{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "So my 18yo daughter who just started college texted me that she wants to do solo Europe travel in December and mom (my ex wife approved it). My daughter has traveled extensively in the US and abroad with me. However, she has never traveled even to a neighboring town in the US solo and is just learning what it means to live by herself as a freshman. I'm very concerned for her safety but if I put my foot down, my daughter will detest me.\nHow do other parents in this bowl see the situation?", "post_id": "613b889b4019e90024004f0b", "reply_count": 38, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "5a51a3d9c5ef9700134eaf4a", "bowl_name": "Over 40 in Consulting" }

So my 18yo daughter who just started college texted me that she wants to do solo Europe travel in December and mom (my ex wife approved it). My daughter has traveled extensively in the US and abroad with me. However, she has never traveled even to a neighboring town in the US solo and is just learning what it means to live by herself as a freshman. I'm very concerned for her safety but if I put my foot down, my daughter will detest me. How do other parents in this bowl see the situation?

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Does solo mean 100% just her or she’s traveling by herself but meeting up with people? Or solo meaning no parents? In any case, keep communication open, support her and remind her casually about your travels together and what you learned. Then agree to using find my phone and other apps. Sounds like you raised a smart independent woman and you’ve exposed her to traveling internationally which is all good, and helps with anxiety. Since the decision is out of your hands, stay close and support her but see if you can set some parameters so you’re in touch.

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Based on your answers above it looks like your daughter’s trip will be fully funded between ex-wife paying for trips and your daughter covering the rest of the expenses. So you technically can’t say no. But I completely understand your concern, especially given that your daughter will have only spent 1 semester in college, most likely living in a dorm which is a far cry from truly living independently. Is there a way you can show your both your support and your concern? Tell her that you’re really excited, but want to make sure she’s really considered the costs of the endeavor and any other safety issues that might arise? (phone, access to cash, etc. )Have her put together a spreadsheet that reflects her plans and associated costs. She can also talk about what she is doing to prepare, back up plans & plans for keeping safe. I’m sure there will be gaps that you can discuss and offer to guide her through this. She will surely underestimate the cost of everything (as did both my kids when they were preparing for their study abroad programs.) Maybe do some research and share what you’ve found too. Neither of my kids had travelled on their own before they went to Europe and once they were there they were able navigate just fine (lost phones, credit cards, missed flight, etc. ) They absorbed a lot through all of their travels with our family. She probably is more savvy than you give her credit for - and it also seems there are other issues with ex that having nothing to do with your daughter’s ability to do this on her own. Good luck (& I’ve found my kids were alot smarter than I have them credit for because I was too busy worrying! They are now 24 and 27…)

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Thanks to all that contributed to the post. I appreciate it. I thought I'd provide an update. I had a chat with my daughter about this last weekend. I let her explain what her plan was and why it was important to travel solo. Her plan was petty high level and not thought through yet. As for why, she said she thought it would be a confidence booster and she would grow from the experience and that she also wanted to do a semester abroad in her junior year. I told her that I was very proud of how she was thinking and agreed with her mostly. At the same time, I outlined my concerns. I suggested that she consider going with a friend or doing solo US trips this year and then Europe next year when Covid also might be less of a concern. I told her to think about these things and we can chat again. To her credit, she patiently heard what I had to say. But not surprisingly, at the end of the conversation asked if I'd be really mad if she still decided to go :) I told her I don't want us to make decisions that way and let's continue to talk and she should really think hard. I was expecting her to come back and say she has thought about it and still wants to go. To my surprise, she came back and said, I think you are right, it might be better to do the trip next year. We discussed that NY and Boston combined solo trips might be a good idea this year. I'm proud of my girl!

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She is, technically, an adult. Don’t you want her to begin acting like one?

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A trip to NYC or even DC first maybe? Have her pay the airfare, make all the reservations, give her a budget after that. Then she can call you while she’s there to get help ironing out the details. But…. If you’ve traveled a lot with her, I’m guessing she’ll be ok. My problem is that it seems she has big girl ambition and a little girl bank account.

