Please sign in to post.

22 year olds on BOE 21 day tour

Hello! My 22 year old daughter and her friend are interested in taking the 21 tour this summer after college graduation. We understand that most folks tend to be a bit older on the trips, but are there typically younger folks in the summer months?
The girls really like the itinerary of this trip, and we parents like the fact that they wouldn't be traveling on their own as they have never been to Europe. Any thoughts? Thank you.

Posted by
4327 posts

At their age, they really should do this trip by themselves. 22 years old is a wonderful age to explore Europe and I don't think they will enjoy being stuck in a group of people that are all their parent's age (or older). Let them make some mistakes and learn from them; let them be grown-ups.

Posted by
6337 posts

I agree with Emily that 22 year olds should be able to travel Europe on their own. They wouldn't be able to do that same itinerary in 21 days on their own just because of the transportation logistics, etc; but they could add a week or so and still probably do it cheaper than the tour. That being said, if they would feel more comfortable doing it in a group they should look into tour groups aimed at the 18-35 year old demographic rather than a RS tour. There are several reputable tour groups for their age range and it would probably be more fun for them - and most likely cheaper too.

Posted by
5654 posts

New college graduates should be able to plan and self guide a European holiday. It would be a wonderful learning experience and a capstone education project of living on their own smarts without a surrogate parent (tour guide).

While I enjoy the Rick Steves travel perspective and philosophy, young people may enjoy the Rough Guides and Lonely Planet view of the world. Both have Europe on a budget planning guides:

http://www.roughguides.com/shop/rough-guide-europe-budget/
http://shop.lonelyplanet.com/europe/europe-on-a-shoestring-travel-guide-8/

Posted by
1589 posts

Sharon,
No piling on, but all the above advise is solid. The RS tour would be far too tame for someone her age.

Posted by
3 posts

Yikes! My daughter is interested in RS because she wants bang for her parent's bucks! She likes the itinerary and wants to see a lot in a short period of time. Personally, I appreciate the fact that she wants to plan her trip out looking at all of options available and then choose the one that best fits her. Her cousin did a RS trip 8 years ago at the same age and loved it! Please don't tell me she needs to go on her own or offer input that she needs to do it differently. She is planning it and she wants to be in a small group for her first trip. Really just asking for comments about age ranges- if this particular trip in the summertime may have a more varied range. Thank you.

Posted by
31295 posts

Sharon,

I'm going to differ a bit from the consensus so far. While there's no reason they couldn't do this trip on their own with adequate planning and preparation, I believe that it would be worthwhile to also consider a tour. A few thoughts on the subject.....

  • While most of the group on a RS tour may be older, everyone always seems to get along well regardless of age. There have been younger people on a few of my tours, and I've never perceived any problems. Everyone had a great time!
  • They'll likely learn more about the places they visit on a tour and it will therefore be a more memorable and rewarding celebration of their graduation, and their first trip to Europe.
  • While there are other tours that cater to a younger demographic, some caution would be prudent. I've spoken with some of the participants of those tours and my impression was that the whole time was mostly just a big pis$$ up and they hardly remembered the places they had visited.
  • It will be a good way for them to learn some travel skills in a "safe setting", which could be the foundation for future trips on their own.
  • The Itinerary of the RS Best of Europe 21 day tour covers a really nice blend of different countries and cultures, so that would provide a good "taste" of Europe, again something to use in planning future travels.
  • The RS tours typically include a fair amount of free time as well as a completely free day, so they could venture out for some touring on their own as well without the group.
  • The RS Guides are exceptional at looking after tour members, so that may provide some amount of "comfort" for you as a parent. With other tour groups that have 50-60 people and one "Tour Director", it's going to be more difficult to provide service to individual members of the group.
  • The RS tours are definitely good "bang for the buck" (IMHO)!

I'm also a parent and had to deal with my children travelling abroad on their own after graduation from high school. With boys that was perhaps less of a concern, but I was still a bit worried.

Good luck with your decision!

Posted by
4327 posts

Bang for your buck? A group tour will never give you that vs. DIY. Age range on the tour - I am sure they will be the youngest by far. There are tours out there geared for younger travelers...

Posted by
3775 posts

Hi Sharon, they like the itinerary & with the RS tour, they will learn SO much more about each location than they would by themselves. I've had college age up through active retirees in my RS tours, and I think you would enjoy hearing that the entire groups have really enjoyed each other during meals, traveling time, etc. There's also ~40% free time on the tours, and hotels in handy locations, so they could also maximize their own plans, too, without the hassle of lots of planning.

They like it....you like it.....seems like a great decision!

Posted by
6337 posts

Well, 'bang for your buck' is a relative term. I can't speak to the ages on a RS tour because I've never been able to afford one. I'm a female and travel solo and my budget usually runs about $150/day (w/o airfare) and that's with staying in nice, safe accommodations in convenient locations, eating well, and not skimping on the sightseeing. The RS 21 BOE runs about $250/day (w/o airfare). Over 21 days that's a difference of about $2100.

