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teenage daughter 16yrs old travelling to Portugal with friend.

(102 Posts)
toots7 Thu 18-Apr-13 01:14:15

Hi everyone I am new to this, iam divorced over 10yrs have a beautiful 16 year old daughter who wants to go to Portugal to stay with relatives, by the way my daughter lives with her mum I have her every 2 weeks for the weekend. I don't have a problem with my daughter going to Portugal, even though of course I will be worried. The problem is someone has told my daughter it would be an adventure to go by coach stopping off at Paris for a few hours then catching another coach to end the journey in Portugal. At 16 year old I would prefer her to go directly by airline with a friend as mentioned. For some strange reason her mum doesn't seem to mind how she travels and seems unconcerned. Please help me Portugal will be worry enough, , but the thought of my daughter and her 16yr old friend negotiating the route scares me witless. AM I RIGHT OR WRONG TO DEMAND THAT SHE CAN GO.......BUT ONLY BY AIRLINE???.........Many Thanks.

exoticfruits Thu 18-Apr-13 11:23:05

We don't know how near 17yrs she is, but even if she is just turned 16yrs the most she has is 24 months to travel anywhere as an adult -and it could be down to as little as 13 months. This seems a good way to give her experience in a limited, fairly safe way. I can't see the point in over protecting and then waving them off to Peru or Thailand in a year and a half, if they want to go and can afford it.

toots7 Thu 18-Apr-13 12:11:48

Thank you amberleaf for reminding some folk that my daughter at 16 would still need parental consent to get married, ,join the army etc.......people, please, this is my daughter, yes she's mature and she will be with another 16yr old.....But neither have travelled abroad on their own. .......I am quite happy her going to Portugal, which by the way is brave enough for any parent and shows I am not stunting her independence, , but a long coach trip I feel is totally unnecessary at this stage, surely some ofyou can see that??......

LittleEdie Thu 18-Apr-13 12:15:57

But what do you think will happen if she goes by coach?

But why exactly are you concerned about her travelling by coach? What do you think will happen on a coach?

hellsbells76 Thu 18-Apr-13 12:18:28

She's not hitchhiking around Helmand Province. She's getting a coach to a European destination, waiting a bit, and getting a coach to another one, where she'll be staying with family. I fail to see how you 'allowing' her a trip like this is 'brave' on your part: a 16 year old should be quite capable of undertaking that if she's been brought up to have any sense at all. What exactly is your problem with a coach trip? The biggest drawback, as some have said, is that it's going to be dull as all hell, and long, and will eat into the time she could be having fun in Portugal.

jacks365 France Thu 18-Apr-13 12:30:19

Just a thought who is funding the trip? You, then that gives you a right to insist where your money is spent if not then you can say you are not happy but you can't insist. Unfortunately we do need to let go, there are a couple of 16 year olds living in hall's of residence and totally fending for themselves at my Dd1's university they manage fine.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 18-Apr-13 12:33:44

Neither has travelled abroad on their own, got to be a first time? Can you not discuss this with her mother, I get the feeling you think she is being very cavalier about this. She must feel she can trust your daughter to be sensible. Watching out for personal safety and keeping valuables safe is the same whether your teen is travelling 100s of miles abroad or visiting a UK city or different part of the country.

a long coach trip I feel is totally unnecessary at this stage, surely some ofyou can see that??......

As you are new to this please understand, posters are likely to come on and give other views, they are taking your concerns seriously and giving you answers, (just not what you wanted to hear).

sweetestcup Thu 18-Apr-13 12:34:07

16 Year olds can't get married or join the army without parental consent

16 year olds can get married without parental consent in Scotland Amber and Toots actually.

toots7 Thu 18-Apr-13 12:35:13

Little Eddie, I have no idea what will happen if she goes by coach...........probably nothing. ....But I worry and care for my daughter just like all the parents on mumsnet.... I know it is irrational, and I can follow all the rules in the book so hopefully she will be safe..........But the toss-up between a direct flight or a coach journey for a first timer at 16.....really?,do I have to spell it out. ....like I keep being reminded, soon she will be 18.....she WILL and SHOULD be able to do what she likes, But it won't stop me worrying or love her less. ......I hope this comes across ok, am not having a go at you. ..... yours was a legitimate question, , thank you.

hellsbells76 Thu 18-Apr-13 12:43:51

'probably nothing' - well, what's the issue then? No one's suggesting you don't love your daughter, but she's almost an adult. It's time to start letting her make her own choices, and her own mistakes. The coach trip sounds like hell on earth to me compared to a nice comfy quick flight, and she'll probably realise that herself a few hundred miles in, but that's the thing about growing up - you do sometimes ill-advised stuff and you learn from the experience. (fond memories of Glastonbury '92 as a 16 year old - now some of the things I saw and did there would have given my parents kittens but they recognised that I was old enough to go off and make my own daft mistakes and (hopefully) learn from them.) This seems like a pretty safe way of letting your DD spread her wings to me.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 18-Apr-13 12:48:17

Talk to your daughter as an adult.Discuss your fears with her and come up with plan Bs for all situations together.

You will both be happier for it

LadyBeagleEyes Thu 18-Apr-13 12:48:35

I hitched round Europe at 17.
She'll be fine, it's an adventure.

