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Teenage Daughter Traveling to Europe with School - Any Tips?

Teenage Daughter Traveling to Europe with School - Any Tips?

Old Jan 16th, 2005, 06:55 AM
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Teenage Daughter Traveling to Europe with School - Any Tips?

My 16 y.o. daughter is traveling with 49 girls and 5 chaperones on a school trip to Salzburg, Lucerne, Bologna and Rome. She has traveled to Europe 7 times before, but always with me. I'm wondering if anyone out there who has dealt with one of these school trips has any tips for me. I am very nervous to say the least. Thanks!
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Hi charlie,

That's a fairly low ratio of student to chaperones.

Open a bank account for her. Give her an ATM card that is good for ATM only - not also useable as a debit card.

Give her a credit card.

Give her into the hands of the teachers and let them do the worrying.



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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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I went to Europe with my school when I was 16 as well. I went to Paris, Versailles, Madrid and Toldeo. We had one chaperone for the 7 of us. It was my first time going without my parents and I did perfectly fine. I wouldn't worry. I would follow Ira's advice with the ATM card and credit card. She'll be fine, no need to worry.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Ira and MMMichelle: Thanks for the good advice. Charlieg
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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..I was a chaperone on 2 trips..It was a choir trip and the kids were 8-18..I had the little ones but obviously at team meetings I heard about the exploits of the older group. I think the ratio kids to chaperones is borderline but acceptable. I think it is imperative that the group meet with kids and parents(TOGETHER) before to outline rules and consequences. It is important that the parents understand these rules..some will find them more liberal and others less than rules at home. In addition, we had a "pocket money" limit so that all had a similar allowence and so that there were not large sums to worry about. 10 is fine when the group is doing a big organized activity but isnt so big during downtime..we tried to solve this by parking ourselves on a bench or cafe and literally giving the kids a radius up and down the block for shopping,,they had fun and we could let the doddlers doddle during this period..The most successful thing that we did (we learned the first time!) was that we gave the children packing limits. The day before the trip the kids had to bring their packed suitcases to a drop of point. We then made each of the children carry their case up and down a flight of stairs. If they couldnt we sent them home to repack (they had been given a warning!)..interesting- none of the boys had to go home but half of the girls had to repack..It save them huge problems..I am sure this will be a great trip. As a chaperone I was exhausted but thrilled that the kids had such a great time.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 01:56 PM
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With 7 prior trips to Europe your daughter is an old hand at travel and will be of great help to the chaperones. I did three trips to Europe with school groups at 15, 16 and 17 years old. I think she should have some familiarity with alcohol and its effects before she goes because there is no way that five chaperones can keep close tabs on 49 students! It will primarily be the good judgement of your daughter that keeps her out of trouble. In my trips most of the students did some drinking but there were only a few incidents of drunkeness.

These trips were great experiences for me and I am sure that this will be for your daughter.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 01:59 PM
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What a great idea to have a dry run with the luggage! When I went to school in Europe as a teenager, we learned to pack very carefully, as any overage of weight was packed up and sent back COD to parents back in the States. Usually, you couldn't even choose what you wanted sent back---and it was usually SHOES and stereos.
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Old Jan 18th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Travelbunny: The principal has limited them to one small bag and this will not be a problem for her because we always travel with 1 small bag.

Gavin: I do feel comfortable with her experience, as I have always let her figure out metro maps and street maps, make the ATM withdrawals, and find our way back to our hotels. I think that I am just worrying because I am a worrier. However, I do want to speak with her daily and I'm trying to figure the best way to do that. Thanks for your input.
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Old Jan 18th, 2005, 05:00 PM
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An item that I'd not be without is one of the under clothes passport/money holder. I'm always shocked by how trusting teens are with their possessions.

Also, I had a screaming fit when going on a winter trip and the kids had all packed their coats in the suitcases because they didn't want to carry them. I was surprised by how few had any "necessary" items packed in their carry on luggage!

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Old Jan 18th, 2005, 10:24 PM
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It sounds like your daughter should be pretty travel savey, including guarding her possessions ane her money. She'll be fine and you'll get through it..You mentioned you are a worrier. My neice was living and working in London a couple of years ago and my brother didn't sleep a wink til she got home. She had a great time, learned a lot, HE lived through it and she's heading off to Copenhagen for a year of school starting in August, and both she and my brother will live through that too!!!! LOL I understand your concern, so take a deep breath and try to relax. All will be well. Probably the best way to talk with her daily is cell phones maybe? Or set up a time for her to call you each day? My sister-in-law went on the internet and shopped around and got a pretty cheap calling plan to Europe. Something like .10 per minute..so anyway there are ways to stay in touch. Is this her first trip away "by herself"? My neice had never been away from home before she went to London and had just turned 18, hence her father's concern, but it was all well in the end.
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Old Jan 19th, 2005, 12:46 AM
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I'd say just accept the fact that when rules are in place on school trips, wherever the trip, they are there as a challenge for the kids to break them. That's the fun of it!

I'm not entirely sure how my teachers coped with me on the trips I went on. When I came back from Russia at 17 and told my mother what we'd been up to she had a fit - we spent time with black-marketeers, money-launderes, prostitutes, pimps, mercenaries etc - but she also quickly appreciated that those of us who broke the rules had a better appreciation of the country and the reality of Russian life than those of the group who behaved like sheep and just trudged from one museum to the next!

I'm assuming that you're from the US so I'll also suggest that a bit of an alcohol chat could be in order. It will be wholly unrealistic for you to think that she and her friends aren't going to sneak off to a bar (or maybe that's just in my experience!). So there's little point telling her not to drink when it's freely available for her to buy for the first time, just make sure that she doesn't drink so much that she gets caught. Or ends up in hospital - teachers don't like dealing with that.

Sounds like a great trip and don't worry, thousands of trips like these take place every year and with little incident worth mentioning.
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Old Jan 19th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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..just a quick reply..Your daughter will be fine..re the luggage, even though we said small and gave them a clothing list we still had issues with some of the girls..re communication home..before you even start thinking about this, I would suggest you check with the school..We had a very strict policy..no cells and no incoming calls except for emergencies..those calls came through a 24 hour contact "at home" and were forwarded to our cell. I am NOT suggesting that this be the policy in your case but I do think there needs to be a well thought out policy..remember there are 49 kids and almost 100 parents! I would again suggest a meeting with school, kids and parents asap with issues outlines so that there is only one party line and full understanding..oh yes and alcohol will be on the agenda! A news letter isnt enough! If it is a residential school get the kids, organizers and chaperones in one room with a conference call to parents if you cant manage to get them all together..This cant be done the week they leave (..though may be a second meeting then)..good luck!!
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