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Think ‘taken”. My son would say…. Whatever mom. However, I think a group would be better than solo. I’m an adult and my mom still asks me who I’m going to Europe with if it isn’t my husband. Make sure she has embassy information and someone that can get her help abroad if we get locked down again. Happy trails…

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Why solo? My first trip abroad was at 23, to London, but I had co-workers there to meet up with. As the mom of teens (boy and girl) I'm surprised an 18yo girl would be going alone.

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I guess I would want to know on whose dime she was traveling. Also, how did she do in school? Will she have the time to travel or are there other things she could be doing.

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Did you talk to the ex about this when you found out? Just wondering if she really said she’d pay etc. and if she will. Not cool that she didn’t talk to you. Also seems like you’re footing the bill regardless. If this had been a discussion, would have had opportunity to at least agree to wait until next year, as she’s a freshman, getting settled and you are paying for her education, not funding a lifestyle. It’s great she’s a good student and independent young woman but reality is how independent is she when dependent on her parents to pay for it. Would also ask a lot of questions about what inspired this specific trip, seems like more to the story. Feel for you, tough spot.

I understand where you're coming from since I have a 24 yo and a 21 yo. I think a solo trip is great, but it all depends on how mature they and how cognizant they are about their environment. I tell them to blend in and to not do or display anything that will make them a target. Also, when they travel (even now), we ask them to check-in with us, even if it's just a text saying that they're fine. This at least ensure us that they are not in trouble. Other than that, talk to her about situations that could arise and what to do.

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What a great dad you are, respecting her choices, helping reason through and come to the right decision on her own (with your guidance). And helping her see how she can follow her dream in a safer way this year.

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Would your view be different if it is a son?

IBM 1, young men take risks at a higher rate than women the same age and this have a higher death rate. I think it’s dangerous for either sex to travel alone, especially if they use drugs or alcohol. OP, maybe consider asking her if there’s a friend she’d line to go with, or find trusted folks in those countries she can meet up with? God luck…

Where is she going first of all as that will matter ? When she says solo is she planing on hosteling where she will meet groups to travel with?

Tough one. Please consider travel insurance that includes medical and repatriation. Love the daily check-in someone else mentioned. Maybe she’ll consider Contiki group travel for her first ‘solo’?

I'll be talking to her this weekend to get specifics. She just texted me about this earlier in the day so came as a surprise. From what I understand, this is truly a solo trip. Not meeting anyone but will be by herself throughout. It will be for 8 to 10 days. She'll fly into Milan because tickets are cheap and take a train to eastern France. That's all I know so far.

You can state your concerns but she won't ever get to adulthood if you step in and treat her like a child. If you are interested helping her grow, I would dig on why such a big jump, are there any friends that could tag a long, and suggest a weekend or couple of solo weekend trips to get some practice reps in. You could start to understand her motivations and help her meet her goals in a less risky way rather than holding her back from taking a step into adulthood.

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Kids are very independent nowadays. One concern will be given COVID travel is going to be unpredictable. See if she can wait for a year or so until everything settles

Good for her! I'd encourage it, will be a great memorable experience for her.

I don’t know her to know her maturity level—but guessing if she is smart she’ll be fine. She may make some mistakes—but that’s okay.

Has she heard of covid?

Encourage her to wait until next summer. With all of the COVID restrictions, she’ll have a hard time moving freely. Europe is just better in the summer as well. I’d also make her pay for it herself…from flights to accommodations to meals…if she wants the independence, she can earn it!

I have a 19 yr old in college as well. She took a trip last month with her home girls for a week all the way to Miami. I was worried to death. I’ve heard that some girls never come back from Florida on these kinds of trips. So, I talked to her about how drug infested Miami could be, and to be very careful not to be tempted to even smoke weed because she’d never had known what could have beeen mixed with it. I told her that they could spike heavy drugs in it such as cocaine to try and get kids hooked. She even braved covid. I am glad to say that she came back in one piece and Killing it in school! Let her go. I am sure she will be fine. We have to let them explore. My first solo trip was when I was 23 from Africa to the States, and yet here I am, still standing.

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