Sunday, December 30, 2007

First time traveler (14 yr old) where in europe would be the safest and cheapest?

somebody told me switzerland, but i want a lot of opinions. where i would like to go : italy, france, spain, switzerland, germany etc. no eastern european countries please. also if you want please list a tour guide company (i was looking at ef tours, which i will probably use, but any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated)

Answer on First time traveler (14 yr old) where in europe would be the safest and cheapest?

Almost all countries in continental Western Europe (i.e., not UK or Eastern Europe) have low rates of violent crime. However, there is plenty of people in these countries who would love to separate you from your money. Switzerland has among the lowest rates of both violent and property crime, but is very expensive. Anywhere in Western Europe is reasonably safe but pricey, and my recommendation is not to decide where to visit just based on safety or cost, but by what interests you in these countries.

I am not a fan of tours, since they take the flexibility out of your trip, and have you visit touristy sites, rather than the real Europe. Instead, I recommend finding someone to travel with, and then visiting what you want to visit, at your own pace. Also, travelling with a companion is safer.