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Question re ages on tours

My 13 year old daughter has been working very hard to become fluent in Spanish and we would like to reward her with a trip to Spain next year. She will be almost 14 then, and I would take her along with my mother, who is in her late 60s. Although I have traveled in Europe extensively, she and my mother have never been, and I would appreciate the structure of a Rick Steves tour for their first visit.

My question is, in your experience would a 14-year-old feel out of place on the trip? She is very mature and enjoys museums, etc., but do you think it would be too adult for her? We have looked at the family tour, but it would not allow her to practice her Spanish.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Posted by
10500 posts

Had an RS tour where the g-pa brought his grandson. He was in his 60's , the boy just completed 8th grade.

It was an enjoyable trip for all and he fit well.

"Just do it" !

Posted by
121 posts

Is your daughter comfortable with adults? Does she get along well with you and your mother? If so, I think your daughter could have a wonderful time on a regular tour. You’ve already mentioned that she’s mature for her age. I took my son on tour to Costa Rica at age 6, the Greek islands at 12, the RS My Way Best of Europe at 14, Mongolia at 15, and the RS Best of the Adriatic at 18. Only 2 of the 5 tours were family tours. On the trip to Mongolia, my son & I were the 2 youngest tour members! 😂 All of the trips were wonderful, and my son is grateful to have had the experiences. This July my son (now 25) and I are eagerly awaiting the RS My Way Alpine Europe tour. Good luck!

Posted by
566 posts

Based on my experience, summer tours (starting later in June) tend to have younger kids (teenagers/college-age) traveling with their parents and/or grandparents. They all seem to enjoy the experience.

Posted by
7809 posts

As long as she is comfortable around adults there will be no problems. She will be welcomed.

Posted by
3961 posts

We were on a culinary tour several years ago in Italy. It included the parents & a teenager. The teen was mature & enjoyed the entire experience. In fact it was their second tour with the tour company. We enjoyed getting to know the family throughout the journey. In my opinion I think it would be an exceptional experience for all of you!

Posted by
6075 posts

Is your daughter comfortable with adults?

That, to me, is the salient question. We've been on three RSE tours (not family tours) that had teens and tweens among the group. On two of them, the kids were younger (9, 12, 12), and stuck pretty close to their parents (or vice versa, more likely.) On the third tour, Mom kept a close eye on her 16-year old, but the girl was poised, mature, and comfortable interacting with the rest of us, ranging in age from about 40 - 80. And all the adults treated her as just another member of the group. It helped, by the way, that several of the tour members were non-drinkers, so the youngster was not the only one quaffing soft drinks.

I suspect she'll be fine, but do think about how she relates to adults to whom she's not related. In my experience, RSE tour members are welcoming of folks of all ages and backgrounds.

Posted by
4077 posts

The other people on the tour may want her around to translate, which she might love or might tire of quickly.

Posted by
283 posts

I agree with the above, if your daughter is comfortable with adults and interested in the general topic of the tour, she'll do great. I've been on several RS with teenagers (including, actually, the 14-day Spain tour, which had five teens between the ages, roughly, of 13-18) and never got the feeling they were bad "fits" with the tour.

On the Spain tour, my buddy was traveling with his wife and 15-year-old granddaughter. The granddaughter was really bright, interested, and I got to know her well enough to vouch that she had a great time. Another teen on the tour had just taken the AP Euro exam and got very excited during our trip to the Prado and, after a little prodding from the guide, happily elaborated on the Spanish Golden Age to us.

Caroline

Posted by
23 posts

Also, consider the My Way Spain tour where the cities are selected, but you are your own tour guide while in the city. You choose the activities in each location that appeal to your group. Yes, there is some bus time (and train from Barcelona to Madrid) and most of the participants are middle to older ages, but if your daughter is OK with that, then consider being your own guide. The tour manager will have "office hours" but I recommend that you have already reserved tickets/times in advance (before you leave home) for the major sites like the Alhambra and the Alcazar and others noted in the RS guidebook. Your daughter will get lots of practice with her Spanish in restaurants since this tour does not have group meals included. You can even plan "down time" in the hotel room (since all are conveniently located near city center) if you need a break in the activities of the day. Enjoy Spain!

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you all! You put my mind at ease! I was worried the older folks would not appreciate a teenager on the trip, and might not include her, but it sounds like everyone will be welcoming. Looking forward to having the 2023 tours announced. Thanks again!

Posted by
1450 posts

@Gal,
Actually, the opposite is likely to happen. She will be a breath of fresh air and remind folks of their kids or grandkids. She will get a lot of attention. There have been young people on most of my tours. They have been treated as valuable tour mates.