were favorites. They liked Italy, the usual highlights in Venice, Florence, Pisa. Street markets in Florence were great. Getting lost in Siena was a great experience. Gelato!
Britain: The Giant's Causeway in Ireland, Hadrian's Wall in northern England (in spite of the rain), staying in Durham Castle's Norman Gallery and eating in the Great Hall (dormitory housing available during the summer), Warwick Castle. Wales in general; mines, castles, Snowdon. Haunted Walk in York.
London: The Tower of London, Madame Tussaud's, the London Eye, West End Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Hampton Court Palace, British Museum, Big Ben. Shopping.
Paris: Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Hard Rock Cafe. Attending Mass at Notre Dame.
Lots more--they keep earning the money to go back for more. They like the history and culture as well as the just-plain-fun things. The adults who go along have a great time, too. The kids do the planning and are generally their own "guides." They figure out how to get from point A to point B. They learn about public transportation European style. It has been a great experience for them.
Arvada, CO USA Sun 11/13/2005
teen travel - preparations and activities
We're taking our 14 & 15 year old daughters to France next spring. We'll be visiting St. Malo, relatives in the Loir Valley and then a week in Paris. Does any one have suggestions for teen activities? Also, any good teen novels/movies that will give them some historical context?
st. paul, mn USA Tue 11/08/2005
Shakespeare's Globe for Teens
Resepct your teenagers' intelligence...introduce them to Shakespeare! Our sons love the performances at Shakespeare's Globe in London. We arrive 30 minutes early to line up for standing places right against the stage. At 5GBP it's the world's best bargain.
Raleigh, NC USA Fri 11/04/2005
Teach a kid Geography - Send a Postcard
Teach a kid Geography - Send a Postcard
An elementary school Geography class at Littlerock Elementary School (in Littlerock Washington) is hoping that you can help their kids learn about different places in the world by sending them a postcard from your trip. As a part of their "Passport Club" they learn about different cities in different countries by the postcards they receive from all over the world.
If you want to take the time to send them a postcard from somewhere on your trip, please do. Here is their address:
P.O. Box C
Littlerock, WA 98556
I know they would appreciate it. And it might be fun for you to do as well!! Be creative, teach the kids a little something about Roman history or a mountain range etc.
USA Tue 09/20/2005
I'm 13 year old and I just came back from Ukraine with my parents. I loved it. I love traveling in general,(I'm 13 and I've already been to 15 countries, 10 off them overseas.) but Ukraine was somthing special. It seems that the majority of Kiev is parkland. It's cheap($.60 cents for a hamburger). If you rent an apartment you could pay $40-$50 for a night. Yalta is like any western resort town plus a little history. Odesa is a place where you could sit down at a cafe and people watch for hours. Kiev has a potential to be a city like Paris, with St. Andrews Church, the Cave Monastries, the Kreshatyk, the Hydropark which in fact had beaches on the Dniper River years before Paris even thought of the idea. Ukraine is a great place to travel with teens and children or without, so get to this unknown destination before it gets westernized. Oh yeah, bring toliet paper too.
Chicago, IL USA Sat 09/10/2005
17 years old and travelling no worries just be acreful you do not need thousands at all. I travelled for 5 months with a backpack. you may want to wait until 18 as it may be better
jojo the travelling bear
diego, ca USA Thu 08/18/2005
Motorboating in Cinque Terre
I took my 15 and 17-year-old daughters to France and Italy in June. Our favorite adventure was renting a motorboat in Vernazza and cruising up and down the coast past all 5 Cinque Terre villages. I was worried, since I'd never driven a boat, but my 15-year-old assured me she knew how. I guess she was right. They got in a little topless sunbathing, as well, since there was no one at sea to see. The cost was 42 euros including gas for 2 hours. It was great!
Athens, GA USA Tue 08/09/2005
Solo travel for 17 yr old
May be you should wait one more year, that will give you more time to earn some money for your trip. It will cost thousands you do know?
