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Teenager under 18 traveling with friends

Has anyone out there had a child under 18 travel without thier parent and how have they handled the money issue? My son is 17 years old (will be turning 18 while in Ireland) and will be traveling with his mates (both also just this side of 18) to Ireland, GB, and Italy for a three weeks vacation. He has been planning it for quite a while with one oversight...money. Because he is under 18, he can not have an ATM card in his name. I don't like the idea of him traveling with a bunch of visa money cards because if you loose them..well there you go. The bank told me I could have a joint account with him but the ATM would be in my name. I could just see it now, my son calling me from some police station in Ireland explaining that his CA id card didn't match his ATM card at the market.

Posted by
1 posts

My son went to Spain when he was 17, used his own atm card that I would supplement as needed. This was a few years ago, but I don't know why a minor can't have an atm card. You might check a different bank. If he gets a card, make sure the bank knows he will be using it out of the country.

Posted by
389 posts

Lynda, I'm with Terri. If you need a new financial institution try a Credit Union. they have the lowest fees and currency exchange rates. If that isn't feasible my niece took a pre-loaded VISA from Wells Fargo that allows for both charges and cash withdrawls and was able to be re-loaded by her parents here.

Posted by
800 posts

Lynda - my daughter also went to Europe when she was just about 18. She had 2 different cards - both debit cards with the Visa logo - from 2 different banks. Both were joint accounts opened with me as the other account holder, but the cards had her name alone. One was from Bank of America, one from Wachovia. My son received his first debit card when he was 14 in the same fashion. I am on the account but the card even has his picture on it and does not list my name. I too would never use the money cards or other prepaid cards. And the only time I purchased Euros before a trip was to give to my daughter and her friends. Along with a trip journal it made for a great high school graduation gift.

Posted by
800 posts

Lynda - forgot to state one very important item. As has been mentioned before ATM/Debit cards must be linked to checking, not savings accounts, in order to draw funds in Europe. I found this out the hard way when I gave my daughter an ATM card for a trip to England with friends when she was just 13. Though my bank assured me that she could use the ATM card she was never able to do so while abroad. I know there is another thread about this but wanted to be sure to mention this in the case of teens traveling as often they only have a savings, not checking account. Also - note that my prior posting said that my daughter had 2 different cards from 2 different banks. I felt this was very important so that if, for whatever reason, one bank card did not work, she would have a backup. Since student checking accounts are free, it was easy to set up a 2nd account at a different bank.

Posted by
2638 posts

Hi Lynda, a few years ago we went to the UK and both daughters took friends along. One friend was only 16 and she had an ATM card with her name on it. Like Karen stated above the most important thing is that it be connected to a checking account. You could open a checking account just for the trip then close it after your son is home. You need to check with different banks in your area. Your son should be able to get one. Good Luck!!

Posted by
4 posts

WOW - this topic just speaks me.... I am 17, traveling with my friend who will be 18 just before we go. i will turn 18 when I will be in the UK this summer, so we know the situation... I have Bank of America and have a check/debit/atm card through them (Visa) and i will work fine in the UK. I;m not sure hwat bank you have but Bank Of America lets me have a card. (We are part of a family account, but my name is on the card for my sepearte account).

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks everyone for thier helpful advice. I was able to get my son an ATM card at my Cridit Union and I was able to link to his savings account so I can trasfer money to his savings if ne needs it. I guess I went to the wrong bank to start with. Now all I have to do is hope he doesn't loose it over there :-)