travel advice & savings
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Understand Your Parents
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Hello Solo Women Travelers,
After running student tours to Europe for 13 years with mostly young women with the average being 17 – 25 years of age and after posting and reading many posts on this web site, I thought I would write you a few notes and suggestions.

Please understand that your parents are just being parents and someday, you will do the same. Parents are very protective of their daughters, that they love so much, when they are wanting to leave the nest outside of their protection zone. Remember they were your age at one time and they know what we guys are like. They know many guys in hostels (not all of them), want to add a notch on their belt or an entry in their journal of another female they have had sex with on their Eurotrip for bragging rights when they return home. They don’t want you to be that girl after a few drinks either. It seems like every day in the USA, the news reports another single woman has disappeared. A large percentage of the time, they are found dumped in a roadside ditch or buried in a shallow grave, a parent’s worst nightmare. This is why your parents don’t sleep at night till you return safe and sound back to the nest. A few years ago a student studying abroad was caught in a freak snowstorm in London on her way to one of the airports to meet her girlfriend. The rumor is that a bum had hassled her for money and a stranger came to her rescue. Since all transportation was shut down, somehow she agreed to share the cost of a room with this total stranger. SHE NEVER WOKE UP THE NEXT MORNING! Strangled to death by this stranger she trusted. This is one of many stories along with Natalie Hollaway (18 year old disappeared in Aruba while on a senior grad trip with friends and teachers) that scares the hell out of your parents that have busted their ass to raise you for the past 18 years or so.
Now hopefully you understand why your parent’s are protective.
If you want to travel solo, you have to prove to your parents you are capable of travelling alone and you can handle any situation and you have read every post on this site and read the chapter in every guide book at the bookstore regarding women travelling alone and the travel tips for each city that you visit. Also look up the travel warnings on the web site. This is not to scare you, but it will educate you on what has happen in the past and what can happen to you and how to prevent it. Don’t be paranoid – BE AWARE, BE INFORMED, BE ALERT, BE VIGILANT, BE IN CONTROL and have the time of your life!

If I was your parent, I would make you type up a mini guidebook and detailed itinerary on every place you plan to visit with maps of each city with the hostel and sites highlighted. Every guide book tells you of areas to avoid at night or even in the daytime. List every site you want to visit with admission hours, prices, discounts, location on the map and how to get to there if public transportation is needed. I would require bookings in female only dorm rooms in the # 1 hostels. I would require that you type up a list of how travelers get pick pocketed and how to prevent it. I would have you show me how the railpass works and that you understand the timetable book and how to look up train schedules on the web sites. I would make sure you are prepared and have called your bank regarding pin codes, use of cards in Europe, etc. I would require a calendar of your travel plan listing all trains and hostel names, addresses and phone numbers and all bank card information and pin codes. I would instruct you to meet and get other travelers to join you and visit the sites especially at night, safety in numbers. I would ask you “what if” questions and see how you respond. (example, a guy brings over a drink he purchased for you, what do you say and do? A train strike happens, what do you do?, Where do you sleep? and many others. I would have you type up a list of do’s and don’ts. I would have you type up a packing list and see what stuff you can leave at home. I would ask that you understand what drink spiking is, how it is done and so much more! What do you do when you visit a bar and guys are pressuring you to drink more and do multiple shots with them. Because of my vast travel experience, I have seen it all in Europe and dealt with many problems with young travelers. Unfortunately many of your parents have never been to Europe and are afraid of what happens outside their community or they have been to Europe and they don’t want you to do what they did in Europe at your age. Times have changed since they went. They need reassurance that you can handle your own especially since you do not have a friend watching your back, especially in bars. Educate yourself so you are not easy prey for the scum that exist in every city. When you return, please post any problems or advice so others can learn from your experience. I wish you Happy & Safe Travels!

lookingxforxharmony's profile picture
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My mother is a bit simple-minded and refuses to let me go until I move out. I’ll be moving out when I graduate and have been preparing for two years, I graduate in another two. So I shall be muy prepared

I am leaving from Panama City, FL with $3200 for 44 days
Dublin, London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Rome, Venice, Florence, Barcelona
I am leaving from Atlanta, GA with $5800 for 55 days
Dublin, London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Rome, Venice, Florence, Santorini, Rhodes, Barcelona
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Sights
oldlady's profile picture
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I have to say I’m in agreement with the “after you move out” theory. I think a kid should have a year away from home and/or be financially independent before they take off on a solo eurotrek.

saolan's profile picture
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Thank you very much for posting that. Almost people love to travel and explore new places, new things, especially for young people. I also had such problems with my parents. When I was a teenager, I would like to travel to further places with my close-girlfriends without our parents. However, my parents had objected my request immediately and I had to stay at home with full of sadness. I was too difficult to accept that my parents had treated with me like that and then I compared them with my friends’ parents. I felt that I didn’t have any freedom and wasn’t trusted by my parents. These problems are repeated a lot of times after that and I feel terribly angry with my parents. And until now, I am 23 years old but my parents still see me as a child, and always refuse to permit me to travel with friends. Although I also feel very sad, I understand my parents more. Almost all trips that I have are with my family. They often tell me that when I get married, I may travel with my husband whenever I want. You know why? Because in my country, beside worries about their children who can face up to dangerous things from the outside as you mentioned above, the parents also have the responsibility to keep their children from being abused for virginity. The virginity affects not only the honor of a family life but also the happiness of that girl. In my opinion, I think this is such a real injustice, but it is my country’s culture. Therefore, if I become a mother later, I also have the responsibility to protect my children with my own way. Anyways, I always love my parents and thank them for everything.

Tourism is a wonderful thing and exploring over the world is a worth interesting thing, but we should prepare carefully for our trips, so that we can have many good memories and avoid unnecessary bad effects. And I’m also trying to make more trips to other new lands.

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