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14 replies
travelling under 18?
princess_leah
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i’m going to europe next summer after i graduate from highschool. i’m trying to find someone to go with me, but it’s not looking too bright. also, i’ll only be 17 when i leave. do you think this will cause any problems as i won’t be an "adult" yet? especially if i might be travelling alone?

JonDD
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Yes it will. I traveled with a few friends from MN to British Columbia to ski. A few of my friends were under 18 and had to have notarized letters from their parents saying they had permission to leave the country. It was a big pain! Everything takes more time. You can do it but there is red tape to get through.

JonDD
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Something else I forgot to tell you is that a lot of the hostels will not allow people under 18.

princess_leah
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oh no!! would the hostels accept a notarized note? or do they simply not ever allow ANYONE under 18??? ahh this is terrible! but i suppose nothing will stop me from getting to europe! who cares how long it takes, i’ll get there eventually!!!

JonDD
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I would look into it a little more in depth before giving up now. I would call or email a few hostels to see what their rules are in the cities you are staying in. Like I said it is doable it just might be a little harder for you especially traveling alone.

LostgirlfromSin...
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Hi princess_leah. I travelled to United Kingdom alone when i was 16 and have got no problems with immigration. And i was staying with families so my accomodation is settled. I think its advisable for you to bring notorized letters from your parent. I also agree with Jon. Dont be discourage by this. Acting older than 17 actually helps too. Good Luck

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Some hostels have a policy of no one under 16, which would work fine for you. You’ll just have to do a bit of investigation.

LEX
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Age really isn’t as big a deal in Europe as it is in U.S & Canada. I have never heard of anyone being denied a hostel bed because they were too young and I have met numerous 16 &17 yr old travelers in Europe.
I think if you get yourself a notarized letter (the airlines sometimes require minors flying w/o parents to have one signed by both parents now anyway)and an international student id ISIC card (can’t hurt)and don’t act or look like a run-away 13year old you’ll be fine!

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I did stay at a hostel which had an 18 – 35 age limit.

karz
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princess_leah my friends and i are planning a trip next summer to europe after we graduate from highschool as well. we have the same problem as you. i think two of us will be 17. how far a long are you in your planning?

princess_leah
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karz,
well i’m not too far in my planning…all i really know is that i definatly want to be in france most of the time, and possibly italy…but basically everything is wide open my aunt has some contacts in france that i may be staying with, and i have a friend in belgium that will let me stay with her. other than that, though, i haven’t planned too much because i’m still looking for someone to go with me! my parents think that it wouldn’t be smart for me to go alone, so i’m searching high and low for someone. anyway, i’m planning on going in late june or early july and staying for…3 weeks or so, but it will really depend on how long i can AFFORD to stay..hahaha! how far are you in planning? when are you going? maybe we could meet up? my e-mail is lylelinel@yahoo.com i’m open to any suggestions!

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leah, being 17 will not be a problem at all!

My very first trip to Europe was at 17 as well. I went with a friend of mine who was also 17 at the time and we had no problems whatsoever. Never had to deal with the notarized letter thingy. All you need is a passport (duhSmile, ISIC card for discounts at museums etc. and a Hosteling International card if you prefer, but I didn’t find it to be much help since most of the hostels I found that offered a better deal weren’t a member of the organization. Granted my trip was back in ’97 but I highly doubt most of the hostel and airline policies have changed in regards to age limits. But to be certain, it’s probably best to reconfirm before you book.

happy travels!

ps. JonDD, you sure you had to have a notarized letter to get into BC? that seemed strange. I’ve been to BC many times when I was in my teens and never had to deal with that.

princess_leah
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melia,
thanks for the advice! if you have any more information/stories about your experiences, please e-mail me because i can use all the help that i can get! my e-mail: lylelinel@yahoo.com

JonDD
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Yup. I remember you had to have your parents write a letter get it notarized and have it with you.

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I’m 16 and I’m planning on going around Europe next year. I will also be 17 and travelling solo and my parents are the exact same. I don’t know any friends that want to go and I have no relatives in any other countries but I’m still going. Nothing can stop me. I’ve looked at a lot of information and it seems to me it’s better to do it this young because we can get youth discounts. I’ve done a lot of planning and the only problem I might have is if i want to work abroad.