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AIBU - daughter interrailing

(93 Posts)
Alwayschanging1 Mon 06-Jun-16 08:33:33

My DD18 is interrailing this summer with a friend for a couple of weeks.
I am really worried about her doing sleeper trains when she is travelling; I have heard so many bad stories about women being robbed, groped, drugged, hassled etc. so I want her to travel during the day. I have already paid for flights for her and her friend so that they can avoid doing this on one leg of her journey but she is still insisting that they do it on another long leg of the journey.
I am also unhappy about this as it involves changing trains between 3 - 4 am which means hanging around on a station for an hour in the middle of the night - something I have done myself; it was literally terrifying because of the kind of people who hang out at station at that time.
Don't know whether to let it her do the sleeper train or carry on with the argument.
Am I a control freak or am I being reasonable?

SoThatHappened Mon 06-Jun-16 08:36:40

You sound like my mother. A control freak.


ilovesooty Mon 06-Jun-16 08:37:45

Surely if she's 18 whether you let her doesn't enter into it - you can only advise.

LunaLoveg00d Mon 06-Jun-16 08:39:57

YABU. She is an adult. She is not going alone - she has a friend with her.

exexpat Mon 06-Jun-16 08:40:27

It is reasonable for you to worry, but she is 18 and old enough to make her own decisions. You can warn her of the risks, and give her advice on how to minimise them, but you can't force her to change her plans.

I lived abroad and travelled solo from the age of 17 and I am sure my mother worried like mad, but the more she nagged me about safety things, the less likely I was to do anything she told me - and I'm afraid that's probably a common teenage response.

Also, I know there are reports of nasty things happening on sleeper trains etc, but thousands of people use them every day and the chances of her having any problems are actually very small.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Mon 06-Jun-16 08:40:27

Interrailers do sleeper trains because that's kind of the point. You sleep on trains rather than in hotels, otherwise you might as well go to Magalluf for a fortnight! And the long distances generally covered by interrailers mean that the most sensible way to get from A to B is during the night so as not to lose precious day time sitting on hot boring trains!

You can lock sleeper carriages from the inside and there are staff in the corridors.

antimatter Mon 06-Jun-16 08:41:37

Unreasonable IMHO. Ny dd also 18 and her 2 girlfriends are interrailing and doing 2 overnight trips.
Talk to her how to protect herself without making her paranoid.

araiba Mon 06-Jun-16 08:43:32

ive done lots of travelling by train- day and night

i've not been robbed, groped, drugged, hassled

guffspeak Mon 06-Jun-16 08:43:47

I totally sympathise with how you are feeling, my son and his friend's did this last year aged 18
I was beside myself about it and was off my head with worry while he was away
But. ...he had the time of his life and enjoyed it so much, nothing would have stopped we worrying though so I have no advice really !

StopLookingAtMyAccount Mon 06-Jun-16 08:43:51

I think station security has improved a lot. There is CCTV most places (I think ? ). I think I'd be ok with it as there are two of them. Maybe she could carry a rape alarm too. I think you can get door alarms too for if she sleeps on the train.

pippistrelle Mon 06-Jun-16 08:45:54

I would probably feel the same, OP. As I expect my parents did when I went inter-railing at that age, and on subsequent travels. But they kept their counsel, as I think you should keep yours now, and try to focus on the positives that you have raised a young woman full of confidence and a wish to see the world and capable enough to organise it.

I hope that if my daughter decides to inter-rail or the like when she's older, I'll be able to not seek to transfer my worries to her.

It's natural for parents to worry, but it's also natural for young people to go off and do their own thing, and you can't control what they do.

Alwayschanging1 Mon 06-Jun-16 08:46:34

Am not normally a control freak - I take a measured view on everything. But I find it very hard to compromise on her safety.

carabos Mon 06-Jun-16 08:49:39

When you say you don't know "whether to let her", what do you mean? She's an adult, how would you stop her? hmm Thousands of people Interrail every year without incident. I think it's a great way to introduce teens to independent travel - familiar culture, not off the beaten track, not far away in case of emergency -kind of adventure lite. DS2 did it after A levels and is doing a big trip to China this summer using the skills and confidence he learned from the Interrail experience.

