17yr old- Trouble Entering Countries? - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



Go Back   TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards! > Members Lounge > General Travel Tips, Education, Advice > Dumb Questions for First Time Travelers

Dumb Questions for First Time Travelers Rule number one- There are no dumb questions!
First time travelers, please ask your dumb questions here=)!

Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-04-2009, 03:53 PM   #1
 
double.exposed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington (the state)
Posts: 53
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Well, I'm just taking a shot since I haven't researched as extensively as I should on this subject, but I wanted to ask you guys first: as a 17 year old, will I face any legal trouble with trying to enter the country I'm arriving in? It's likely that I'll fly into Dublin, and I want to make sure that I'm not stuck looking like a fool for lack of knowing that I needed a note from mommy and daddy, haha!

I know that some members on here have travelled at 17, and I'm pretty stubbornly set on doing so, since I'll turn 18 only a few months beyond when I arrive back home. I'm not concerned with drinking or smoking or any of that (tsk tsk, I'm terribly boring, aren't I?), just getting in!

Thanks so much, and I'm sorry if someone's already answered this before!
double.exposed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 04:27 PM   #2
TPunk Moderator
 
pinknic38's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Posts: 2,857
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to pinknic38 Send a message via Yahoo to pinknic38 Send a message via Skype™ to pinknic38
Default

As far as I know, traveling isn't like going to a big bar or something, where you have to be a certain age to get in. I believe if you're under 16 there may be special requirements. I know you have to apply for a passport in person if you're under 16. The State Department's website is a great place for any kind of "legal" questions.

But when you buy your ticket online, they don't really care as long as it's paid for, whatever, no issues. And when you go through security, and you hand them your boarding pass & ID, they aren't looking for age, they're looking to see if the names match and that you look something like the picture on the ID.

Many hostels have an age restriction, however. Most YHA affiliated hostels will accept any age. I researched this as I am trying to travel somewhere with my 14 year old sister and found that she would be unable to stay in a lot of the backpacker hostels. However, as I looked, it seemed to me that as long as you were over 16, you were fine. When you book a hostel though, or look for them, if they require you to be a certain age, they will specify on the website.

I think you will be fine though. Hope this helps.
__________________
SO FAR: USA, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Kuwait, Qatar, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan
UP NEXT: Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Grand Cayman Islands - Feb 2012


tpunk gallery * twitter
pinknic38 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 04:46 PM   #3
 
double.exposed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington (the state)
Posts: 53
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinknic38 View Post
As far as I know, traveling isn't like going to a big bar or something, where you have to be a certain age to get in. I believe if you're under 16 there may be special requirements. I know you have to apply for a passport in person if you're under 16. The State Department's website is a great place for any kind of "legal" questions.

But when you buy your ticket online, they don't really care as long as it's paid for, whatever, no issues. And when you go through security, and you hand them your boarding pass & ID, they aren't looking for age, they're looking to see if the names match and that you look something like the picture on the ID.

Many hostels have an age restriction, however. Most YHA affiliated hostels will accept any age. I researched this as I am trying to travel somewhere with my 14 year old sister and found that she would be unable to stay in a lot of the backpacker hostels. However, as I looked, it seemed to me that as long as you were over 16, you were fine. When you book a hostel though, or look for them, if they require you to be a certain age, they will specify on the website.

I think you will be fine though. Hope this helps.
Ahh, I appreciate the quick answer! I am not too worried about the hostelling, as I plan mostly to stay with contacts and also at some eco-villages, camping when I get the chance too. Also, I've got the passport already, which I got when I was maybe 15... though I had purple hair back then, I don't think they'll give me any trouble - I've used the passport for ID in some domestic flights and the people checking it just find it pretty amusing. :P

I just wanted to be sure, it seems that once I read a thing about needing a notarized letter from both parents in order to travel as someone who is underage! That would not be such a pleasant situation to be in - already across the Atlantic and without the magic key to get in..