Gerrof Thu 18-Apr-13 12:49:00

It is hard OP letting go. Yes it is perfectly normal to worry but your worries and anxieties shouldn't stop your daughter spreading her wings.

currentbuns Thu 18-Apr-13 12:51:06

Well, when I was 16-17 I was at boarding school. In the holidays, I undertook all sorts of trips unaccompanied, including train trips from Zurich to Paris with a two hour break in Basel or somewhere similar, a coach trip the length of France and a couple of round-the-world flights. On each occasion I was met/collected at the other end. I found all of these experiences very exciting and great confidence-builders. Looking back, I am so grateful that my parents made an accurate and positive judgement as to my common sense/ability to undertake these journeys alone.
I realise that it is a parent's instinct to be protective, but sometimes you really do have to let go. Your dd's mother clearly believes she is capable of undertaking this trip, and I would assume she is in the best position to judge. If you stand in the way of your dd'd plans - particularly by insinuating that she is immature/not responsible enough to travel on the coach, she will only end up resenting you.

You will worry about her for your whole life, thats a parents job, but its unfair to stop her doing things because of the way you feel about them.

WilsonFrickett Thu 18-Apr-13 12:53:31

I left home when I was 17.... just sayin'

If you're ok with the trip generally, I really don't see why the coach is the stumbling block. Which leads me to think that you're actually not OK with the trip, and keeping control of the method of travelling will make you feel like you have some element of control/say/comfort. Which is not a criticism AT ALL! I totally understand why you would feel that way. The thing is, your 16 yo isn't going to understand.

The thing she might understand though is the length of time it will take her to get there. Sitting on a bus for days isn't fun for anyone, have you tried that approach with her? How long will the coach journey take vs the plane? That's time she won't be spending on the beach wink

EldritchCleavage Thu 18-Apr-13 13:10:14

Long coach trip-fine. Hectic stop-off in Paris with ample scope for mishaps especially missing onward coach to Portugal-much less fine.

I think, unless she is very sensible and unflappable, that having to cross Paris for another coach or train, while not dangerous, just introduces a whole load of things that could go wrong.

So I'd encourage her to travel non-stop (by whatever means). You could sweeten the pill by (i) pointing out she'd get more holiday time; and (ii) offering to take her to Paris on another occasion.

5Foot5 Thu 18-Apr-13 13:20:36

Long coach trip-fine. Hectic stop-off in Paris with ample scope for mishaps especially missing onward coach to Portugal-much less fine.

Agreed. She will probably stand out a mile as a tourist and be an easy target for pickpockets. Don't want to be alarmist but who is going to be sorting out the mess when she has her mobile phone, passport and all her money stolen in the few hours she is in Paris. Think I am joking? I have been to Paris three times as an adult and on two of those occasions I have been the victim of pickpockets - and yet I did think I was being security concious and taking reasonable care but they work in organised gangs and are terribly good at what they do.

My DD is 17 and I would be unhappy about that trip soley because of the Paris stopover. A direct flight fair enough.

slhilly Thu 18-Apr-13 13:31:22

5Foot5, the plural of anecdote is not data. Just because you've been pickpocketed twice in Paris doesn't mean this person is going to be, even if they are 16.

exoticfruits Thu 18-Apr-13 13:32:07

Of course everyone loves their DCs and would worry about them- it doesn't mean that you stop them doing what is a very safe option, a coach trip in Europe. It is only changing coaches in Paris that is the difficulty, putting her on one end and off the other wouldn't be a problem. Maybe after she has done long distance coach she won't want to do it again - she won't know unless she does it.
You can't stay at home in case you meet pickpockets. Sticking close to a parent doesn't mean you are safe! Discuss what to do if it should happen.

Feminine Thu 18-Apr-13 13:37:30

My eldest is only 14, but I understand where you are coming from op

A direct thing is already enough worry grin

I traveled masses from 18 on my own, that is why I don't have a laid back way about it today! wink

YANBU ~ how you fix things though is another matter.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 18-Apr-13 13:49:07

I said in my first post, I would have reservations, but depending on their maturity, it could be a great milestone trip.

Surely if the girls are going, drum into them what to do if a particular scenario takes place, don't use fear of what-if to put them off trying something new.

WilsonFrickettmay have hit on the answer anyway, if debating the merits of coach travel vs a direct air trip, point out That's time she won't be spending on the beach.

It may be that the girls never expected their suggestion to be taken seriously, and they themselves were only angling to be allowed to fly to Portugal alone.

PS Lots of European cities have a reputation for pickpockets and scams, if you read of this kind of activity in Paris or Barcelona, do you cancel the trip, or exercise more care?

An unfortunate experience that happens to one person - even 3 times - won't necessarily befall another person.

Skybore Thu 18-Apr-13 14:01:24

I travelled a lot in my youth, Inter-railing round Europe at age 16 with a pal, on my own age 17. Amsterdam like a magnet, cool Paris, Munich Beer Festival, Yugoslavia only a few years before chaos ensued etc etc... And yes, many missed connections and incidents, getting lost, couldn't find digs after alighting at Marseille rail station at 11pm, many more. I had left school and had a job, and my parents trusted me, and also worried.
My girls are 15 and 17 now and I have already encouraged their independance in terms of travel. i.e. T-in-the -park, Edin-London, hostels for a few nights, red eye bus trip, etc. All character building stuff, life experience, with risk included as in all aspects of life. And I trust them and I worry, always will I should think.

I see you're ok about the trip as a flight which is good (some parents would not even allow that), please don't get hung up on the Paris bit as you will fall out over it.
MissyMoo above said it too...

chocoluvva Thu 18-Apr-13 14:06:01

London is also horrendous for pickpockets.

Spread their money, passport, mobile, around - don't keep it all in one bag.

Give them a map of Paris with the British Embassy marked on it!

I think it sounds fine at 16. I went travelling around Malaysia at 16, it was fine.

If you're worried you could talk through what to do if she, for example, she misses her coach, looses her passport or has her money pickpocketed. You can't always avoid these setbacks, as long as she knows what to do she'll be ok.

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