Going solo at 17 is not very sensible. Take a friend and go at 18, you will still be one of the youngest in many places. My friend and I did Europe for a couple of months , years ago, and we were 23, we still ran into serveral situations where we were glad we were not alone.
Common sense is an important travel skill, and if you think you have it, then use it, alone at 17 in a big city is not always so safe.
I really think it is great you do want to travel , and I don't think you are way too young( although you are really pushing it) but I do think the SOLO part of your trip is a big problem.
I am sorry if I seem a bit harsh, it is the " momma" in me, and trust me, there is no way I would let my daughter go solo.
Canada Thu 08/04/2005
Fun for Teens
My 16-year-old son loved London. Since he's a musician, the highlights were the Beatles walking tour (really a general rock and roll tour) offered by the sightseeing bus company, the visit to Abbey Road and the cherished photo of him crossing the road on the famed 'zebra crossing', and the museum (called The Vault) at the Hard Rock Cafe. The Vault is small, but the staff let him hold some very famous guitars. He's never been happier!
Winchester, MA USA Thu 08/04/2005
Teen girl traveling alone
I have to agree with the other poster that I wouldn't allow my teenage daughters to travel to Europe alone. Both are fluent in French, have traveled all over Europe and have also traveled to and from camps by air alone in the United States, but I still wouldn't let either one of them go to Europe alone, or together for that matter, at least not yet. I don't let them go downtown in our large city alone either. On the other hand, I would let my daughters, who are now 18 & 16, go to Europe with 3 or 4 friends when the itinerary is somewhat settled, and I actually have no problem with my 18 year old daughter going with her 18 year old boyfriend, who is very large and speaks fluent German! My younger daughter is planning a post graduation trip with friends, and they have French, German and Spanish speakers among them. I would never say no to a trip to Europe, within reason, but at 17 I would have to put stipulations on it, such as going with a tour group of students, doing a study abroad, or visiting friends in different cities in Europe. That's what my younger dd has planned--we will set up some visits in France, Germany, and Switzerland and they will travel semi-independently between those points. While it seems very exciting and you think you can handle anything, in reality a young girl traveling alone is much more vulnerable than a boy, and the truth is, there is safety in numbers. Even Rick's son, who no doubt has more contacts in Europe than any 18 year old boy in the US, is traveling with a friend.
USA Sun 07/24/2005
Need some entertainment
I'm actually heading to Ireland next week. I'm so excited. I havn't been since I was little and i'll be 17 in a few weeks, while im over there actually.. I love my grandparents, but needless to say our ideas of fun are...well slightly different. Any ideas on stuff I could do while I'm there?
Peabody, MA USA Tue 07/19/2005
Young teen alone in Europe
Sorry Logan, I doubt you'll get many takers who think that a 17-year old should travel alone anywhere. I was considered quite "permissive" to allow my 17 year old old daugher (and recent hs grad) to travel with 3 other friends last month. One thing she said was that though they all had a great time, she found they were the youngest of the hostel set. Most of the people they met were in the 20-25 age range or higher. So if you are planning on heading out by yourself to meet people, you will really be on a different level than the rest. If you are serious about going to Europe next summer, talk at least one other friend into going with you.
USA Wed 07/13/2005
teen travelling solo
I plan on going to europe next summer, but going solo. I'm a sixteen year old girl, I'll be seventeen next summer. i've been to europe before and i speak fluent german. what are some ways to convince my mother, who's pretty lenient but with advice form other family members has become somewhat apprehensive, that i can do this safely?
Atlanta, GA USA Tue 07/12/2005
Some buddys' and me are headed for Europe next summer for the World Cup and just to check out the culture and everything. What is the cheapest way to do it so we can spend more money on booze.
Hailey, ID USA Tue 07/12/2005
Drinking ages in Europe
Kat-most European countries are either 16 for everything or 16 for beer/wine then 18 for all else.
