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Companion

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Companion

I’m a senior in college who hopes to travel/backpack the world during recesses (Winter, Spring, and Summer).

My biggest problem is that I have no friends who would be down for really cheap hostels/food, lots of walking, and everything else I have in mind.

So I made a decision—I’d go alone. Unfortunately, my parents said “No way. Too dangerous.”

So my question is what should I do?

The obvious answer was to find a travel program. But I’m deadest against this. The whole point of my trip is freedom. Plus the programs are expensive.

So I came up with a second idea. Use Facebook. Find people from my college who I can meet up with at various points. But my college is small so this is impractical.

Somerset
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for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
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1. Re: Companion

Now that's a tricky one Quest! As we on here who are older an parents are always advising against picking strangers at random from the internet. So here are some ideas you could think about and put to your parents.

A companion could be a bore, clingy or not want to do the same things, a stranger could steal from you or get you into trouble. There are no end of ways why I don't chose to travel even with my friends. They'd be a nightmare much as I love them.

Could you have a detailed itinerary & map that shows them where you are going, that you have chosen safe places to stay and visit. That you have your documents and valuables secure. Could you set up skype and speak to them every other day - yes it's a bore but if it get you what you want it would be worth it.

Be sure you have an emergeny policy in case your money/cards are stolen, if you should be ill on your travels, know the address and phone number of every embassy where you are going.

I can quite see their concern and it is justified. But if you have been thorough in your planning maybe they would think twice?

Perhaps you could post your itinerary on here so we could take a look and give advice.

.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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2. Re: Companion

Hi,

I think you should wait until you graduate and can start making decisions on your own about how to travel. IF you stay in hostels you will be meeting other young travelers from around the world and won't really be alone for long. If you are still needing your parent's permission for this trip then I think you are too young to do it.

3. Re: Companion

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Somerset
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
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4. Re: Companion

That sounds like advertising to me. It is an Asian site. Don't think parents in the USA would be too happy. No contact address or up front convincing blurb.

Illinois
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5. Re: Companion

Question, where are you planning to travel? As you plan on going during school breaks, you won't really be able to see "the world" as it's just too big. Perhaps start with somewhere your parents would be more comfortable with. I spent 6 months in England just after I graduated from college (university to the rest of the world) and went by myself.

Obviously, I don't know your parents, but I'd be more likely to approve of my daughter traveling alone if she were going to somewhere I thought would be safe. For example, if she wanted to go to rural Africa, I would prefer she go with some sort of group. Also, if she had come up with a plan that showed me she had enough money for the trip, had considered safety, and had researched well that would make me more likely to approve. Not that she technically needs my approval after she's 18, unless she wants me to pay for it.

I agree that showing them you have arranged a way in advance to contact them regularly might also help. My daughter is 15 now, and when she's out with her friends she's supposed to text me when she moves locations. (Like when she leaves school, when she gets to a restaurant, when she's leaving for home.) It doesn't interfere much with what she is doing, and that way I know she's ok. I think Skype or email is the best way to communicate from overseas, but you can get prepaid cell phones where texting or calling to the US is not that expensive, so that's also an option.

kent
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for Kent, Solo Travel
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6. Re: Companion

Question66, If your parents are worried about your travel plans, they may just be concerned that this is a step too far too early, and perhaps there are things you could do to reassure them.

I'd suggest taking some local solo trips to start with. Once you have done all your researching, planning, budgetting and then returned safely, you and your parents may all feel more assured that longer and more distant trips are not so worrying.

It would help to set and stick to some ground rules, like keeping in contact, not undertaking dangerous sports/activities and organising firm departure and return dates too.

You could find that there are some aspects of solo travel that you're not comfortable with, such as eating alone, meeting strangers and what to do in the evenings. So you'll need to develope coping strategies too.

Once you have first hand experience of solo travelling, you can make better informed decisions about all the practicalities of further and maybe longer travels, hopefully with the enthusiastic support of your family. BTW.... what ever your age and gender, nearly every solo traveller has probably met some resistance from their families...but sharing travel plans and good communications do go some way in reassuring friends and family that solo travel is manageable and safe.

7. Re: Companion

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