HermioneJeanGranger Mon 06-Jun-16 08:49:43

It's a lot safer now than it was when you were here age, OP. But even if it wasn't - it's her decision, not yours.

exexpat Mon 06-Jun-16 08:52:43

At 18, you have to realise that she is now responsible for her own safety. Is she going off to university in the autumn? You are not going to be able to monitor or control every potentially risky thing she does there either.

Ningnoise Mon 06-Jun-16 08:52:53

YANBU to worry but I think you would be unreasonable to stop her going. It is good if she is aware you are worried though as I think that will probably make her more aware of the risks and be more cautious!

I went inter-railing when I was 18 and had no problems at all with the night trains. In addition to inter railing I travelled a lot as a child (with parents!) and adult around Europe by night train (France, Spain, Germany, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia) as well as a couple of others countries further afield and have never had any problems on the night trains.

The only issue we had the whole time inter railing was on a Paris train station platform at about 10pm. It wasn't trouble as such but a man tried to talk to our group and it made us uneasy as something didn't feel right. We were very cautious so picked up on if straight away that something wasn't right and had our wits about us.

Many times I've woken up in the middle of the night on the trains, looked out the window to see which station we are at and the station will be packed. I guess this is because the night time stops are busy city stations or interchanges rather than smaller surburban ones.

Are the stories you've heard first hand experiences or things you've read online or been told by other people who know a friend of a friend? My most recent train travels have been to an Asian country and there's a lot you read about train travel there not being safe. I've never had any problems at all.

If your daughter is aware of the risks, takes a few precautions with her valuables and is sensible then she will more than likely be safe.

If you want any tips for her then send me a message and I'll be happy to help.

cansu Mon 06-Jun-16 08:54:35

She is an adult now and will make her own decisions. Yes you can advise and tell her your concerns. But you would be v unreasonable to try and persuade her by banging on about it. If she was going off to somewhere like Iraq you might have more of a point, but she is inter railing round Europe. There are risks everywhere but you are being OTT.

SoThatHappened Mon 06-Jun-16 08:57:26

Compromise on her safety?

Where do you live? In a remote barn? Is she allowed to travel on public transport here? The UK isnt exactly any safer than alot of European countries.

EarthboundMisfit Mon 06-Jun-16 08:58:40

Yabu, sorry.

whitechocolatemouse Mon 06-Jun-16 08:59:25

I have taken sleeper trains in Europe and beyond, sometimes changing at night, many, many times since interrailing alone aged 18. Yes, you occasionally get hassle. Occasionally. Yes, railway stations are sometimes a bit dodgy. You're her mother and YANBU to be concerned. BUT please don't spoil this for her. There are bigger risks (to your relationship and her confidence) in undermining this experience in my opinion. It's possible but unlikely that something truly bad will happen. The far more likely outcome is that she will return with her confidence and independence boosted if you don't interfere.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 06-Jun-16 09:01:26

It sounds great fun! Please let her enjoy her adventure. I'm just wondering if you can do interrailing with primary age kids...

CassandraAusten Mon 06-Jun-16 09:01:36

I went inter railing when I was 17 and slept on trains. I can understand you're worried, but YABU to try and stop her. It's just the kind of thing teens do! Make sure she knows all the tips for protecting herself.

StopLookingAtMyAccount Mon 06-Jun-16 09:02:51

When you say you don't know "whether to let her", what do you mean? She's an adult, how would you stop her?

The OP is paying for flights etc. She could choose not to.

Spartak Mon 06-Jun-16 09:03:14

I've done sleeper trains all over Europe on my own and it's been fine. Never had any trouble and met some really interesting people. Only issue has ever been lack of toilet paper. She'll be fine.

IrenetheQuaint Mon 06-Jun-16 09:12:06

I've taken lots of sleeper trains in Europe and elsewhere and they've all been fantastic experiences and felt very safe. Tell her to keep her valuables under her pillow and bring earplugs!

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