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1. Posted by phish123 (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

im very new at backpacking. actully im going my first time this summer. im planning on hitting up Germany, Czech republic, Austria, France. I am only 16 and i will be traveling by myself or possibly with one other person. At first i thought it sounded kind of sketchy but then i talked to other people i know who did this when they were 16. But now im hearing things about how Europeans hate Americans and that it would be pretty dangerous to do this. I will be staying in only hostels. So what im asking is just for tips on what to look out for and your opinion on me doing this by myself for 2-3 weeks and tips on how to make it as cheap as possible.
Thanks soo much.

2. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

ppl dont HATE americans, ppl hate idiots. dont act like an idiot and you should have little problems. it is true that its not the best time to be an american, but the most ppl will do is just talk shit to you or try and rip you off (which they will do to anyone who is obviously a tourist).

if i were you id DEFINATELY wait until youre 18 or something before you wont be able to get into that many places at night (mostly the limit is 18) however you can buy alcohol in most plces...

but flying all the way from the US to go around europe for 2-3 weeks is kinda a waste, i mean, its better than nothing, but you should wait until you have time to come for a month or 2, then you have more time to see everything you want to see without rushing around so much... where do you want to see in the countries you mentioned? you need more time in each country to see it properly...

[ Edit: Edited on May 27, 2008, at 2:24 AM by jaxstar84 ]

3. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

As an American whose traveled for ten years iv never had any trouble...aside from gypsies in Russia. Like Jaxstar says, dont be an idiot and ull be fine...well as fine as you would be at home.

I too think 16 is a bit young. Wait til ur 18.

4. Posted by phish123 (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

thanks alot. by what are the reasons that i should wait till im 18? cause im not alcohol crazy


5. Posted by Buttfish (Respected Member 298 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

it's not so much about being alcohol-crazy. it's mostly that the younger are easier targets. when in a different country, where you're not familiar with the surroundings, you have to be careful - as careful like anywhere else or like at home - but no matter where you are, it's easier for those with bad intentions to succeed with someone younger, because to them they will pose less danger or less hassle (i read that somewhere, but i can't remember where). people are people, i guess. maybe have someone to travel with?

6. Posted by Kiowa (Inactive 62 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Let me tell you right here from fucking old Germany. We kill Americans everyday we find them one the streets here. Just killed two last night, just because they are Americans.

7. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Kiowa im coming to Germany again in September...please dont kill me

8. Posted by jordii (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I commend you for having the courage and desire to do this, it will certainly be a character building experience!
Just be smart, be aware of your surroundings. Thieves and pickpockets will target train stations, metro stations, busy plazas...anywhere target rich environments. Make yourself look like a "poor" target by not showing any bling.. Some other things that come to mind -
> Wear a cheap watch, no jewelry, no ipod, no camera visible..otherwise you'll attract the wrong type of attention.
> Keep your wallet in your front pocket or zipped up.
> Keep a copy of your passport/license in a different location. So if your bag did get stolen with your passport in it you have a copy on you. Also keep a little extra cash in a different location, if it's all in your wallet or bag and one gets stolen then your out of cash.
> Learn a little of the langauges, basic phrases, numbers...research a little and write it down.
> Keep a journal, write down your thoughts what you feel, what you see, what you'll enjoy reading it 10 years from now!
> Don't rush from town to town, site to site...take time and enjoy the town and absorb the culture...if you have to spend more time in one spot than you planned because you love it or want to see more or met some cool people, do it! Flexible itenerary...
> Assuming your railing around. But once you get to a towm, taxis can get expensive. If you're trying to be cheap, metro and buses will be cheaper or foot of course...Talk to other backpackers, sometimes you can share cabs or if they are taking a metro or bus to same/close place you can just tag along (can be useful when there is language barrier).
> Oh and the most important thing - make sure you don't oversleep and make your return flight! haha

Any specific questions feel free to ask. I'll also be in Czech Rep and Austria this summer, among other places. When are you going?
Good luck!

9. Posted by phish123 (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

ill be there probably in August. I'm also going to go to Austria. maybe.

10. Posted by damon_75 (Budding Member 22 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Wait till your 18 as alot of hostels will only accept 18 plus. Saying that i travelled at the age of 17 for the first time and a couple of times i wanted to stay at an 18 plus hostel so i emailed them and asked nicely and they let me.I travelled europe for a month and a half at the age of 17 and i didnt have anyproblems getting into night clubs and such but i looked a fair bit over 18.