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Is it safe for a group of teens to travel alone?

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After graduation, a group of 4-5 friends and I (totaling 5, possibly 6) would like to take a three week trip to Europe. We would like to divide up our time in the British Isles, as well as Italy and France. There are about 4 girls going, one who will be 17 and all the others 18, and two guys, both whom will be 18. Of all the potential 6, 3 will be entering their sophomore year of college and 3 their freshman year of college. Three of us will have had extensive travel experience by that time, especially in Europe, and I especially in Italy and France, however never without the accompaniment of an "adult" (as we will technically be legal adults, but you know what I mean....). Thus far, the responses we've all collected from our parents have been generally positive, and the parents who have traveled to Europe before think this is a fabulous, educational, and once-in-a-lifetime oppurtunity, while those who have never been overseas are more concerned. I should note that every teen in this group is very responsible, and there isn't a chance of any one of us ending up in pubs/bars, spending time with strangers, sharing taxis (yes, everyone wants to know if I've seen "Taken"...). We've also agreed to set rules for ourselves, to be further protected, such as a curfew no later than 10 and never splitting into groups smaller than 3 nor without a guy's company. Despite all of these safety precautions, I've still been scared out of my wits because of stories I've heard, or the looks I get from some adults when I present the idea (namely, my teachers).

For those of you who have traveled extensively before, and for those of you who know Europe inside and out, what are your opinions on this? We are from The States so this will be very far from home. Any advice, experience, or feedback would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you!

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