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Advice on destination for high school grad trip

Advice on destination for high school grad trip

Jun 14th, 2004, 06:45 PM
  #1  
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Advice on destination for high school grad trip

Next summer, my daughter and one girl friend (and possibly a couple of guy friends) would like to travel somewhere in Europe for a couple of weeks. While I have some quesy feelings about this, I support it. I think it will be a lot more worthwhile than a week at the beach. They were telling me the other night that they thought they might go to Ireland since it was relatively inexpensive and language would not be an issue. However, they will only be 18 and 19, so I don't think they can rent a car, and I understand that the rail system is not so great. Does anyone have suggestions or experiences to share? Thanks.
Suki is offline  
Jun 14th, 2004, 09:31 PM
  #2  
 
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Are they sure Ireland is inexpensive? From what I've read, that's no longer the case. Tell them to take a look at these sites and their forums:

http://www.guideforeurope.com
http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com
http://www.eurotrip.com/forum
http://www.bugeurope.com
WillTravel is offline  
Jun 14th, 2004, 09:48 PM
  #3  
 
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Ireland is not inexpensive anymore. It has been getting increasingly expensive for the last ten years and now it is usually one of the most expensive stops on my journey.
I think they may enjoy themselves more if they do a real backpacking trip through the continent. When I graduated high school, my friend and I spent five weeks touring Italy and France by train. It was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life and I recommend it to any mature high school graduate. You are certainly right that it would be more worthwhile than a week at the beach!
I would not recommend them renting a car. Traveling by train is a joyous experience and really part of the adventure!
I'm sure they will have many questions over the next year. This is a wonderful and helpful forum as are the ones WillTravel recommended!
christieCA is offline  
Jun 15th, 2004, 03:01 AM
  #4  
amelia
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I think they would enjoy Ireland. It is not inexpensive, but it's beautiful and clean with simply delightful people. While rail isn't much of an option in Ireland, the bus system certainly is--we used it extensively on our last trip.

 
Jun 15th, 2004, 03:15 AM
  #5  
 
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A great many Europeans their age, or a year or two older, would be 'inter-railing' around Europe. I believe you have to be living here to get a particularly cheap pass, but there is lots of information and advice about how to get around cheaply and safely:

www.raileurope.com
www.inter-railguide.com
www.interrailer.com
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jun 15th, 2004, 05:36 AM
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..re ireland not cheap..in their age group, it wouuld be extremely expensive if not impossible to rent a car..This is their trip (or is it yours ie who is footing the bill??)..would suggest they hit the lonely planet web site for ideas re student travel or get info from youth hostel..2nd question- would a tour be better for them at this age..or just wait and do a bigger trip post college when they are more independent, have less parental concerns, more money and maybe even some facility in another language??
travelbunny is offline  
Jun 15th, 2004, 08:33 AM
  #7  
 
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My son (17 - a rising Senior) is backpacking right now in Spain/Portugal for 3 weeks. He is having a blast. We go to Ireland frequently as a family (and love it) - but I don't think it would be as interesting for a teenager - and the great small towns are more difficult to reach. My son also did Germany/Austria/Czech Republic two years ago (with his older brother) for a month and loved it. Price the rail passes - they've gotten quite high, and point to point is often cheaper. The railsaver.com site is great to price compare. In any event, tell them not to worry... It's not as scary once they arrive.
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Jun 15th, 2004, 08:56 AM
  #8  
 
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I can't understand why parents go into a tizz about people of an age to vote going off travelling. What were they doing at 18?

But if a parent is worried, I'd have thought Ireland would be practically the last place on earth they'd want their children travelling in.

18 year olds in Ireland mostly do one of two things. One's drinking, and the other's not suitable for a family website. Much as I love the place, there really isn't a lot else for a healthy teenager to do there.

Maybe Suki's will nurse their half of shandy through five million renditions of "We're off to Dublin" night after night down the Fiddler's. Or maybe not.

Get them to France or Italy. Germany or Spain. Anywhere full of stuff to do and see that also has decent standards of public behavious by young people..

If they can't speak the language, get them to start learning now. Like we all did at that age.
flanneruk is online now  
Jun 15th, 2004, 09:11 AM
  #9  
 
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It's far enough out that accommodations could be arranged very early (not yet, but maybe this winter) for cheap-ish lodging in Edinburgh during the festival(s) in late August. The city is flooded with folks from all over the world, there are activities beyond imagining, and there may even be an educational/artistic/cultural benefit too.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jun 15th, 2004, 09:22 AM
  #10  
 
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I completely understand the hesitation to send 18 yr olds off by themselves whether it be in the states or in Europe.

I was a "model" student in high school and college but did lots of naive crazy stuff when traveling in Florida and in Europe when I was that age.

Over spring break this year a college freshman from Indiana was stabbed to death in Italy when he unknowingly walking into a street which is public by day but private at night. He and his companions were confronted by locals and he was killed. I never heard about the incident via the media. I heard about it because his girlfriend is from the town where I am a teacher.

Obviously, such incidents rarely occur but kids don't always realize things are different than "back home" especially when alcohol is involved.
amwosu is offline  
Jun 15th, 2004, 10:00 AM
  #11  
 
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I recommend training through France, Germany and Czech Republic. The train experience is not to be missed.

France is just the essence of backpacking through Europe. I teach high school, and we host a big group of German exchange students every year. They are always so cool, hip, fun,etc. that all my students want to travel through Germany. Prague is just so cool right now among young adults- lots of young American expats living there.

Young adults travelling in Europe just need to remember that while the laws there permit them to sample all of the local "adult" beverages, most European countries have much stricter laws about public drunkeness.

What a great adventure and growth experience they will have- wherever they decide to go. You are a cool and wise mom for helping them make good plans instead of trying to keep them at home.
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Jun 15th, 2004, 01:34 PM
  #12  
 
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..would like to comment on the age issue..(and i hitchhiked around europe and went to morrocco for 4 months when europe on 10 dollars a day was THE guidebook no internet and you had to line up at the post office to make a call home..but i was a college student)..this is a post high school trip..unless kids have been boarding this maybe the first time these young people have been away for a long period of time and maybe the first time in europe..i think if the trip is well planned to the age group, their travel experience, language skills it will be a huge success and will perhaps make them future fodorites...if it isnt, it can be a travel turn off, an excercise in alcohol consumption or much worse..re 18 and voting..come on guys if the right to vote implies wisdom and maturity, would there be the present incumbents??
travelbunny is offline  
Jun 15th, 2004, 07:07 PM
  #13  
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Thanks for all the replies. I e-mailed the thread to my daughter, and it should get her thinking and planning. I'm sure she will listen to your advice before crediting mine, what with being her mother and all.
Suki is offline  

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