USA Mon 07/11/2005
European Drinking Ages
I leave for europe in 8 days (yippee!) (for more details see my last post)and I still can't find any (reliable) site that lists the drinking ages for the differant countries I will be visiting. I need to know the ages from almost all the western countries, but most important are: Switzerland Italy Germany France the UK I really apriciate any help you can give me. (Also, I still feel a little uneasy, so any other teen europe tips would be great!)
And for all the Moms out there, don't worry, I have zero intention of getting drunk and I am not a fan of beer in the least, my main reason for asking is that I hope to visit at least one winery.
PS-Thanks for the tips, Corey.
St.Louis, MO USA Sun 07/10/2005
Ruined Castles great for teens
Funny, reading the last post - it could have been my teenage son who said "I prefer ruins to modern castles". We have been to many restored castles (Leeds, Warwick in England, all the Chateaus in the Loire) as well as many ruins. Both of my kids vastly preferred something "wild and mysterious" like Tintagel or the wonderful Cathar Castles in the Languedoc region of France. We have also used tourist passes such as the British Heritage Pass to visit very unimportant, very uncrowded spots like Okehampton castle(http://www.theheritagetrail.co.uk/castles/okehampton%20castle.htm). My teens have loved the feeling of exploring on their own as opposed to being with a tour group or listening to the audio cassette.
USA Tue 07/05/2005
Stuff my kids liked
I've taken my two male teenagers to England, Denmark and Scotland. A total of six weeks, in three visits, so they ranged in age from 14 to 19 on these trips. They didn't like much about Denmark (I went there for a family visit.) They did like: Doune Castle in Scotland (site of Monty Python and the Holy Grail), the Orkney Islands (off the north coast of Scotland with neolithic ruins, The Tower of London, especially Ceremony of the Keys, Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, Inchmahome Priory in Scotland (near Doune Castle)-- in fact Inchmahome was probably the universal favorite of the whole family for these trips, Dartmoor, Shakespeare at the Globe, and the British Library, as well as Canterbury and its cathedral. They also liked Hamleys (massive toy store in London) even though they were a bit old for the toys. We just got back from another trip to England, and basically they summed their rules up as it shouldn't involve many crowds, lines or tours-- although some really cool things such as the Tower are worth breaking those rules. My fourteen year old announced on this last trip that he doesn't like the more modern castles-- he greatly prefers the ruins. (And if you follow the advice and arrive early you don't hit many lines.)
Encinitas, CA USA Mon 07/04/2005
Blood Brothers and other London thoughts
Blood Brothers is amazing, even for someone like me who likes a happy ending. My then-13 year old loved it so much she didn't go to the theater with me the next night because she wanted it to be her last memory. We spent a lot of time at the Science museum, she loved climbing St. Paul's tower(definitely worth it for the view), the Tower, and Indian food.
USA Sun 07/03/2005
Teen In London
Thank you for all the tips. I missed typed. It's my grandson we're taking. We leave next week and I have a great list of things to do. Three shows, We Will Rock You, Joseph and Blood Brothers. (sorry, I know someone did not like it, but I want to see it) We did get tickets to Ceremony OF The Keys. Plan to do Abbey Road and so much more. I'll try to get him to post a little on his return. As far as pubs go, I hadn't thought much about him having a pint, just getting into them. We'll see.
FL USA Sun 07/03/2005
Teen drinking in England
A toast to the under-21 crowd Lower age limits lure young Yanks Article in the Chicago Tribune By James Gilden Published April 17, 2005
"Drinking ages in Europe are wholly less restrictive than in the U.S. Eighteen-year-olds have legal access to alcohol in every country in Europe, and in many countries, the drinking age is even lower, though sometimes the lower limits apply only to beer and/or wine. England, for example, allows beer and wine to be served to 16- and 17-year-olds when ordered as part of a meal in a restaurant."
USA Sun 07/03/2005
English pubs are some of the most famous drinking establishments in the world and they offer an ambiance not found in American bars. Some pubs date back a few hundred years or so. Even the newer pubs feature a historical touch.
