I’ve been reading a lot of questions from worried parents lately asking if their children can travel alone. On the forums, everyone is discussing it but the answer is simple, yes. No difficult procedures should be undertaken to ensure that your child can fly by himself or herself. I’ve done it 2 times and now that I’m 17, I’ve done it 2 times over. There are a few things I need to explain.
In Europe, flying alone is allowed from 16-year-old. I haven’t come across a single airline in Europe that doesn’t allow this. No papers have to be signed by parents and the airline doesn’t need to be informed in advance. It’s perfectly fine to book a flight by yourself at 16-year-old and it’s no problem to fly by yourself. This feels strange but I’ve done it plenty of times and it’s always okay. Please do check the airlines’ website because this might not apply to ALL airlines.
Buses or trains
Travelling by train and bus is allowed as well. Even if you’re from Europe and you’re 15-years-old, this is perfectly fine. Arranging for an accommodation is hard when you’re 15 though so I wouldn’t recommend this. Here goes the same: the bus company doesn’t have to be informed in advance. Here goes the same, you can go unless the website states differently.
This is the trickiest part. On most websites, you’re legally allowed to book an accommodation when 18. If you’re a minor, however, this isn’t possible. I would recommend not to try and pretend that you’re older since they will check your passport anyway. A better way to arrange for accommodation is by using booking.com and search for hostels. Yes, I understand that it may seem even scarier to stay in a room with strangers but the opposite is true. In a hostel room, you won’t be alone and you will have someone to talk to. This way, the chance of you getting homesick immediately drops. Also, you will have people to look after you. Personally, I love hostels. I’ve met so many amazing people with the best stories imaginable.
This might be the most important thing. You have to be able to speak English or the local language of the country where you’re travelling to. If you only speak Dutch, for example, I would strongly not recommend travelling alone! It’s hard and I would say even dangerous to travel alone without being able to communicate with others.
I hope you’ll have an awesome trip.