How to Travel Abroad Alone As a Teenager

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 00:20
You're ready to see the world and experience the thrill of adventuring out on your own, but how do you do that when you're a teenager? The good news is that traveling abroad alone as a teen is definitely possible. There are just some extra...
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You’re ready to see the world and experience the thrill of adventuring out on your own, but how do you do that when you’re a teenager? The good news is that traveling abroad alone as a teen is definitely possible. There are just some extra logistics you’ll need to keep in mind and plan for. This article will walk you through your different options and everything you’ll need to do to prepare so you can start planning the solo trip of your dreams!

Method 1
Method 1 of 2:

Traveling Solo

  1. Step 1 Make sure you understand the challenges and risks of traveling entirely alone as a teenager.
    • Some countries will require a consent letter signed by your parents or guardians and some may refuse your entry all together.
    • Most hotels will make you jump through extra hoops as a minor or may not let you stay there at all.
    • Some tourist attractions won't let minors in without an adult accompanying you.
    • You'll be all alone. If you're have a medical emergency, are arrested, or experience any other kind of pitfall, you may not be able to reach anyone back home.
    Archana Ramamoorthy, MS

    Archana Ramamoorthy, MS

    Experienced Solo Traveler
    Archana Ramamoorthy is the Chief Technology Officer, North America at Workday. In 2019, she went on a three-month sabbatical from her work and solo traveled throughout Southeast Asia. She is a product ninja, security advocate, and on a quest to enable more inclusion in the tech industry. Archana received her BS from SRM University and MS from Duke University and has been working in product management for over 8 years.
    Archana Ramamoorthy, MS
    Archana Ramamoorthy, MS
    Experienced Solo Traveler

    Community Experience: Before I left for my travels, I visited my doctor to get caught up on all of my vaccines. It's something a lot of people take for granted, but the vaccines helped me not worry so much about rabies and other viruses. It's especially important if you'll be somewhere that you'll be petting animals along the road or eating local food.

  2. Step 2 Learn the laws and regulations regarding teenage travel in the country you plan to visit.
    In some countries, traveling alone as a minor may not be allowed, and you can be denied entry.[1]
    • In some countries, like Portugal, minors must have a letter signed by both of their parents, and must authenticate that letter at an embassy prior to travelling.
    • In other countries, like Spain, minors can generally travel alone, but if they are arrested, end up in the hospital, or otherwise run into problems, they may be held by authorities until their situation can be resolved.
  3. Step 3 Purchase travel insurance.
    Especially as a minor, having the safety net provided by travel insurance is a big help. Depending on the level of insurance you buy, your missed flights will be refunded; you will receive money to replace lost luggage; and your expenses in medical emergencies will be covered. Emergency transportation back to your home country may also be arranged and provided for you.[2]
  4. Step 4 Look for student discounts.
    One of the perks of traveling as a teenager is that you get access to student discounts automatically if you are under 18. Most tourist attractions, museums, and other sites of interest will offer discounts. Some hotels and airlines will also offer discounts. Also, most public transit systems offer discounted tickets or passes for teenagers.
  5. Step 5 Find a hotel that allows minors to stay unaccompanied.
    Most hotels won't rent to anyone under the age of 18 (some won't even rent to people under 21), and usually this information isn't displayed on their website, so the only way to know is to call directly and ask.
    • If the city you plan to visit has a youth hostel, try calling them. Many youth hostels will allow minors to stay, although most are restricted to those 16 and older.
  6. Step 6 Book flights.
    Most, but not all, airlines will allow you to travel alone if you are 18. Traveling alone is different from traveling as an unaccompanied minor. Note that unaccompanied minor programs, usually for children under the age of 12, are tickets where you are guided from gate to gate by airline staff, and must be dropped off and picked up by an adult.
  7. Step 7 Prepare to go!
    Traveling alone can be intimidating, but you almost always come back a different person. You'll be more self-confident, and have a different view of both your own culture and the cultures you interact with on your trip. You'll have new friends and new memories in a new place. Enjoy your trip!
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Method 2
Method 2 of 2:

Traveling with a Tour Group

  1. Step 1 Consider traveling as part of a tour.
    While not as free-spirited an option as traveling fully alone, tour groups specifically for teenagers are a good way to get out of your comfort zone, learn more about travel, and make new friends. Traveling as part of a group also means your hotels, food, transportation, and activities are already organized for you.[3]
  2. Step 2 See if your school offers any trips.
    Many schools offer tours as part of their foreign language classes. Ask a foreign language teacher if your school sponsors such a trip. If your school does offer one, it can be one of the easiest and best tour opportunities for you. You'll likely already have friends on the tour and the chaperones are usually teachers. If you do go with your school, the rest of the steps here are likely already handled.[4]
  3. Step 3 Find a teen tour operator.
    There are an increasing number of companies offering guided tours specifically for young travellers to a wide variety of destinations. Some of the more popular ones are Travel For Teens, West Coast Connection, and Bold Earth. A quick internet search for "teen travel tour" should bring up dozens of other options.[5]
  4. Step 4 Decide on a destination.
    If you're travelling as part of a tour group, the destinations they offer should be listed on their website. There are tours for teens almost everywhere on Earth, so if you have a destination already in mind, it's just about finding the right company to take you there.[6]
  5. Step 5 Book your tour through the company, then book flights.
    Flights generally must be booked independently of the tour company, after you have already registered for the tour. Make sure that your flight's arrival date and time (not departure date and time) match the times your tour company gives you for pickup.
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  • Don't book any flights, activities, or hotels without being sure they accept minors traveling alone. You may be refused entry when you arrive!
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  • Be especially cautious when traveling alone as a teenager. You may be an easier target for crime.
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