Most pubs offer food but this often depends upon the time of day or night. Kitchens often close an hour or two before the pub closes for the evening. Drinks and food normally are ordered from the bar, with little or no table service except for cleaning. Tipping is not done in pubs. Bartenders think of themselves as professionals and tipping is considered an insult.
It is acceptable to go to a pub alone and to even read and sit quietly by yourself. However, pubs tend to be crowded with smokers so the atmosphere can be discouraging for some. Additionally, drinking in England is a very social experience and people tend to attend pubs and clubs with friends and partners.
Britain is primarily a beer-drinking country. Drinking is often done very heavily in London, with real concern among some on the prevalence of binge drinking. The standard legal blood alcohol level in the United Kingdom is the same as Louisiana -- .08. the UK's laws also specify that it is illegal to operate a vehicle and bicycle while under the influence of alcohol. Drinking laws allow breath tests.
The legal drinking age is 18. Individuals cannot provide alcohol to persons under 18.
USA Sat 07/02/2005
You can check the internet under legal drinking age in the UK and you will find that it is 18. Also, go to your local book store and check some travel book like Frommer's etc, they state legal age is 18. Like the post below said that a lot of pubs do not check ID.
London, Sat 07/02/2005
One of Britain's leading authorities on addiction is recommending that the government increase the legal drinking age from 18 to 21. The legal age every where is 18, but must pubs do not check ID.
London, Sat 07/02/2005
Jo~~your son will not be of legal drinking age (legal age is 18), but you will find some pubs that will service him without asking to see ID. Take him to Abbey Road made famous by the Beatles, Cabinet War Rooms where Churchill run WWII from it is the same as it was during the war. The theater is great, The Lion King is fantastic, you wouldn't believe the costumes. If you go to the theater try to get seats in the stalls, best seats. Take the tube to Sloane Square and walk down Kings Road that is great shopping for teenagers. Convent Garden is another fun place, and if your son likes the Doc Marten shoes there is a store in Covent Gardens that has them and you will find styles and colors that are not available here. If you have time send for tickets for the Ceremony of Keys, it is a very impressive ceremony that has taken place every night at 9:50pm for over 750 years, All four of the teenagers we had with us enjoyed it.
Yes, one year when we went to the UK both of our daughters that took friends with them. Take the train from Paddington station to Windsor, Windsor Castle is grand and the town it self is nice. You can walk down to Windsor Great Park, Eton to see Eton College (which is a high school) both places are worth your time.
USA Fri 07/01/2005
Tips for Kat
Kat, when in any European city, take Rick's advice. Hit the back roads. Off the beaten path, prices drop. You're more in touch with the real Europe and out of the tourist traps and high prices. In Venice, look for a flat, unfancy gondola and ask for a ride, much cheaper, same experience. Always know what you're paying before you committ. Know where you're going if you get in taxi so they don't drive you all over and jack up the price.if possible, visit Lucerne, Switzerland. Most importantly, don't try to see evrything, take it slow and enjoy your self. have fun! Email for more questions.
Dudley, MA USA Thu 06/30/2005
dressing to be hurt
I just returned from England and was disappointed to see so many young teenaged girls dressed like they were ready to shed their clothes. Don't fool yourselves that older men (25-55 yrs) aren't looking at you waiting for the same thing to happen. You need to be a little more careful with the lowriders in case you are misunderstood. And watch out for the drinking in a new environment.
ABQ, N USA Sat 06/25/2005
last minute travel tips
I am leaving for Europe for the first time in a couple of weeks and I am more then a little conserned. I am a procrastinator by nature and now with my departure approaching I am feeling a little unprepared. I will be there for 29 days and I want to see as much as possible. I will be actuall staying in Switzerland (with my best friend who lives there) but I also want to see Paris, London, Venice, and as many other places as possible. Luckily the friend I'm visting knows people in many areas and in most cities we can stay with them, which should cut down on costs. Given my relativly small budget, what travel tips can you offer on ways to save money, what not to miss, and what things don't live up to the hype and can be skipped. Thanx so much for any advice you have. (If anyone knows of some good sites to help with last minute travel tips that would be great, too.)
