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17 year old ds wants to go to Malia

(26 Posts)
mini290h Mon 14-Dec-15 00:43:23

My ds wants to go to Malia this summer with a group of 17 year old boys and we have said no. we think they are too young for an alcohol fuelled holiday for which they are all under age even if the bars do not ask for ID. Very surprised that other parents are happy for this to go ahead. He is now very angry with us and feels that he will be totally on the outside of the group if he does not go. We know of course that he will not be and it will not affect his friendships but he feels we are over protecting him. I feel we are being responsible parents. Any views on this?

dodobookends Mon 14-Dec-15 00:54:28

How many of them will be going, and have you spoken to any of the other parents about it yet?

TheFairyCaravan Mon 14-Dec-15 01:22:49

We paid for DS1 to go for his 18th. He went with 14 mates, one was 17, after they finished their A levels.I was a nervous wreck the whole time he was there. To this day I don't know what they got up to, and I don't want to know. He's 21 now. At the time he was glad he went, now he says it was a complete waste of money.

I wouldn't have liked him to have gone at 17. I'm not sure I would have been able to have stopped him because he had a job and could have paid for himself. It's a difficult one. I can see where you're both coming from.

bobs123 Mon 14-Dec-15 02:24:04

DD1 went to Malia at 17 (4 girls). I wasn't too happy about it, and it was a problem booking it as none of them were 18. All the parents had to sign indemnity letters (you could use that as your excuse and just say they need to be 18!). We picked their accommodation very carefully - just off the main drag and no dark roads to walk back down at night. They were reasonably responsible and followed the rules - I've no one left on their own.

bobs123 Mon 14-Dec-15 02:24:45


Elfishpresley Mon 14-Dec-15 11:11:30

I went to Malia when I was 18 with a few friends, some of whom were 17.

It wasn't my idea of fun to be honest but when my dcs are 17/18 I will let them go.

i met some lovely people on that holiday that I am still in touch with 10+ years down the line.

Spidertracker Mon 14-Dec-15 11:17:15

I don't have a teenager and wasn't into that type of thing when I was a teenager so how relevant my comments are I don't know.
I do think though that there is nothing he can see/do/access on holiday that he can't see/do/access here if he really wants to. On that basis I would let him go as if he is a trustworthy sensible lad that isn't going to change just because he is further away.

SecretSquirr3ls Mon 14-Dec-15 14:18:57

DS1 did this after A levels. They booked a date after they were all 18, though as you say there is no issue with age in these resorts.
I too was a nervous wreck the whole time he was there.
He endured rather than enjoyed it. A never to be repeated experience that is better in hindsight. I fear teenage boys are at just as much risk of harm as girls. Drink fuelled violence and robbery are common in these places.
Frankly the risk taking and alcohol consumption is terrifying and I am very glad DS2 isn't planning to go

DS paid for it himself out of part time wages and was 18. I would not have agreed at 17, regardless of peer pressure.

Mrsw28 Mon 14-Dec-15 14:30:44

I don't think I would let my son go. I knew a lad growing up who was fairly sensible, he went away with a group of mates, they decided it would be a fun game to jump from balcony to balcony. He jumped and didn't make it and fell however many floors down to the poolside. He was in a coma for a few days but died of his injuries abroad. His death would have been bad enough but his parents had to deal with trying to get his body home which was very complicated and expensive.

Yes, they can access the drink etc at home but teenagers seem to lose themselves and do things they would never do at home on holiday.

GoofyIsACow Mon 14-Dec-15 14:34:44

I went away with two friends when i was still 16, they were 17, i still can't believe my parents let me go! shock

GoofyIsACow Mon 14-Dec-15 14:35:40

Pressed send too soon!

I am 34 now and I have no idea how i would feel if I had a teenager that age asking to go kmowing what we got up to blush

Drew64 Mon 14-Dec-15 15:07:27

Alternative view,

Let him go.
He is after all 17, a young adult
He has to grow up sometime, and it may prove to be a valuable lesson in looking after yourself and acting responsibly.
It is a bit of a rigmarole for booking tickets and arranging insurance but it's not impossible.

Having said that, only you know your DS so in some ways it's not easy for others to comment.

He may well be very grown up and responsible for his age.
He may well be a mummies boy (although I doubt that as he's asked to go)
You are the only one who really knows your son.

specialsubject Mon 14-Dec-15 17:47:50

simple answer seems to be 'yes, if you pay for everything including travel insurance'

....which is not valid for drunks so if he does have an injury (hope not a major one) he'll have a bigger bill.

there is no reason to go to Malia except to drink yourself into oblivion and try to have sex. The latter usually fails for boys as the gender balance in these resorts is very uneven, and the hoped-for 'easy' girls are very rare. No-one will care about drinking age.

also - a contract with a child (under 18) in the UK is not enforceable, so the tour company may well want an adult to sign, and to see it done. If no-one in the group has turned 18, there's your out.

let him strop.

Danglyweed Mon 14-Dec-15 18:20:31

We went there early may, it was fairly quiet/tame! If he goes, make it off season grin

Manopaws Tue 15-Dec-15 20:02:34

I'm with Special, Let him go if he can pay for it my niece went there when she was 17 and survived even if she did buy some great trainers then didn't have any money for food or drink for the last 3 days of her holiday.

If you want to pay say he can go in October it's like a ghost town it all shuts up for winter.

