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Preparing Your Teen For Their First Solo Vacation

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Preparing Your Teen For Their First Solo VacationTravel can be utterly overwhelming for adults, especially when it comes to connecting flights, new languages, and different time zones. Even when there’s a team of vacationers it can be hard to keep things straight and running smoothly. Knowing all of this, it can be especially hard to send your teenager out of their first solo vacation trip. Not to worry, good planning and preparation are the first steps. Set your teen up with a plan and a well-packed suitcase and they’re on their way to adventure.

Check out our tips below on preparing your teenager for solo teen travel:

Safety First

The very first concern for anyone that travels is safety. Even if you are traveling during the day, in a well-populated, and touristy area, you should still always be cautious. That goes for even experienced travelers. This is the first lesson to teach your young travelers.

Here are some travel safety tips that each and every traveler should brush up on before an upcoming trip. First, know the area you’re visiting. Do your research before booking a hotel and planning your itinerary. Make sure to search issues, such as crime rates and how safe certain cities are. You can find a lot through research on the web but you can also talk to the locals to learn about an area once you’ve arrived. This can be a great way to get to know the area straight from the source. Do this during the day and ask more than one person, so you know you’re getting reliable information. Someone who is familiar with the area may be able to tell you things like, where the best restaurants are, and what parts of town to avoid after dark. I wouldn’t advise relying entirely on this information but it could steer you in the right direction.

Some other safety tips include bringing cash and a charger whenever you venture out. Always pack a first aid kit in case you’re in a pinch. Also, make copies and take pictures of important documents, in case you lose the originals. Last but not least, always tell someone where you are planning on going, even if they’re far away. Someone should always have an idea of where you are heading, especially if you’re traveling alone.

Safety is important for first-time solo travelers, but there are plenty of other fun tips that you can prepare them with as well.

Don’t Be Afraid To Have Fun Alone

If your young traveler is planning a solo trip they probably have a lot of ideas about what their trip is going to be like. However, once you’re out there alone it’s possible that they could feel somewhat lonely or homesick. Remind your young traveler that vacationing alone is a great opportunity but not written in stone. This allows a certain level of freedom that isn’t always possible in a group. Don’t be afraid to walk around by yourself and take selfies. Head to a nice restaurant and enjoy a quiet meal. There’s often a lot of stigmas attached to venturing out alone but it’s helpful to remind your teen to ignore that.

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Tell them not to be afraid to break away from the itinerary. This is your young travelers first solo vacation, which means it’s all about them. They are free to plan as many guided tours as they want but that doesn’t mean they have to stick to them. This is beauty in solo traveling. If you’re by yourself you don’t have to worry about disappoint anyone. If you get to the hotel, spend the whole day traipsing about a new city and crash by 4:00, that’s fine. If your first couple of nights on the local cuisine doesn’t float your boat, order something more familiar and enjoy it. If the weather and cold and miserable you don’t have to force yourself to stay outdoors all day, it’s okay to mix up your plans.


Last but not least, make sure they’re fully enjoying their first solo vacation. Remind your teenager travelers to put down their phone, unplug their headphones, and really experience a new place. Take this solo opportunity to really take it all in.

There’s No Wrong Way To Travel

There is no right or wrong way to travel, even for your first-time, teenage traveler. The most important thing is to enjoy the trip, stay safe, and have tons of fun! If you remind them of these tips, they’ll be sure to come back with some great stories.

Has your teen traveled alone or are you preparing your teen’s first solo trip?  Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

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23 Comments

  1. Robin rue says

    I would not be comfortable with my teen going off alone, but when they are adults- by all means 🙂 Great tips!

  2. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    These are all great tips. I’m such a worry wort, I don’t know if I could even bring myself to let the kids travel any distance on their own. LOL

  3. Colleen Lanin says

    My kids aren’t old enough to travel solo yet, but I plan to let them if the opportunity comes up. I think it’s important to let them stretch their wings as they get older.

  4. PAM says

    I remember my daughter’s first vacation alone. It was a great experience. These are good tips.

  5. Meagan says

    This look like a lot of fun for her. I am still raising a younger one so I am not at the turn them loose phase yet.

  6. Maureen says

    It isn’t easy letting go, these are great tips to help your teen be prepared for their first vacation without you. I am betting this will be a much used resource over the Summer season!

  7. travel blogger says

    Great tips! This first time I traveled alone, I was terrified. I wish my mother would have told me to just relax and not to be scared to just enjoy myself. Traveling alone is a right of passage that shows you that you really can stand on your own two feet.

  8. Veronica Solomon says

    Very good tips. I am not sure my kids would go without me at this point, but really great information

  9. Liz Mays says

    These are great points. It’s definitely fun to break away from the schedule and do some exploring from time to time.

  10. Crystal says

    The first time I traveled internationally was when I was sixteen. It was such an awfully big adventure, and I’m so grateful my parents let me go.

  11. Rach Ferrucci says

    My kids have both traveled alone but only for a couple days. I think everyone should try it at least once. These are great tips!

  12. Melissa says

    This is so timely because my daughter is going away this summer and I haven’t thought about the details. Those are such good tips to start us off.

  13. Jeanine says

    My oldest will be 14 in a couple months and he asked if he would be able to travel back home where we used to live. It’s something I don’t think I’ll do for a few more years, but I know he would be able to do it!

  14. Rosey says

    My daughter just took her first vacation without me (she just turned 18). It was unnerving, but exciting and she had a blast. 🙂

  15. Kita Bryant says

    I don’t know if I will ever be able to send my child off alone. When they’re older and on their own, that’s their choice but it’s just too dangerous right now for anyone to travel alone much less my child.

  16. Louise Bishop says

    What a scary step in any parent’s life. You’re braver than I am!

  17. Sheena Tatum says

    I know that one day it has to come but it’s not today, so yay! haha These are great tips for any solo traveler!

  18. Kiwi says

    What an interesting post. I didnt get a chance to solo travel until I was an adult like really into adulthood, this would be good info if a teen did an abroad program.

  19. Ann Bacciaglia says

    My Daughter went on her first solo vacation this Summer. I was a nervous wreck but she had an amazing time. It is so hard to let them go out into the big world.

  20. Mary Edwards says

    This is a great post. My daughter is 14. She has been only on church retreats. I know that in high school she will be traveling a lot with drama. Great info!

  21. Preparing Teens for Their First Solo Trip – Kids Email Blog

    […] teen for the trip, it is necessary to sit down with them and have the talk. I’m talking about discussing details about the trip and other necessary subjects such as personal safety. Position yourself as a friend and talk about […]

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