Another question: do many people have experience with being asked to produce some kind of bank statement as you're arriving, to be sure that you aren't going to leech money from the country or something like that? I've read that some places do, but it depends on the person you're dealing with...
double.exposed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 05:20 PM   #4
Mod
 
aliz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,216
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via MSN to aliz
Default

you know the only place I had trouble getting in to a country based on age, was either USA or Canada - I can't remember which but I was either leaving Canada and entering USA or the other way round - and the guy was like 'how old are you? do your parents know where you are? do you have a letter from them?' I was like 'what the hell?!". but when I went to europe I was travelling with a friend who was still 17 and it was fine. even the hostels that say they're restricted to 18-35s didn't care.

oh and I think the only situation you'd be asked for your bank statement would be if you were questioned and you didn't have a return ticket to show. it's also good to book your first night's accommodation online before you go so you can have a printout to show the border security if they ask. In the UK they often want to know whether you have accommodation booked.
__________________
www.bell-street.com

Last edited by aliz; 01-04-2009 at 05:22 PM.
aliz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 05:35 AM   #5
The " ... " queen of TP!
 
simply_angelic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ontario
Posts: 2,988
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

No way it's super easy....of course I did land in paris where they didn't even open my passport! lol

If you're going to Europe it's actually amazing because so many places have crazy discounts for people under 18, france especially. I got into the Louvre for free and several castles, it was sweet!
__________________
~Laura
GO CANADA!!!!

If you walk backwards, you'll find out that you can go forward and people won't know if you're coming or going.

Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.
-James Dean

Countries I've Visited: Austria, Botswana, Canada, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy. Malawi, Mexico, Portugal, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, USA, UK, Vatican City, Zambia
simply_angelic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2009, 08:55 PM   #6
 
double.exposed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington (the state)
Posts: 53
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thanks, all of you guys, for easing my pre-trip fears! I'm glad I don't have to bother with getting permission or anything, that makes things exponentially more fun and easy and deliciously adventurous. :D
double.exposed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2009, 07:05 PM   #7
 
double.exposed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington (the state)
Posts: 53
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Trip changes have occurred at this point, and it seems that now I'm going to be going to Halifax, and spending some time trouncing around Canada for the summer, instead of my previously planned trip to the U.K. and Ireland. [insert obligatory comment about recession, etc.]

So now I am going to renew my question, and see if there have been any young'un tpunks with experience travelling to Canada. It looks like they recommend having a note from parents, but I'll have a return ticket and a hostel reservation for the day I get there, so I'm just curious if someone can give me a little info that is perhaps specific to Canada, or if the answers pinknic, aliz, and simply_angelic gave still apply.

Thanks a bunch, you guys are still my fave! :D
__________________
I got my eye on: Israel, Portugal, India, Nepal, Argentina, Germany, Denmark, Svalbard, and of course a million other places! Nearly anywhere you'll give me a ticket to..
double.exposed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2009, 07:07 PM   #8
 
double.exposed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington (the state)
Posts: 53
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by double.exposed View Post
Trip changes have occurred at this point, and it seems that now I'm going to be going to Halifax, and spending some time trouncing around Canada for the summer, instead of my previously planned trip to the U.K. and Ireland. [insert obligatory comment about recession, etc.]

So now I am going to renew my question, and see if there have been any young'un tpunks with experience travelling to Canada. It looks like they recommend having a note from parents, but I'll have a return ticket and a hostel reservation for the day I get there, so I'm just curious if someone can give me a little info that is perhaps specific to Canada, or if the answers pinknic, aliz, and simply_angelic gave still apply.

Thanks a bunch, you guys are still my fave! :D
Oh, PS, I'll stay with friends/CS hosts for a while during my trip, so I wonder if, in the case of needing to put an address of where I will stay during the trip, I could use the address of these buddies o' mine? I think my parents would play along, do you think border officials are really going to care that much unless I get into trouble? Which I won't. :P
__________________
I got my eye on: Israel, Portugal, India, Nepal, Argentina, Germany, Denmark, Svalbard, and of course a million other places! Nearly anywhere you'll give me a ticket to..
double.exposed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 06:26 AM   #9
TPunk. Recognize.
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,181
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