Littlemiss8 Wed 16-Dec-15 04:02:53

there are a lot worse places he could go in the world! at least he'll be with friends.

It may seem like a small, insignificant holiday to you but amongst him and his friends they'll remember it for a long time! He will definitely be outside of all their jokes and memories from this holiday - the things that will dominate conversations and relationships for a long while afterwards! I can totally see why he would feel that he would become an outsider.

why not let him make his own mistakes? if anything you're being irresponsible for over protecting him. at least on holiday if he makes mistakes he doesnt have a career, an education or any relationships to ruin in the process!

make him save up for it though, so he knows its his responsibility to have a good, safe time. if he ends up in hospital thats his time, and his money being wasted.

specialsubject Wed 16-Dec-15 10:20:12

generally those who go to Malia remember very little of it, that's the idea.

if he is a swilling and party type then he probably will enjoy it. He may look back on it in years to come as a sad-sack waste, but we all change our interests.

but HE pays for it. Every single drink, laughing gas ball and hospital bill.

ParochialE9 Wed 16-Dec-15 12:57:15

Both my boys went at the end of year 12 so were both 17 - seems a rite of passage type thing. Both ran out of money while they were there and came back exhausted and ill but in one piece! I'm relieved DD currently year 12 doesn't want to go next summer though, both her brothers and boyfriend have put her off with tales of big groups of friends of theirs (all girls) all falling out, arguing and actually physically fighting,'rapey' (her boyfriends word, not mine) boys on the prowl, money and phones stolen and dodgy tattoos and piercings. She's going to Spain with boyfriend instead which is not quite the same experience but I will definitely worry a lot less about her!

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 16-Dec-15 13:02:04

I think 17 is old enough to decide for yourself. It's also old enough to pay for yourself too...

hampsterdam Thu 17-Dec-15 19:14:49

Is he paying for everything himself? If not then he can't go.
I went abroad with friends at 18 for a whole season and came to no harm. But while i was thereone girl fell off a balcony and died and another crashed a moped on the first day of her holiday. Lots of silly young people doing silly things.
I've been to malia it's not the nicest of places, lots of robberies and the local bars taxis and hotels seem to add on random taxes for things that I didn't understand,we left feeling like we had been ripped off to be honest. Zante is much nicer.

BeaufortBelle Sat 19-Dec-15 11:43:16

I'm trying to remember when my son went. I think it was Reading Festival at 16 (rite of passage), Malia at 17 (rite of passage), Outlook at 18 (rite of passage).

We decided at the time that it wasn't worth arguing about but he was a party animal anyway and from memory about 30 from his year at school went. I remember getting to the airport and feeling quite reassured when I dropped him and saw how homogenous the queue for the flight was.

He is a party animal. It was a learning curve. He had a good time. He lost some euros. He got drunk. They had to organise food and eating which they did. By about day five he decided he'd rather have a steak than silly amounts of booze. A couple got a bit sunburnt. They had to manage to get up after the last night and get themselves to the airport - it was a bit hairy.

The best bit - upon reflection he decided it wasn't the sort of place he ever wanted to go to again and regretted not looking at some of the cultural stuff on offer in Crete.

Peebles1 Sat 19-Dec-15 20:30:09

I went to Spain with friends at 18, after A-levels. I had the best time and am still glad I did it to this day. Mainly because I went to uni straight after and couldn't afford to go again, and got married straight after uni. No regrets at all (still married!) but looking back that was my one fun, singles holiday and totally without work or exam worries hanging over me. However, although we drank A LOT we were sensible at heart. Only you know your son.

summer68 Sat 26-Dec-15 23:14:11

It's not an easy decision either way. This may help, at 17 his is still considered a minor / child legally, if he needs medical treatment an adult ( over 18) usually has to give consent. You are still seen as being responsible for him, so as difficult as it is, you must decide if he is mature enough to go on holiday with his friends. Do you know/ trust his friends?
On the other hand - put yourself in his shoes- all your friends are talking about going on holiday - even if they don't remember much of it when they get back) getting excited, planning etc.- You are going to have a very moody, cross son.
There will probably be at least one other person in his group not allowed to go ( but of course he won't tell you!) .
It is my opinion that it is pear pressure that allows most 17 year olds to go- their parents are not happy but are made to feel bad at not following all the other parents - I wished parents would unite together ( no bad guy then) .
Good luck with your decision- miserable 17 year old and guilty parents or happy 17 year old and fretting parents.

lucymootoo Sat 26-Dec-15 23:36:04

I went in 2013 and I would let a 17 year old go. As long as there sensible ie. no diving off balconys, swimming in the sea at night, drinking massively in excess to the point they black out in the street then they will be fine.

You have to trust him. I felt very safe there even at night.

Sundance2741 Sun 27-Dec-15 17:23:28

Think I'd try to find out whether "all" his friends really are going. Presumably they haven't booked yet so all are probably saying they will go - they would say that whatever their parents had said at this stage quite possibly. Could you talk to some of the other parents to get their views?

It's hard to advise without knowing your son or his friends. Do you normally trust him? Has he done daft things before? I don't think it's quite the case that they wouldn't do anything there that they couldn't do at home. There they'll be away from any adult influence for days on end and many people have a carefree attitude on holiday where they might do things they wouldn't at home. It can seem like what you do there doesn't matter in the way it does at home.

However I can imagine how it would feel at that age to have all my friends going away without me, and also feeling my parents didn't trust me. It's a tricky one for sure!

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