Kansas City, Kansas USA Mon 06/20/2005
Teens in London
I traveled to London with a group from my AP European History class including my teacher two summers ago when I was 17. Now, our account may be different than others since we were with lots of people our own age and well, we were AP students (read potential nerds) but these were some of the highlights for us:
The National Library (all kinds of cool old documents and music and letters and stuff, I know all of us wished we had more time to look around); King's Cross Platform 9 3/4 (as in Harry Potter);The London Eye (Kind of pricey, go at sunset when the lines are shorter and the light reflects beautifully off the Thames and the buildings); The Tate Modern (great collection of modern art, had a whole room of Soviet propoganda); The British National Museum (everyone liked the Ancient Egypt collection, we actually didn't see much more); The Theater (we had a lot of theater kids in our group, we saw Blood Brothers, going to a play was fun, but I would suggest a different one, we only saw this one becuase noone had seen it before); Picadilly Circus; Tower of London (when it opens, no line!)
I really wanted to hit the Imperial War Museum I heard that they have a built out replica of a World War I trench that you can go in.
Denver, CO USA Sat 06/18/2005
Teens In London
Jo, though not a teen I am the mother of two and I can tell you what they liked in London:
Madam Tussauds Wax Museum - my husband was at first dismayed that we would be wasting valuable historic time by visiting this "amusement" site. It turned out to be really fun for all of us and a great way to start a long day of sightseeing.
We took the hop on/hop off bus and that in itself was a hit, sitting up top.
We all really liked the London Eye.
Don't discount the historic sites either - we took Rick's advice and arrived at the Tower of London first thing in the morning and did a tour without too much of the summer crowd.
Their favorite site though was Westminster Abbey - we actually had to go there 3 times in order to get in (due to funny hours and long lines). They were VERY glad that we finally did and enjoyed looking at the names of all the famous people there.
A final suggestion is that, since your son will be of legal drinking age (with you present), you take him to a pub. We were in Ireland last year and everyone enjoyed a drink of Guinnes. It is certainly something they are not able to do in the states.
Atlanta, GA USA Tue 06/14/2005
Teenager In London
We're taking our soon to be 17 year old to London. We have been a few times. I'm hoping some teens out there can provide us with some tips on some fun things that us older folks might not come up with.
FL USA Mon 06/13/2005
I love just going around london with my girlfriend. we found a great spot in st james park. trafalgar square is cool too. just have some fun there too! Usually something going on their. There's always places like Oxford Street, Marble Arch and Leicester Square. Anyone else got more ideas? E-mail me if you have any, thanks!!
London, UK Sun 06/05/2005
Rome for Teens
If you are going to be in Rome this year, check out www.angeltoursrome.com the guides are just excellent with kids and teens. I went with my school group (16 to 20yr olds) they all got something out of it. As soon as we left Rome and took other tours with other companies it went down hill. Just Sharing. Tim
amsterdam, USA Sat 05/28/2005
Bothell, WA USA Sun 05/22/2005
I traveled to Paris last summer with my school french class and had a Blast! I would totally reccommend this city to anyone! I felt safe walking around by myself and sightseeing.
Van, WA USA Wed 05/18/2005
When you find an inexpensive gift for friends back home, buy a few extra. I always find that I forgotten to bring back something for someone and a lavender sachet, embroidered handkerchief, etc. works for any female. I also buy a bag of small european chocolates and add 1 or 2 to those "cheap" gifts.
USA Thu 05/12/2005
I will be traveling to Europe this summer. I will meet up with a friend in Paris. He is a freshman in college, and I am two years his junior. What are some "must-do's" when once I get to Paris?