No, shouldnt be a problem with putting in any address you have and where you'll know the people there. If anything happens and they tried to contact you there - just say you changed your plans. its a formality.
mbo108 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 07:31 AM   #10
 
double.exposed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington (the state)
Posts: 53
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbo108 View Post
No, shouldnt be a problem with putting in any address you have and where you'll know the people there. If anything happens and they tried to contact you there - just say you changed your plans. its a formality.
Ah, thanks! Okay, that's what I was expecting - any thoughts on whether it matters if it's notarized or not? I don't look like I'm 17, really, taking into consideration that I can go to wineries with my parents and friends and not get a second look, so I wonder if they'll even really look that thoroughly at my information when I arrive.
__________________
I got my eye on: Israel, Portugal, India, Nepal, Argentina, Germany, Denmark, Svalbard, and of course a million other places! Nearly anywhere you'll give me a ticket to..
double.exposed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 06:41 PM   #11
TPunk Emeritus
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,115
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I'm not sure about a minor (under 18) traveling alone, but I know that when an adult crosses the border with a minor, they should have a notarized letter or power of attorney from the other parent, or both parents (if the adult in question is not the parent). The goal is to reduce the number of children that are abducted, sometimes by their non-custodial parents.

That said, they don't always ask, but sometimes they do.

Having travelled with my children across the border numerous times, while dad was busy elsewhere, I've gone through the conversation with countless border control agents. The best was at the tail end of an inordinately long journey from Japan. We were moving back to the US, had moved out of our house in Japan but did not yet have an address in the States. We didn't have cell phones, so there was no efficient way to contact my husband, and the border patrol weren't terribly sympathetic. They couldn't comprehend why I was going to Canada, if we were moving to the US? (The fact that I was travelling on a Canadian passport, and told them we were visiting my parents for a week notwithstanding.) My poor kids had been awake most of the flight, and had finally fallen asleep about an hour before we arrived at the border, so they were the living dead at that point, and couldn't understand why the man was asking if mummy and daddy were still married? Did daddy know where we were?

The final straw was, he asked when we'd left Japan, and I replied 3 pm Monday. Since it was currently noon on Monday, the poor guy was completely baffled. Finally, another guard came over, asked three questions, looked at all my papers, and sent us on our weary way.

Despite the hassle, I'd rather they did that than have one of my kids spirited out of the country.

tumblezweedz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 10:55 PM   #12
 
double.exposed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington (the state)
Posts: 53
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tumblezweedz View Post
I'm not sure about a minor (under 18) traveling alone, but I know that when an adult crosses the border with a minor, they should have a notarized letter or power of attorney from the other parent, or both parents (if the adult in question is not the parent). The goal is to reduce the number of children that are abducted, sometimes by their non-custodial parents.

That said, they don't always ask, but sometimes they do.

Having travelled with my children across the border numerous times, while dad was busy elsewhere, I've gone through the conversation with countless border control agents. The best was at the tail end of an inordinately long journey from Japan. We were moving back to the US, had moved out of our house in Japan but did not yet have an address in the States. We didn't have cell phones, so there was no efficient way to contact my husband, and the border patrol weren't terribly sympathetic. They couldn't comprehend why I was going to Canada, if we were moving to the US? (The fact that I was travelling on a Canadian passport, and told them we were visiting my parents for a week notwithstanding.) My poor kids had been awake most of the flight, and had finally fallen asleep about an hour before we arrived at the border, so they were the living dead at that point, and couldn't understand why the man was asking if mummy and daddy were still married? Did daddy know where we were?

The final straw was, he asked when we'd left Japan, and I replied 3 pm Monday. Since it was currently noon on Monday, the poor guy was completely baffled. Finally, another guard came over, asked three questions, looked at all my papers, and sent us on our weary way.

Despite the hassle, I'd rather they did that than have one of my kids spirited out of the country.

Oh, I totally agree that it is better to have a slightly annoying bureaucratic inconvenience in order to prevent kidnapping and other such horrible things. I actually did know about these kinds of things from when I was eleven, when my dad (custodial parent) and I went on vacation to Europe for the summer, and my mom had to get the notarized letter for us to be able to travel freely.

In my case, I think it's a little different, since I will be alone, and I don't talk to my mom that much, so I wonder about whether I can just get a note from my custodial parent, that isn't notarized necessarily - I guess I'd rather cover all of my bases, but on the other hand, if it's just a formality that won't be a big issue in reality, I'd also rather save the hassle. :P
__________________
I got my eye on: Israel, Portugal, India, Nepal, Argentina, Germany, Denmark, Svalbard, and of course a million other places! Nearly anywhere you'll give me a ticket to..
double.exposed is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply






Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:53 AM.



 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.2.0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121