I am an 18 year old male and going to college this coming fall. next summer i am planning a trip for 2-2.5 month in europe. we would be going on this route- dublin, london, brussells, amsterdam, berlin, prague, vienna, venice, florence, rome, athens, madrid, paris, london, dublin. it might be just me or me and my two friends are who are both females and will just have graduated from high school. we have all been to london before and i have been up to ireland/scotland (and south africa) and they have been to paris/rome. do you think that with our travel experience and age that this would be a safe idea or not? and we want to travel cheap so would hostels be safe for use. (one of the girls is VERY pretty and attracts a TON of attention.) just wantin some advice, feedback, words from the wise:)
Jarrod, I did Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, Barcelona, Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg and back to Germany with a friend by train when we both just turned 16. We stayed at Youth Hostels and cheap B&B's. There are some strict rules in Youth Hostels to ensure everybody is as save as possible. You'll have plenty of fun! After London do Amsterdam-Brussels-Cologne-Berlin. You'll love the Cologne night life! Also spend a day in the Swiss Saxony canyon lands outside of Dresden on your way from Berlin to Prague as it's quite unique and climbing those rocks would probably be another asset to your overall trip experience. Venice, Italy, is very pretty but not exactly any affordable plus it really caters to the elderly. But Zagreb, Croatia has become a party and nightlife capital in that part of Europe which you might want to consider as well or instead.
I'm all for having fun, but I take issue with the last poster describing places that have great nightlife -- as if this is the only thing young people are (or should be) intereste in when touring Europe. These people are 18 years old. Let's not assume they have (or want) the lifestyle of Paris Hilton. It would be my hope that seeking out the "best" nightlife would not be their foremost goal.
Jarrod - one word of caution regarding girls in Amsterdam. My daughter went with friends (all girls) after they graduated high school as well. They traveled cheaply and stayed in hostels and did not have any real problems. The only place they felt "unsafe" was in Amsterdam. They had inadvertantly booked a hostel in or near the red-light district - as you can imagine it was very cheap. My daughter said the area was much more "shady" than she expected, especially when they were walking home late at night. So, just be a little more careful in that particular city.
Having said that - they had a really great time in Rome. The hostel they stayed at had organized pub crawls and sightseeing tours that you could sign up for. They enjoyed this since it was a group of young people. Venice was their favorite city. They also liked London a lot but that was partly because they had friends there who could take them out. You'll all have a great time.
Jarrod, as you are all adults and legal in all of Europe I would say your safty is up to you. If the pretty girl has problems, just be a tight group. I traveled with students and we had guys following us all the time, but we were a team and none of the girls were ever really alone. On top of that I've met soo many 18-20 year olds traveling cheaply, having great fun and having an unforgettable experience. Also, check out Andy Steve's blog on this site from his trip with a buddy after he graduated. It was a pretty good review of what you might expect. Have fun.
Not saying nightlife is the only thing, but American teens and young adults do want to experience the nightlife because we don't have that here. it's just another way to learn more about the culture there. so the responce saying nightlife shouldn't be the focal point of our trip is true, but it should be an added perk.
Jarrod, I fully agree with you. I learned more about what Spain is really about, what people think, what their values are, what they eat, drink in one night in Madrid than others could have picked up in 10 days just visiting sights and staying isolated at their hotels at night.
"Not saying nightlife is the only thing, but American teens and young adults do want to experience the nightlife because we don't have that here." Good for you Jarrod! You probably are too young to experience "American nightlife" yet, but I hope you enjoy the more age-inclusive European variety. You may notice a much more relaxed, less loud, overall less obnoxious atmosphere than our "US bar scene". Enjoy, because if you experience it in Europe, you will see what we in the US miss.
Right I agree, going to clubs, bars or concerts is another perfectly good way to experience foreign cultures -- glad it's not the only focus though.