AL USA Wed 05/11/2005
One of the best things any parent(s) of a teen age daughter can do while traveling together anywhere is to include the extra $$$ in the budget & take time out a shop for clothes. A pair of shoes from Paris or London is pretty cool to bring back home to remember their trip by. My daughter scouts out on line before our trips to Europe the stores she wants to visit & maps it on our itinerary. I'm not a shopper by nature, but had a real blast looking at these shops. We set her shopping budget into our planned travel costs & it has been worth every cent. We actually spent less $$$ on mementos doing this because the ones bought were more satisfying to her tastes.
A few other tips:
CA USA Fri 04/29/2005
Doing it alone or in a group
I have traveled to Europe several times in both large travel groups and alone/with two or three close friends. I think I had the best time when I traveled either alone or with a few friends. I found traveling with the large group was usually cheaper and made me more independent, something I am not sure my parents like too much. Without the large travel group, I was able to see the locals and gain cultural experience. I had so many interesting experiences in Spain, I think the only country I traveled to where almost no one speaks English! I think my parents are like most parents and want their kids to be safe and prefer pre-arranged big travel group trips. After traveling to over ten European countries, I never felt threatened or unsafe in any place. I have been to places and lived in cities where I had more fear for my own safety than I ever had in Europe. I am so glad my parents allowed me to venture on my own and let me experience Europe my own way.
St. Paul, MN USA Thu 04/28/2005
Safety for teens traveling in Europe
I feel perfectly safe allowing my 17 year old High School graduate to travel to Europe this year without adults. She is traveling with 3 other girls, all of whom are 18. All 4 girls have been to Europe before with family and are very responsible and mature enough to plan this trip. This will be a very different trip from the ones that they have taken with family & school - undoubtedly, there will be some things that do not work out and there will be no "adults" to rescue them. But that will also be the good thing - they will have to rely on their own ability to get from place to place. As far as safety goes, I would be much more apprehensive if she was traveling almost anywhere in the states.
USA Mon 04/18/2005
Italy by way of London
Amanda, I'm guessing you're not that comfortable with this change in plans. First to consider is the amount of time you have. London is a LONG way from Italy. Probably the thing that stands out to your parents, as it does to me, is the vagueness of "working your way down to Italy". It's not that it's unsafe; I just wonder if this is a pretense of visiting family in order to explore; having been to Italy before, they may feel there's more they want to see. That will be a much different trip, especially financially, so you have to decide if that's what you want, too. Traveling is a great way to explore your own independence, and now you know to start now: be an active participant in the planning process so you get the most of your precious time and money. Bon voyage!
USA Sat 04/16/2005
Italy and more?
Two of my friends have family in Italy, and we decided to go this year. We are all 18. I asked my parents if I could go and they said it would be OK with them. However, now one of my friends has suggested that we possibly fly into London and work our way down to Italy from there. I suggested this to my parents and I don't think they were too keen on the three of us alone in Europe (since they were under the impression we would only be staying with the family of my friends). Is it safe for us to be travelling without adult supervision (my friends have both been through Italy several times before) or should we just stay in Italy with the family?Thanks
PA USA Sat 04/16/2005
NIGHTLIFE FOR TEENS IN MUNICH????
i am going to Munich with a friend this summer, and we will both be 16...what is the nightlife like there for people our age and older???
USA Wed 04/13/2005
teen alone in europe
my family and i are going to be travelling to britain and ireland this summer for 3 weeks. i will be 16 when we are travelling and would like to o soem exploring on my own. my mother is slightly paranoid(i think)and refuses to let me have any down time alone. i have just returned from italy andgreece a few weeks ago and i felt way safer there than i ever do at home(downtown). is she right or should i be allowed my freedom to discover the europe i want to see?
pg, bc canada Tue 04/12/2005
Teens in Europe
I would say the best way for a teen to go to Europe is with a group. I went twice with People to People Student Ambassadors and had a great experience. There are a few major advanatages in going with a group like this. The first, students are all on the same level. You always have people to go do things with. Everybody wants to do basically the same thing. Another advantage, the students have everything taken care of. The cost provides for everything short of gifts. The students will always have meals, never get lost and have the itinerary planned ahead. It was a great experience and I would love to do it again, except I'm too old.
