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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.

hellsbells76 Thu 18-Apr-13 01:19:43

She's 16. She can leave home, get married, join the army. She's quite capable of getting off one coach and getting on another one. Well, she should be at her age, and if she isn't I'd be worried.

NatashaBee Thu 18-Apr-13 01:20:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorraLiberty Thu 18-Apr-13 01:31:41

She must have a strong stomach for all that coach travel...I feel sick just thinking about it!

But I'm not sure you can 'demand' with a 16yr old

Much better to try reasoning with her.

LittleEdie Thu 18-Apr-13 01:51:07

What do you think will happen if she does by coach?

DonCorleYoni Thu 18-Apr-13 02:03:15

Google some travel advice sites and read them with her. Discuss with her what she would do if various things went wrong. If she still wants to do it, put safety measures in place, get her a good mobile phone roaming deal and cross your fingers!

You can't demand anything from a 16yo, all that will achieve is you annoy her and make her unlikely to be open with you about other things.

You can't protect her from the world, but you can prepare her for it. Make sure she has maps, a phone card, change, mobile phone credit, knows some useful phrases, and most of all don't undermine her confidence because you aren't ready for her to grow up.

OkayHazel Thu 18-Apr-13 04:25:10

Cut the apron strings, 16 is old enough. Let her do it the way she wants.

Jinty64 Thu 18-Apr-13 04:58:02

Ok, I'm going to go against the grain here. I wouldn't let my 16 year old do it. I don't have girls, only boys, and I know they can be less mature but, ds2 will be 16 in the summer and, whilst I would let him fly from A to B to stay with relatives, I would not let him go by coach stopping off.

Could you take her to Paris for a long weekend sightseeing?

TheFallenNinja Thu 18-Apr-13 05:28:40

It doesn't matter what you say, she's 16, everybody else's idea is better than yours to hersmile

It sounds like great fun though, you may get a little more say if you research coach station layouts and timings etc and ensure that she has all the info on a piece of paper with her (also check later coach times etc)

At 16 she can bear arms and children. Be confident in the job you have done.

twooter Thu 18-Apr-13 06:11:32

I wouldn't like the thought of it either tbh. Not sure what she would get out of a few hours in Paris - if she has another coach to catch then she would be optimistic just leaving the bus station. And has she really thought about the length of time she would be stuck on the coach for? Far better IMO is to do a weekend impairs as a separate trip when she will actually have time to see something without panicking about the time.

NotTreadingGrapes Thu 18-Apr-13 06:26:27

I wouldn't like the thought of it.

Because I did it at 17 and know....

(ps, there is a train leaves from Paris and goes right through to Lisbon IIRC - with stops of course- which might be a slightly less arduous way to do it)

SquinkiesRule Thu 18-Apr-13 06:36:17

I did that at 16 I was on my own though. Not sure how my Mum let me go I looked like I was about 10.
I caught the bus at the top of our road, went into town, got two coaches into London. Then the train to Paris, changed stations, next train to the border with Spain, changed trains and went to Barcelona. My Aunt met me from the train and I had a great summer. Then did it all in reverse to go home.

SquinkiesRule Thu 18-Apr-13 06:37:50

Oh there was the ferry in the middle there too.
Don't think I'd let my Dd do it at 16. I'd rather a direct flight.

Cerisier Thu 18-Apr-13 06:48:16

Another vote for a direct flight. A complicated journey is fine if you have a credit card and can finance any unscheduled stop overs. Would you want her kipping on a bench in Paris because she missed the coach?

Let her do Paris another time when she can go for a week and do it properly. She won't do anything with a few hours in Paris.

By the way don't watch the film "Taken" until she gets back safely.

Mondrian Thu 18-Apr-13 06:51:46

I echo your sentiments not just due to age but I assume this is her first trip abroad on her own so best to keep things simple and tidy.

skaen Thu 18-Apr-13 06:52:07

I'd let my DD do it. I'd expect her to be able to tell me where one coach finished, the other began, how she'd deal with any delays, when she'd call home and that she had enough money to deal with problems.

I travelled with a friend through se Asia when I was 17 though and was not a very confident and independent beastie beforehand.

exoticfruits Thu 18-Apr-13 07:02:05

If she is happy and wants to do it then I would let her. In less than 24 months she will be an adult and can travel the entire world by herself, if she has the money, and there is nothing you can do to stop her. It would seem sensible, to me, to practise on a coach trip with a few hours break between coaches. I can't see why it is much different from doing a coach trip at home, going into Victoria coach station and having 3 hours to wander in London before you get the connection. It is a very safe 'adventure' IMO and since she is old enough to get married, or join the army, she doesn't need to be treated like a younger DD and put on one end and met at the other, like a package.

exoticfruits Thu 18-Apr-13 07:04:53

People do get alarmist! I can't see why she would miss the connection but if she did it is the days of instant communications and she could phone home- she doesn't have to kip on a park bench!

Gerrof Thu 18-Apr-13 07:12:48

My dd is 17, if she wanted to do this I would let her. I also think 16 is old enough.

Unlikely to get kidnapped from a park bench!

This doesn't make me an unconcerned mother. It makes me a pragmatic one.

Mind you the sound of a coach to portugal - urgh. But I probably would have thought differenlty at 16m

CautionaryWhale Thu 18-Apr-13 07:13:53

cerisier grin

Yep I was thinking of Liam Neeson in Taken as well....

NotTreadingGrapes Thu 18-Apr-13 07:56:25

If she misses her connection there will be others, no?

LaurieFairyCake Thu 18-Apr-13 08:02:39

You've not done your job as a parent preparing a child for independence if your kid can't do this at 16. (barring SEN)

They can legally get married ffs.

I honestly think some parents forget that their role is not to infantilise children as long as possible but instead is to to make them capable of coping with normal adult life.

AmberLeaf Thu 18-Apr-13 08:08:15

16 Year olds can't get married or join the army without parental consent, which takes note of the fact that some 16 yr olds are capable and mature and some not so.

I would rather a direct flight, with a seperate trip to paris at another time, a few hours between connections really doesn't give much scope for exploration anyway.

If her Mum is all for it, it will be difficult for you to 'insist' on anything though, is her Mum going to equip her with a pre paid credit card in case of emergencies?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 18-Apr-13 08:47:12

A direct journey, fine.
Various stops along the way, challenging.

If she and her pal are sensible types who can read timetables, be punctual and don't leave a trail of lost property behind them, why not.

I wouldn't be thrilled either tbh and that's not even with any knowledge about accident figures involving coach travel but if they feel up to it and they stick to some basic safety rules it would give them a massive sense of achievement.

If you and her mother can't agree on this a compromise might be getting across the Channel by coach then catching a train in Paris. Have the girls been on a long coach trip? Even a long distance UK one might prove off-putting.

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