That being said, if your daughter and her friend want to take a RS tour and you can afford that amount of $$, then they should do it. Based on what I've read over the years on this forum, there is usually a mix of ages especially in the summer, and plenty of free time to get away from the group and practice some 'on their own' travel and maybe mingle with others their age.

Posted by
672 posts

Sharon,
Our four kids (all in their 20s at the time) have been on two RS tours with us and they loved them! During the summer months, we've usually had some younger tour members and, in both of the tours our kids went on, the guides were in their age range, too. These tours include lots of free time and they emphasize learning to travel independently. I think it's a great option.

Posted by
8266 posts

Sharon, I did Heart of Italy in 2013 with my brother, SIL and their 2 sons, aged 25 and 20 at the time. There was also another family with a 21 yr old. They had a marvelous time and enjoyed mixing with the other participants. I did do BOE this fall and the youngest on that particular tour was 30. She appeared to have a wonderful time as well.

If they are interested in the BOE I say go for it!

Posted by
1276 posts

I think the tour is a great idea for your daughter. I haven't done the 21 day BOE tour but the two RS summer tours I did had people in their 20s who loved the tour. The tour will give them a great overview and they have lots of time to return to favorite places on future trips. Go for it.

Posted by
1248 posts

This may convince you to have her take the tour, but I think that she should do it on her own. My explanation is that one of my great traveling regrets is that I never started until I was 30 and married, and thus never had "international romance".

I also think a 22 year old would enjoy some late nights here and there, and my understanding of the RS tours is that they are moderately early starting to make the most of sightseeing. Also a 22 year old would more likely meet people in her age group from all over the world if she were on her own. Even though the tour offers free time, it wouldn't be the same.

Posted by
110 posts

Tell your daughter and her friend to have a good time!! Early 20's is a good time to get bitten by the travel bug.
.

I have been on one RS tour and the age range was late 20's/early 30's to late 70's; however it was in the fall and in the middle of school year. I had no problem doing activities with other tour members or doing stuff on my own. I felt safe even at night as there were lots of people around and police patrolling the area. I found the guides to be very good at giving info in a lively and entertaining mannor; not boring lectures or reciting facts from a book word for word. If your daughter and her frined do not want to participate in an activity they just need to let the guides know what's happening and they can do thier own thing that day.
.

I would have your daughter look at the online scrapbooks to get an idea about age range, activites, length of stops, etc.
If both of you are satified with the BOE 21 day tour I say sign up ASAP!! The popluar tour dates will sell out pretty quick after the new year.
Good luck
J

Posted by
31295 posts

Sharon,

If she does decide to sign up for the BOE tour, she might consider the tour that ends on July 15 in Paris. I believe Bastille Day is July 14, and it will probably be quite a party with fireworks and so on! That will probably also be the night of the big farewell group dinner, so there will be some tearful goodbyes. I'm sure that would make for a spectacular grand finale to her tour experience!

Something to consider.....

Posted by
5654 posts

Looking at the photographic illustrations of the Rick Steves tours page: http://www.ricksteves.com/tours the people illustrated include one grey haired gentleman and he's paired with a lady that appears to be a bit younger. Even Rick looks pretty young.

Posted by
9363 posts

If this is what they want, I see nothing wrong with an RS tour. And I don't agree that you won't get "bang for your buck" on a tour. On the contrary, having a guide is a huge plus as far as what they will learn, beginning with lessons on how to use the local transportation. They won't have to worry about transportation, accomodations, and some meals. They will have assistance if there is a problem, and others to run around with. And once they get an introductory trip under their belts, they might feel more confident in planning a trip on their own Iater.

Posted by
333 posts

If that's the tour they like (having researched other tours/companies), and they're ok being the "young'uns" on the tour- then they should go for it! It's a fantastic itinerary, and if it's their first venture overseas, they will learn a ton so they can go back and explore on their own later. They will also have plenty of free time and their guide will be able to steer them towards places that might appeal to a younger crowd- such as paragliding in the alps, or rollerblading in the streets of Paris. If your daughter and friend are interested in art/culture and history and are social with all kinds, then this is probably a great tour for them. My daughter accompanied me on a Russian River Cruise when she was 20. She was the youngest by years, but had a great time, learned much, made some lifelong friends (though older) and wouldn't change a thing about her experience. While I worried about her being the odd one out, she cared not at all. Her goals for the trip were to experience the culture, learn about the culture and have fun. All of her goals were met. I've read quite a few travel blogs from the RS Tours, and many of them were written by VERY happy 20-somethings.

I hope your daughter and her friend have a great time!

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you everyone for your comments and insight. I have forwarded them on to her to read and they will be helpful as she and her roommate make their final plans. Thank you so much!

Posted by
4606 posts

Sharon, We did the 21 day BOE several years ago, and the age range was about 18 to 70. While the median age was toward the high end, there was a family with two daughters, 18 and 21, and a young (mid-twenties) married couple. Everyone fit in just fine. On our RS trip to Rome, about 1/3 of the group were under 30. Don't let age be a factor. It's a great tour, and there's plenty of free time if they want to go off on their own every now and then.