Keep in mind when travelling with kids. They look at Europe as the same as going to Pittsburg. Its fun to just be there, but they don't appreciate the culture aspects, the historical aspects and the fact that they are in a foriegn city. They just see a big city. Kids Also couldn't care less about museums, churches, and the site seeing things. They want to have a good time, but they think they can't with their parents. depending on the age of the kid, high school or above, I would let them go exploring. They will find what they want. They don't have the resources to go too far or get into trouble. Let them tell their own sories and not yours.
Denver, CO USA Tue 04/05/2005
Europe was great!!!!
My parents sent me 2 Europe last summer with a big group of teens and I was only 13!!!!! Trust me you will have sooo much fun!!! Everything in Europe is beautiful and they have great shopping! You will definitely not get bored! Everyone there is so friendly and you get 2 see so many wonderful things that we don't have in the US! I now plan on living in Europe or at least having a summer home there! Tell your parents 2 do an equal amout of guided tours and self guided ones! You'll definitely have a better experiance!
Fresno, CA USA Fri 04/01/2005
Heaps of Fun!!
As an exchange student in Switzerland, I had the chance to see lots of amazing places from Prague to Spain, Berlin to Rome. Oh, and everywhere in between. One of the important things is to let your kids plan activities they want to do, and let them meet other teens. Since in Europe most clubs are open to teens too, let them go out and meet kids their own age, with your own personal restrictions on drinking. For me the best part of traveling was meeting the local kids and experiencing life for European teens. And let them shop. As I read in another posting, H&M is the greatest, inexpensive store. As a broke exchange student, that's where I bought all of my clothes. Europe is fun for anyone, and some of the most fun I had during the year I was abroad was when my mom visited and I toured with her, showing her all my favorite places, and discovering some new ones together. Europe is fun for everyone!
WA USA Tue 03/15/2005
Getting a teen to provide feedback
We traveled in Northern England and Scotland with our 9 year old daughter and 14 year old niece. Our niece was so quiet, that whenever we asked her how she liked something, she just shrugged. My husband came up with the idea of having everyone rate each experience. We used a scale of 0-5 (worst to best). We rated hotels, resaurants, museums, shows, etc.! The ratings were enlightening, my niece rated the Military Tatoo a 5 (I thought she would be bored by that) and the York Ghost Walk a 3 (which I planned with her in mind!) It led to further discussions because we would explain why we chose the rating for each experience. I recorded the ratings and had that to add to our trip scrapbooks. Now that my daughter is heading into her teenage years, I am glad we have this method of stimulating discussions!
Carlsbad, CA USA Sun 03/13/2005
BEST TEEN VACATION
I have two teenagers, 15 and 17..and this will be our 3rd trip to Europe. I have asked them would they rather go to Disney World which is what everyone in my area in the US seems to do with their kids (we have been)or Hawaii (we love the water)or Europe and they always say EUROPE. Go with your teens...I have teens that are great students in school and this is such an educational trip. They have a great time and we all love it. I have my husband take responsibility for my son and his backpack (although each teen has to carry their own backpack and things). And I'm in charge of my daughter. I am hoping that they will take a what we have taught them and do Europe on their own in the future. Enjoy!
USA Sat 03/05/2005
backpack vacation tips
Two summers ago my husband and I decided to take our two boys, 12 and 15, with us on our month long Grand Rail Tour of Europe ? la Rick Steves and they were so excited that they easily accepted the two cardinal rules:
Vancouver, Canada Fri 03/04/2005
Mt Saint Michael
We took our two way radios with us and the kids had a great time going around a night with out us. My kids were 13 and 15 and it was very safe to let them have the run of it at night without us and it was the best part of their vacation.
USA Sun 02/20/2005