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First trip to Europe for my daughter

I'm wondering what would be the best way to introduce my grown daughter to European travel ? She is interested in going to Ireland and Italy but I'm not sure which would be a better choice.

Posted by
2393 posts

What are her interests? Art? History? Is she outdoorsy? Cities? Countryside?

How long of a trip?

What time of year will she traveling?

Is she traveling alone? Group tour or self tour?

Hard to answer your question without a little more info.

Posted by
20 posts

I've not been to either country, so I can't comment on one destination over the other, but I think it partly depends on how adventurous she is in general. Is she traveling by herself? If so, she might feel more comfortable in an English-speaking country for the first time out - get the hang of the subtleties of international travel and make all those first-time mistakes without the additional stress of finding help in English when she needs it.

Also, she could do both! Open jaw flights are suprisingly not much more expensive than going in and out of the same city, so she could fly into Dublin, spend a few days there, hop on a local budget airline to Rome, spend a few days there, and fly home from Rome - or take a train to Florence or Milan and fly home from there. It opens up a LOT of options.

Posted by
1589 posts

I suggest that your adult daughter read the posts presented here & decide if she wants to travel in Europe.

Posted by
32265 posts


Both countries are awesome with lots of interesting and historic sights to see. Try to find out from your daughter whether she "leans" towards one or the other. How old is your "grown daughter"?

I'm assuming since you posted in this section of the Forum, that you're planning to travel to either area as part of a RS tour? Tours are available to both countries, however there's a greater variety of tour lengths, etc. available in the Italy tours. That provides greater choices in the types of sights you'll be seeing (ie: more cities or something like the "village Italy" experience).

You could also try a tour with more variety such as the 14-day Best of Europe tour, which also has stops in Italy.

Posted by
507 posts


As a mom myself it would depend on how much time your daughter has to spend in Europe.

My travels have not taken me to Ireland, yet. Three days in Italy were not enough to see it leisurely. I would have liked 10 - 14 days (4 for just Rome alone).

Knowing there is so much to see in Italy, I would place my vote for Ireland as a first European destination for a young lady.

Posted by
16894 posts

Either Ireland or Italy are wonderful destinations for a Rick Steves' Tour and also quite feasible for any solo traveler who does her homework in advance. My first trip to Europe was driving myself around Britain for three weeks at age 25. The following year, I drove myself around most of western Europe for six months. In a pre-internet age, I found my way using printed maps, guidebooks, and information from each country's US tourist office, as well as local tourist offices in most towns. My family worried, but I enjoyed the challenge and experienced no serious problems.

Posted by
14580 posts

Those you list... maps, broshures, guide books, tour books, even post cards, etc I still use and rely on to plan at least 50% of a trip, depending on its duration and depth, internet or no internet age.

Posted by
11294 posts

Were your planning on taking her with you on the trip, or were you giving her a gift of paying for her solo trip, or something else?

Any place can be a good introduction to travel - as long as it's someplace the traveler wants to go, and as long as the traveler has done research first. So, she should start by reading about both places, and looking at videos. Rick's videos are available on Hulu and here on the RS website:

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I think at this point I am leaning to taking her with me to Italy for 8-14 days in October. I have been there several times.(.so maybe I'm a bit biased). All of her siblings had a chance to go abroad while in high school with their respective language class. She did not study a foreign language due to a speech processing disorder. She does not process the beginning or ending of words.( English can sometimes be a struggle.)
This is only relevant because of the possible language challenges in Italy as opposed to Ireland.
She is leaving the choice up to me. Thank you again for all the input.

Posted by
1450 posts

just got back from Italy, have been to Ireland 3 times.....
with what you just shared about her language issues, would Ireland be more comfortable for her? even with the accent, locals will be speaking English to her, which might make the whole trip easier for her. (as well as all signage, etc being in English) whatever her interests are, art, outdoorsy, etc, you can of course find those things in any country.

Posted by
32265 posts


Regarding the language issue in Italy, as you've probably found many of the people you'll be dealing with as tourists will have some degree of fluency in English. As you'll be travelling with her, you'll be able to "smooth over" any issues that you may encounter. If you'll be taking a tour, the Guide will also be able to help.