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16 years, where to travel ?

Amman, Jordan
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16 years, where to travel ?

Hello,

I am a 16 years old male teenager, and I want to travel to Europe in January alone, where do you think is the safest place in Europe for me to travel to solo ? Looking forward to your answers.

ThankYou,

Hamad Nabulsi - Amman, Jordan

Massachusetts
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1. Re: 16 years, where to travel ?

Hi Hamad,

I noticed that you posted this question in the Europe forum -- unfortunately, it is unlikely that you would have received a reply, as very few of our members attempt to follow threads there. So, I have moved your question to the Solo Travel forum, as a starting point to garner some suggestions about safe solo travel for a 16 year old in European cities/countries.

It will help others if you mention any destinations in Europe that you have already visited, or any cities/countries you have already decided are NOT of interest to you for this specific trip. You might also mention if you speak any European languages other than English, what your personal interests and preferences are in traveling, for example: do you tend to head straight for the local museums? or wander around taking photos of antique or modern architecture? biking? sun/beach/outdoor adventures? Will you be staying in hotels? Hostels? Couch surfing through airbnb?

I know my daughter (who was 16 at the time) loved Dublin, London and Paris, and when we were in those cities she went off on her own on multiple occasions and neither of us felt uncomfortable about her safety. As with travel to any city, at any age, you need to keep your wits about you, make sure you are not putting yourself in situations that could be dangerous -- don't flash a lot of cash in public spaces, don't wander dark streets at night alone, make sure you get advice from our forum members about areas that should definitely be avoided.

I hope you find the information you need to plan your upcoming travels.

Kind regards,

TA_Jane

TripAdvisor Support Team

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: 16 years, where to travel ?

Very generally speaking, the further north, the safer. Scandinavia is super safe. In London and Amsterdam and Berlin you can also walk around after dark without problems so long as you don't do stupid things (like getting really drunk and then taking money from an atm in the middle of the night).

You main concern is pickpocketing. Always hide money, debit and credit cards under your clothes and valuables well inside a bag that is not easy to open without you noticing. Don't carry your wallet or smartphone in an (easy to) open back pocket of your trousers or rucksack.

Crowded and / or touristy places are popular amongst pickpockets.

Things also go missing on overnight trains and in hostels, so buy special travel locks. And find hostels that have safes for your valuables. (You may need a padlock of your own.)

Other than that, don't worry and choose countries that appeal to you and that fit your budget. Climate could also be a factor.

Have fun!

Cecilia

http://cile.home.xs4all.nl/

San Diego
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3. Re: 16 years, where to travel ?

Hi

It would be very unusual for a 16year old from here in the USA to just go off to Europe on their own! They'd go to visit relatives or on a school exchange program or on a Teen Tour but they wouldn't just go by themselves! I am surprised to see your post and find it difficult to believe your family would think this is a good idea.

Amman, Jordan
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233 posts
113 reviews
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4. Re: 16 years, where to travel ?

First of all how nice and thoughtful of you to change the forum subject, thank you very much. And second of all, I do not mind to visit any country in Europe, the only concern is safety. Also I like wandering around and taking pics of things and also I do like biking but not my main objective behind traveling. As for the languages, I speak arabic, English and German. ThankYou so much,

Sincerely Yours,

Hamad Nabulsi

Amsterdam, The...
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5. Re: 16 years, where to travel ?

@ Riff M, I went on holiday with friends (without my parents) when I was 17, my sister was 16 when she first did that. And I went to Rome for a one month Italian course by myself when I was 19.

I have noticed that Americans are much more (overly?) protective and feel scared to let their kids take their own responsibilities and basically grow up.

Certainly not every 16 year old is cut out for traveling solo but there are also plenty of 16 year olds who are very mature.

There was even the Dutch girl who sailed around the entire world solo on her 15th (which was controversial in the Netherlands not so much because of her age but because of skipping obligatory schooling). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Dekker

Europe is swarming with young solo travellers of about 17-18, and probably some 16 year olds too.

@ Hamad, some hostels might require you to be 18 or up, I guess that is something to look into beforehand.

Edited: 16 September 2013, 14:50
Amman, Jordan
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233 posts
113 reviews
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6. Re: 16 years, where to travel ?

Hello All,

I'm considering two cities, Helsinki and Zurich, what do you advice ? In terms of weather, scenery, etcetera.

Kind Regards,

Hamad Nabulsi

Amman, Jordan
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7. Re: 16 years, where to travel ?

@ RIFF M, Europe from my country (Amman-Jordan) is 2-5 hrs by plane so the idea here is not as hard as it is in the US.

San Diego
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8. Re: 16 years, where to travel ?

It is not the distance but the idea of teens that age in another country on their own which is totally alien to me. In fact here in the USA you wouldn't be able to check into a hotel at that age and most hostels wouldn't want you either.

Going for a course at 19 would be perfectly normal here as would a 16year old who went for a course as well. It is just the idea of wandering alone without the structure of a course or something like that which would not be a good idea to my way of thinking.

IF it is normal in Europe then of course others will be better at giving advice than I!

Edited: 16 September 2013, 15:18
Amsterdam, The...
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9. Re: 16 years, where to travel ?

@ Riff those holidays to France and such at 17 (and my sister at 16) were not structured or course-bound. Lots of parents give their kids a loose leash which makes them learn from their mistakes and feel more responsible.

@ Hamad, I have not been to Helsinki or Zurich. I imagine they are both pretty cold and snowy in winter but that could be enjoyable. In Finland you even have a chance of seeing northern lights. Both those destinations are pretty expensive when it comes to accommodation and eating.

Amman, Jordan
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10. Re: 16 years, where to travel ?

@ Cecile, do you have any idea about hotels accepting young accommodaters ? Also any tips ? Thanx