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Travel tips for the unstreetwise teen please

(20 Posts)
secretscwirrels Fri 29-Mar-13 14:52:51

We live in the smallest village in the world.
DS1 (17) is going to London next week on his own. Do any of you who have DCs whizzing around London on their own have any advice or dos and don'ts?

I know I am fussing but at least I am letting him go grin

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 15:03:11

Where is he going? What time will he be pottering around until?
Has he been to London before?
Does he have a map of the underground?
Does he have a mobile to ring you if he gets confused?
DS is 18, but he's an Aspie and is around 14 socially. He often pops up to London.

secretscwirrels Fri 29-Mar-13 15:14:35

He will be supervised when he reaches his accommodation but has to get a train to Kings Cross and then cross London by tube.
Thankfully he knows how to change trains and he has been to London once before when we all went for a weekend a couple of years ago so he has been on the underground.
Yes to phone and maps. He's sensible enough but not used to being on his own in a city.

goinggetstough Fri 29-Mar-13 15:18:31

Remind him to keep his wallet and phone safe. My DS used to carry a list of useful numbers in his wallet as if his phone was stolen or lost he would not have have had any numbers to contact.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 15:24:35

So he needs to be clear about which stations and lines to use, and that there will be another train along in ten minutes or less, so no need to rush. If he's travelling at rush hour, grab a coffee and wait for the crowds to die down.
The staff in the main stations are helpfula nd used to visitors, so ask.
Spare £20 stashed somewhere else on his person other than a pocket.
Use the traffic lights if he's walking, some junctions have six roads and 12 streams of traffic, it's not worth trying to scamper across if you aren't familiar.

Laquila Fri 29-Mar-13 15:29:41

Does he have an Oyster card and if not, does he know what he needs to get ticket-wise? Makes it much easier to not feel like a bemused tourist if you have an Oyster!

Other than that, he should just be aware at all times of how much luggage he has/how many bags he should be carrying (sooo easy to leave stuff on trains/tubes) and good luck to him! He'll be fine.

Oh just thought - good idea to print off a map of central London as well as a tube map if poss.

notcitrus Fri 29-Mar-13 15:32:52

Take your time rather than getting lost - step to the side in a station and figure it out.
Spare money and phone nos in an inside pocket in case phone etc get stolen.
Keep a hand or foot on your bag at all times in a way that stops anyone reaching inside.
Stick to main roads rather than cutting through footpaths, especially outside central London and after dark.
Stay where there's more people, near the entrance/exit on a platform, downstairs on a bus if it's late.
Figure out how you're going to get home before you go, and an alternative route if something messes up ( Journey Planner is great).

Don't get drunk or accept drinks from strangers if you haven't seen them being made.

It'll be fine. I have a 4yo thinking he should be allowed to get trains by himself in London...

soaccidentprone Fri 29-Mar-13 15:34:23

make sure you are going the right direction on the tube - especially the circle linegrin

secretscwirrels Fri 29-Mar-13 15:38:44

All good stuff thank you.
The phone numbers is a good point as nowadays no-one remembers phone numbers.
soaccidentprone grin at the tube direction.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 15:38:49

Feeling any more reassured, OP? smile

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 15:40:26

But then you either hop off and hop on again, because the line and the stations are printed inside the carriage, or you do what a friend did, who was broke and living in a freezing room. Buy a ticket and sit on the circle line for three hours studying.

secretscwirrels Fri 29-Mar-13 16:45:44

Yes thanks Nebulous.
I just mentioned some of these things to DS and he said "how do you know all this stuff?" wink

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 16:51:46

How far away are you from London?

dexter73 Fri 29-Mar-13 16:52:15

My dd uses a tube app to get herself around.

specialsubject Fri 29-Mar-13 20:28:41

a tube app? Wouldn't it be simpler to use the maps that are posted everywhere?

tell your son that if he can hear his personal music on the tube, he is damaging his hearing. Earphones OUT when he is on the move, anywhere. Also not to walk along gazing at his phone.

get a small A-Z, no-one mugs you for those.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 20:47:30

I agree that being switched on and aware of your surroundings is important when out and about. Far fewer accidents that way.

dexter73 Sat 30-Mar-13 07:27:46

specialsubject - my dd finds the app easy to use as you put in where you are and where you are going, then it tells you where you need to change, which line, which direction etc. It is also free.

specialsubject Sat 30-Mar-13 13:38:03

unlike the phone. :-)

dexter73 Sat 30-Mar-13 17:56:54

Actually it was!!wink

sashh Sun 31-Mar-13 08:06:43

My friend's 17 year old did this a couple of weeks ago. He had a fantastic day, on his own, and came back in one piece.

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