Inter railing

(13 Posts)
humblesims Fri 24-May-19 19:11:34

Does anyone have any hints or tips on teenagers inter railing?
My DS 18 is planning a trip with a couple of freinds after their A levels. They've planned it all and booked and paid for it all with no input from me.
I feel like I ought to be panicking a bit about something. I feel a bit too relaxed about him heading off around Europe without me fussing over him.
Its actually his 18th birthday in a couple of weeks and I'm wondering if there is something I could get for him that would be useful on his trip. I thought about a new rucksack as his is a bit battered.
Should I just wave him off and hope for the best or should I be getting involved with his planning? I've asked him to give me his itinerary and contact details for his mates parents and I have copied his passport details etc and made sure he has travel insurance.
what else? he's my youngest (and only adventurous) one so I'm worried that I'm not worrying enough. So nuts!

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junebirthdaygirl Sat 25-May-19 22:00:47

He sounds great. You sound great. He will be fine. Let him off. With phones and being able to stay in touch it's so much easier now. Make sure he knows to contact you if he has any problems as sometimes they can try to be too grown up.
I got mine to give me a quick message every day. They took me literally...all fine...but l was happy knowing that.

Bouledeneige Sun 26-May-19 10:19:52

He sounds great - organised and mature.

My DD did it last year. I left it to them but helped with a bit of booking of AirBnB's and flights. I asked for the itinerary and typed it out for her Dad and I so I knew where she was and for her to keep in touch regularly by text - which she did. She sent me little pictures every now and again. I also asked for her friends numbers in case I couldn't get in touch with her. You need to be aware that sometimes on long train journeys they might not have internet or their phone batteries have died so wont be able to get in touch. I happened to be on holiday at the time as well with her DS but didn't really worry about her at all - except when there was a long gap for one train journey. But that was more a feeling of why hasn't got in touch not fear of something terrible happening. (One thing she and her friends didn't do too well was plan it out on the map and estimate the length of the train journeys).

Ideas for gifts - portable charger pack, compact travel towel, wipes, travel wash, suncream, some bags of sweets or snacks etc. A new rucksack or sleeping bag would be nice but I'd involve him in choosing that.

Trippedupagain Sun 26-May-19 10:33:14

My boy did this with a friend when they were 17 and they did fine, though there were some slightly hair raising stories when they got back. They booked a hostel online for their first stop and then did the rest ahead each time so they always had somewhere to stay. All the hostels have reviews you can see and booking is easy enough, I believe. He doesn't mind roughing it in a communal room, etc.

He was sick of his friend by the end so now backpacks alone and teams up with others along the way if he feels like it. He's currently in Guatamala.

Trippedupagain Sun 26-May-19 10:36:42

The main thing I did before my son went is impress on him that I needed to hear from him regularly and if he was going to out of touch for more than 3 days, he must warn me. It worked really well. Otherwise he got a lot out of planning it all himself, so I'd say relax about it. There is nothing you can do. Exciting and yet also very scary, I know!

humblesims Sun 26-May-19 10:37:26

Thanks for the ideas and reassurance. I'm glad he's getting out there (I'm a bit jealous actually!)
You're right about the phones of course. He'll be able to get in touch very easily wont he. I'll get his pals numbers too. He's pretty good at keeping touch to be fair.

OP’s posts: |
Trippedupagain Sun 26-May-19 10:39:11

We also swapped contacts with the friend's parents, just in case.


Bouledeneige Sun 26-May-19 10:52:35

I'd also get them to take photos on their phones of their paperwork - passport and interrail ticket and if they have a limited number of rides on the ticket tell them to monitor it carefully. My DD ended up having to pay extra as they had to change a trip and taken two trains instead of one. So a back up cash card might be helpful too.

Frazzled2207 Sun 26-May-19 11:55:12

Well I went when I was 18. This was about 1996- no mobile phones or internet (none that we used anyway). We called home every few days from call boxes!

Was away for a month. Had a great time and although my friend and I did fall out in the middle and found Rome very hot and stressful we had a great time overall with no major problems.

Looking back though my mother must have been frantic with worry! My friend is a very sensible one though so that probably helped a bit.

aibutohavethisusername Sun 26-May-19 22:54:55

I went on my own for 5 weeks age 21, in 1998. Had an amazing time. I planned the first couple of weeks and then just went with the flow.
A new rucksack sounds good. Also silk sleeping bag liner, travel towel, note book and pen.

corythatwas Mon 27-May-19 10:21:26

Sounds great. Don't forget to give him one of those little pouches or belt bags for keeping money & passport in, stress how nothing valuable must ever be in a pocket or left unattended in a bag on the beach (you take it in turns to go in the water), remind him that a gang of people coming up with a placard in southern Europe probably means there is a pickpocket behind him, also to be wary of motorbikes coming from behind.

Other than that- should be fine. Dh and I both did it, it was great.

junebirthdaygirl Tue 28-May-19 20:08:44

Actually to add to Cory's post above make he knows to sleep in hostel or on a train with his valuables attached to him or under his pillow where others who are sleeping in the same room cant rob them.

humblesims Tue 28-May-19 22:23:36

Thanks for the great tips. I'll certainly pass on that advice. DH found a couple of hundred Euros left over from our last holiday so I'll give him those for his birthday too.
I wish he was putting as much thought and effort into his A levels as he is this trip!

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