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Teenagers on Tour?

Thinking of taking teenage granddaughters, ages 18 & 16 on a Rick Steves’ tour. What would you recommend? Thanks!

Posted by
3106 posts

I don't any reason why not. I was on a tour with Grandmothers and several teenagers on it and I think they enjoyed the tour and everyone enjoyed having them on the tour. The tour office was able to find them a "triple room", although sometimes that meant there wasn't much space left in the room for anything else.

I think key to this decision is if your granddaughters enjoy interacting with others and with people of different ages. I think that this would be a wonderful opportunity for them and for you.

Posted by
875 posts

Hi, about 10 years ago I was on the RS Best of Rome tour. The tour dates happened to fall during Holy Week and spring break for many American teens. We had at least six teenagers on our tour and a number of 20-somethings. The youngest teen was about 13 (traveling with his parents and siblings), a father-daughter pair, mother-daughter pair, a couple with a daughter, and an older brother with his upper teens/young college-age brother. I loved the tour, and of all the RS tours I've taken, I think the group jelled the best on this particular one. Don't ask me why, but it just worked out really well.

The teens mostly were with their families, of course, but they were all politely mature enough to be on a group tour. Not like they need to have the world's greatest social skills, but I think it helps if your granddaughters know that they'll be eating breakfast and dinner with other group members and interacting on a daily basis. There's also plenty of free time if you all want to head off and do things as a unit in the off-touring times. My view is: What a wonderful opportunity for your granddaughters!

Posted by
627 posts

What would you recommend?

Ask them what they think. On a tour they'll be with 22+ other people outside of your travelling party, most of who (given the RS demographic) will be in their 60s or more. If they are ok with spending 7-14 days in such company they can have a great time. If not, maybe look at one of the family tours RS offers.

Posted by
878 posts

On most days of the RS tours I've taken, we are out of the hotel at 8:30am. Just make sure the teens are ok with those hours. I was on one tour with teens, and the gals were quite personable and fit into the group well.
So cool that you have such a nice relationship with the granddaughters!

Posted by
1895 posts

We have taken our grandchildren on 5 Rick Steves tours-Family Europe, GAS, South of France, Village Italy, Paris in 7 Days. They enjoyed each one, learned so much and it certainly seemed as if the other tour members enjoyed them, or at least there were many compliments! There were other kiddos of varying ages on each of those tours. I can’t overestimate the value of our American kids touring Europe and we have so many wonderful memories of our travels together. As do they………!

Posted by
4453 posts

We've been on four different RS tours with teens and tweens. They all seemed to have a good time, and got along well with the "older demographic" - i.e., the rest of us.

Posted by
717 posts

I recommend the RS Basque Tour. There is quite a bit of diversity in that tour (France and Spain - and the Basques believe their "portion" of those two countries is a separate nation.). There is hiking (6 miles on the Camino de Santiago), beach (San Sebastian), a visit to a sheep farm, a chocolate factory, the Guggenheim Museum and the best food in Spain. The RS tour guides on the Basque Tour (Agustin, Claire and Francisco) are nothing short of amazing!
Logistically, it's a little bit of a trouble to get to the starting point - so here's a suggestion. Fly into Paris, book a hotel for three days in the Montparnasse section - see some of the sights of the "City of Light" - then take the TGV high speed train from Gare Montparnasse to Bayonne (the Basque Tour starting point). The tour ends in Bilbao.....a short flight to either Lisbon or Madrid (or Barcelona) with a little post-tour adventure in any of those cities - and fly home from there.
What do you think?

Posted by
815 posts

We took our daughter, 18 at the time and just graduated from high school, on the My Way BOE in 2013. There were several other "kids" ranging from 13ish to 20 and they all got along really well. They sat together in the back of the bus and played cards, went to the beach together, hung out at dinner. It was nice that the grown ups and "kids" had some time apart after spending all day together. Of course this was before they all had a smart phone attached to their face at all times so there was no choice but bond with real live people in their proximity.

Posted by
11 posts

We took our sons, who were 17 and 20, on the Paris and the Heart of France Tour a few years ago. They enjoyed it! There were also 3 girls who were about the same ages on the tour with their parents. Here is our scrapbook, if you are interested -- https://parisandtheheartoffrancetour.weebly.com. This was a great tour! It's nice if there are other young people on the tour. The Rick Steves people can let you know tour demographics. Hope this helps...

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all so much for taking time to answer my question about teens on a Rick Steves’ tour! Much appreciated! The scrap book of France was wonderful!

Posted by
408 posts

Hi we have taken our kids on 5 RS tours since our daughter was 10. Most were city tours. We did do the BOE tour and we had a couple different families on the tour since we went in the summer. The last one best of Rome was right after Christmas and it was mostly families of either adult children or younger. My kids love history, museums , and we have tried to come in early or stay later to go places on our own.
I would just make sure they understand it is a lot of listening to guides talk and getting up early. I would suggest watching his videos to get a feel for the pace of a tour. My kids learned a lot & the guides are wonderful. I say go for it! My daughter did a video guide of our trip for the tour book contest I can send you the link if you would like to see it. It is no longer public. She had the tour members talk about the trip. Which is great insight

Posted by
3 posts

SA - I would love to see the video link of your trip made by your granddaughter. Thanks in advance for sharing!

Posted by
864 posts

Just putting it out there that your granddaughters may enjoy going to a country whose language they are learning at school. I had the good fortune to travel a bit in Europe when I was 16. I got a huge kick out of using my high-school French in Paris, and actually being understood was a tremendous confidence-boost.