Whilst we love offering the chance to travel Europe by rail to pretty much anyone, it’s no surprise that a lot of people who choose to travel with Euroventure fall within the 18-25 age bracket.
Whether your kids decide to opt for a group tour or head off on a self-guided trip, travelling Europe (or Interrailing) is a rite of passage. For loads of people it might be the first time they’ve travelled without parents around.
It’s completely understandable that you may have concerns over the wellbeing of your son or daughter during their trip, especially when you’re not accompanying them. To help put your minds at ease, we put together the following points in this parents’ guide. Hopefully, we can offer some reassurance when they decide to go off travelling the continent!
Once the trip is booked, we don’t just leave our travellers to fend for themselves. All Euroventure customers are supplied with our 24-hour emergency number. Our helpful staff know all the ins and outs of our European destinations. They are trained to liaise with hostel staff, sort out any booking issues and offer advice on what to do in unexpected situations.
We do everything we can to ensure each trip runs smoothly and everything sticks to schedule, but sometimes there are things we can’t control. Missed trains, unexpected delays or cancellations, and even unforeseen rail strikes could pop up out of the blue. Should any issues arise with travel or accommodation arrangements, we make sure there’s always somebody on hand to deal with situations or provide advice in a responsible and appropriate manner.
Within the EU roaming charges no longer exist, so it’ll be free for younger travellers to keep in touch with home, and even outside of the EU all of the hostels we work with offer free Wi-Fi to their guests, so it’s easy to stay up to date with regular messages and calls.
Personal safety and security
As much as we want all our travellers to have fun and enjoy themselves on their trip, it is up to them to act like responsible adults and remain vigilant throughout their journey. It’s extremely uncommon for tourists to run into any serious trouble, but obviously we’d urge all travellers to use common sense. Exercise the normal precautions, for example staying away from rough-looking areas and being especially cautious if you’re checking out the city at night. Read our safety tips for solo travellers here.
Passports, wallets and phones are some of those items that are essential for the trip but also require keeping a close eye on. When not needed upon their person, all of our hostels supply individual lockers within dormitories for guests to store items securely. We also recommend that all travellers supply their own padlocks with combinations (so you don’t lose the key!) for extra security.
On trips including overnight travel on Sleeper trains, sleeping compartments are lockable to ensure safety and security of person and property. It is each traveller’s responsibility to ensure that these are locked and valuables stowed away safely.
The great thing about our packages is that they can be tailored for as many or as few travellers as necessary. Some travellers might prefer joining a group tour – others might choose to travel as part of a group of friends. For some, it’s chance to head off on their first solo adventure.
Naturally, it can be more concerning for parents if your child is travelling alone, not just in terms of safety and security but also because it’s always good to have some company.
At Euroventure, we generally use the same selection of hostels in each city. So even when you’re travelling solo the chances are you’ll be sharing a hostel with other Euroventure customers – and often even a dorm! Loads of our customers make lifelong friends this way, and it’s also an added security blanket which makes it easier to meet other travellers. If your son or daughter is travelling alone and wants to see who else will be away at the same time, direct them to our Facebook group, where travellers can link up prior to their departure.
Even though we don’t follow our travellers on their journey unless they’re on a group tour, we do equip all Euroventure customers with detailed directions and maps which they’ll find in their travel pack. Not to mention top tips on how to prepare for their travels and make the most of each city. We strongly advise our travellers to keep these resources handy for easy reference when checking train times, changeovers and directions to find their way from station to hostel without fuss.
The routes our trips follow are standard tourist routes across Europe, operated by National and regional rail and coach companies. Locals in these areas are no strangers to foreign travellers and most people will speak some English and be able to help.
Conditions of accommodation
One of the big concerns people tend to have about hostels is safety and standard of accommodation. Rest assured, when it comes to hostels, we really know our stuff. Euroventure staff have hand-picked all the hostels that we use in the packages, after personally staying in them to find the ones that were most suitable (it’s a tough job, we know). We head back to our hostels for visits every Autumn to ensure that they still meet our high standards.
Cleanliness, comfort, security and location are all key factors in our decision-making. We wouldn’t send anybody to stay in accommodation we haven’t checked out first, so we’re confident that our travellers are in hostels of considerable quality. Safety precautions including lockers for each traveller, 24 hour reception desks and key-card entry systems are just some of the features that we look for in our hostels.
Again, if your child encounters any problems they can give us a call any time of day or night. We’re just a phone call away.
Remember, it's a rite of passage
Whilst we pride ourselves on providing a responsible service that ensures safety and wellbeing, we also feel that it’s important to give our customers the freedom to explore and to enjoy the trip in their own way. Part of the overall experience for first-time travellers is a profound sense of independence and problem solving.
We’re not going to lie: there may well be a few hiccups to deal with along the way. However, we’re positive that no problem will be too big to sort out. As we mentioned, our emergency line is manned 24 hours a day so your son or daughter will always be able to get in touch with us throughout their trip.
Should you have any other concerns, feel free to get in touch with us on +44 (0) 113 868 2360 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we can iron out any other concerns you may have.