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Are there any books for Teens traveling alone in Europe?

My son and his best friend will be heading to Europe after finishing High school this summer One will be 17, one will be 18 . I am hoping to find some books that target Teens traveling alone, things to watch out for, places to go/avoid etc..
Thanks for any suggestions!

Posted by
487 posts

Someone else just posted about an Andy Steves article, Rick Steves' son who focuses on a younger generation. His company would be a good place to start. But in general Europe is very safe and the standard things to tell someone at 17 or 18 would be the same things any first time traveler should hear. Reading Europe Through the Back Door is always recommended for any first time traveler.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/andy-steves-in-forbes-magazine

Posted by
1989 posts

If one of the teens will still be 17 at time of travel, I would make sure he travels with a notarized consent to travel form from his parents. Will he likely need it? Maybe not - I guess it depends on the countries they enter and the immigration agents they encounter.

But I would have him go ahead and get one. It'll take 30 minutes at a local bank and it could avoid a headache that could completely derail their trip.

Posted by
39 posts

Back in the olden days... ok, 1985-86, I used a book called Let's Go Europe. I traveled alone for some of the three months, but usually made friends and traveled around with them for a bit. That guide book was very useful. Assuming it is still aimed at teens, take a look at it.

Posted by
2813 posts

There is also the Let's Go series published by Harvard Student Agencies. I have not used one in about 30 years but they were go-to source for information when I traveled through Europe at age 19.

Posted by
2813 posts

Oh, my goodness, how funny that I was cross-posting with Anthony.

Posted by
1095 posts

About 4 years ago, the daughter of my close friend, a few weeks shy of her 18th birthday, arrived in Dublin, traveling alone, and was refused entrance to Ireland because of her age. She had worked and saved for this trip for a few years, and her family thought that they had everything covered. The only workable solution was for them to buy a last minute ticket for her 21 year old brother and send him to join her.
I would encourage the 17 year old and his family to do a lot of research before sending him off at 17 years of age.
(And, hopefully, their mileage may vary ...)

Posted by
170 posts

Someone else mentioned Rick's son Andy Steves, but I thought I'd add more.

Andy runs an organization called Weekend Student Adventures. WSA has a Facebook and Webpage: http://www.wsaeurope.com/. WSA is geared toward young adults.

Posted by
11450 posts

Some hostels may not accept a 17 it old , so make sure kids research well places to stay.

Posted by
2344 posts

I think the "Let's Go" guides would be helpful for teens since they are written by and for college students, if you are okay with their casual approach to alcohol and hook-ups. Lots of suggestions on where to eat if you have a hangover. They do provide information on things to watch out for and places to avoid.

I used to read "Let's Go Europe" my 20's when going to Europe was just a far-fetched dream. Now that I'm in my 60's, I still use it. I like their maps. It covers cities (and parts of cities) that the RS guides do not mention, and I like their perspective on attractions and restaurants. Admittedly, I don't really need the information about nightlife.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks everyone for the insights and recommendations, looks like we have some research to do about a 17 yr old traveling in Europe without a parent. Not sure if we need to put it off for a year (which would be a shame) its tough having a younger graduate. If anyone has tips on this subject- Im happy to listen to your suggestions and input!

Posted by
2778 posts

I agree with Let's Go guide books. I also like Lonely Planet, generally, not Italy. I wouldn't have wanted my fresh HS graduate to go on one of Andy Steves Weekend trips as they are directed more at Junior Abroad kids, etc. I'd prefer my child have at least one year of college under her/his belt to have, hopefully, adjusted to social pressure. On the other hand, I did send my 18 year old off with a friend to find their way from Paris to Rome over the period of 10 days. I also know of one pair of sisters who traveled together after the oldest graduated from high school. If I recall they were 16 and 18, but they joined a tour group, perhaps that is why the younger one could travel(?).

Posted by
39 posts

JHK - "Oh, my goodness, how funny that I was cross-posting with Anthony. "
Were you there summer of '86? Maybe we even crossed paths once or twice!

Posted by
715 posts

My favorite book for a young traveler is Vagabonding by Ed Buryn. It is outdated but offers up a wonderful history of vagabonding

Posted by
97 posts

A Map For Saturday. Great movie for young people planning to travel around the world.

Posted by
2813 posts

Anthony H, I was a couple of years before you -- 1984.

Posted by
9363 posts

I wouldn't look at waiting a year as "a shame". Disappointing, sure, but it would give them both a year to mature, and a year to learn the travel skills they will need, as well as time to refine their plans. Shorter trips alone in the US (nearest big city, for example) could give them a taste of travel and getting along on their own.