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8 replies
help for a first timmer
Kathers
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Hi

Im 18 and just about out of high school. me and a friend of mine are traveling to europe for a month starting in May. We know where we want to go and what we want to do. the only problem is that our parents are incredibly worried. does anyone have any ideas about how to calm them? does anyone know any little groups that go through Italy and Greece? are we really that big of a target? and finaly what is your best tip to staying safe? I cant wait to go weve already got tickets so no matter what Im going to england. I just need to get my parents on board with the idea of going it with just one other. help lol.

Kathers

carli07
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Your best bet is to educate yourself, and then educate your parents on your plans. They sound a little sketchy right now, so that’s proably why they’re a little worried. Plan your itinerary and show it to them, research the places your planning on staying, how you’re getting there and show them that you know what you’re doing and why they shouldn’t be concerned.

Show them that you have common sense and they should be a little more relaxed. As for staying safe, again, use common sense, wear a money belt, or seperate your money and passport into different areas on you and in your backpack. Wear a purse (if you want to wear a purse) with a zipper and a flap, and wear it with the flap facing youself with the strap across your chest and pickpockets will have a hard time pickpoketing you. Don’t get shitfaced at the clubs, if it’s just the two of you, there are dodgy men everywhere and two single drunk girls will stand out. Befriend some more people at the hostels you stay at, and even though it sounds sexist, if you have a guy or two around you, the local men will tend to leave you alone.

Do a search on this site and on the net in general for more specific info, and have fun!

nicoleg
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Hi Kathers, Im 21 and my parents are worried sick about me going. Im going on my own, which I can understand why they are worried, but I wouldnt be going if I didnt feel safe to do so.
When I started organising my trip, I showed and explained everything to them, Ive done alot of research on different places. Im also doing Busabout, which is full of people travelling on their own, which eased the worry alot too.

Just make sure they know where you are going, go buy them their own guide book so they can read about where you are going. Im sure they will be fine, they are parents after all, and the job is to worry about us Kids!

Hope everything goes well and you have a great trip! I know I will

Minx04
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Hey nicoleg…was just wondering when you’re going? I’m also 21 and travelling on my own with Busabout but not till July…

nicoleg
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Hey Minx04 Im leaving on May 9th and return in late August. What about you? Send me an email if you like, nicoleg@deakin.edu.au

sparks
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key for women travellers
be aware be vigilant and dont be afraid to feel afraid cos it may save u in a situation

when u walk …walk with confidence..dont look lost …walk fast …and look around u …make guys aware that u know ur being looked at..most look for a hapless looking chick

getting drunk is dangerous…ur guard is down ….be careful what u say and how u act…many europeans just take it for granted that sex is on the cards if u get into smiley small talk…

i was hassled by hostel guys…guys who worked there…id be careful not to make them upset…not to emasculate them or act rude..usually id pretend i didnt understand them …thats when the vague act can work..but they can be persistent

if i felt threatened id pretend i was talking on my cell phone…to a guy ..as if im meeting him any second…

or go into a shop or pretend i was with a crowd of other people

i always worked out a route so id not get lost

even in some villages itd be creepy..walking along a roadside
with the odd car going by
sometimes id cross the road

i have done lots of things on my own…i am not a strong woman but i am always on guard…always got it at the back of my mind that i can be a target…

being blonde doesnt help in some countries …. but if u have that self assured look about u u can lessen ur chances of being hassled…

make sure u have good comfortable shoes on

carry a whistle or a key on a chain with u

chances are nothing will ever happen but in ur mums mind every day ur away is a risk for her baby!
sms regularly to keep her happy

i had lots of hassle talk from arabic men in london…what is with them? in macdonalds…in cafes…anywhere! aggressive and short fused

i learnt to avoid boy gangs…just got sick of not knowing if id be left in peace…mind u …i never ever wore anything but comfortable clothing..nothing revealing or inappropriate and short

sometimes girls just get in over their heads.dd u start to enjoy the attention but when it turns dangerous we get stuck…

if u can find a mixed group of people to hang with its good but remember: guys, if they have a thing for u, can turn ugly and if they think u have led them on …even if nothing is actually done..they can really behave badly
enjoy ur trip
let us know how it went

chryscrazy
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I got a whistle and put it on the strap of my money belt so I could access it easily. I didn’t use it at all, but it made my mom happy. Just be very aware of your surroundings, but without looking nervous. If you see a pickpocket with their eye on you, let them know you know they are there. I wouldn’t reccomend a purse at all. I used a money belt that I wore over my shoulder like a purse most of the time, but I put it inside my shirt while on subways and in subway stations.

Jester
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Sparks has good advice, but it would make me think Europe is a lot more dangerous than it is… Take into account all that advice. Chances are you’ll be fine, but it takes one moment for us to get into a messy situation, so just be aware and don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home. Don’t do anything stupid either, like taking a shortway back to the hostel through a dark alley, you know, that kind of stuff.

Usually people you meet at hostels are very helpful in the sense that they are going through the same stuff you’re going through. Traveling alone, unknown country, feeling nervous, etc. Go to clubs with guys from the hostel, most will keep an eye on you, but don’t rely on that, take care of yourself. And TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Listen to yourself, if you get a bad feeling about something, then avoid it. I’d rather go home visiting one less place than not coming home at all.

As for your parents, you’ll have to deal with that. When I decided I was going to Europe, I told my mom and she said "you’re not going". I was 27 at the time, and she insisted on that. Later she talked to my dad who said "You’re not going". But after two weeks of me talking about my plans and all the things I was about to do and see, my mom got really excited about me going, fulfilling her dreams. She didn’t admit it right away, though.

I remember I called her twice or three times a week, and she would ask: "where are you? You haven’t been eating properly, have you? Are you eating meat and veggies?" and one day she explained to me that she trusted me and knew I was smart enough not to do stupid things, but she’ll always worry about me because that’s what mothers do. That’s their job.

Just show your parents you’re smart, you’re doing your research, you’re mature and above all, how badly you want to go, they’ll probably still be worried, but when you comeback, they’ll have a different vision of you.

sparks
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Jester ur right..and nothing bad has ever really happened to me on my travels…some sweaty times…yes but nothing tragic…

it might sound like im making out that europe is dangerous..
its not really the true locals that threaten u

its the migrant labour….the workers in and around the hostel- that inner city population of men

its like anywhere
u go to the inner city spots of sydney and ull get hassled not in the suburbs where normal folk ) lol live ..although some suburbs are getting distinctly hostile towards aussies
when u stay in london ull see so many foreigners ..so many migrants..hey im fine with that..absolutely fine…im from migrant stock like most every one in australia!!

but what is alive and well is the ole machismo…that ugly thread that runs thru some guys…where women count for little esp if ur an anglo saxon looking girl…they seem to be concentrated in the touristy spots ..piccadilly for instance…its not the old londoner thats gonna accost u

in fact we talked to an english hobo on a park bench ..he was the only one who could tell us where dianas walk was lol…he had a beautiful educated accent and a great vocab ..pity about the drinking habits!!…not one "suit" could tell us a thing however…

melting pot countries are the ones to be wary of… its where SOME people lose their real identity ….i can guess how ud feel-
ur not in ur homeland..ur host country isnt exactly accepting u …ur education is lacking… ur getting only menial employment..ur outlook is bleak…u hang out with ur kind..u hate the world at times…u take it out on the weak ( like women) in cowardly ways to validate ur manhood…
travel and enjoy urself…

dont let it be a deterrant..otherwise they achieve the power theyre seeking but just follow those hairs on the back of neck and that pounding lil heart!