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Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

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Newport Beach, CA
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Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

Hi....my 18 year old daughter is determined to visit Istanbul in late June with a similar-aged friend. We are from California and she has travelled abroad a fair amount, but this would be her most independent trip (no family joining her for any portion of the trip), and I've never been to Istanbul. Am I crazy to consider letting this California girl head to Istanbul?

I appreciate your honest advice!

M B
New York City, New...
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1. Re: Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

We have just returned from 10 days there. It is an exciting fascinating city but in a way more 'foreign' than any city in Europe or the Americas: I would not want my 18 year old to go alone with a girl firend. In some ways it is a deeply conservative place, and at the same time it is a wild party town. Read the forums here: our experience bore out the warnings and need for caution. Why don't you go too ?

Kayakoy, Turkey
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2. Re: Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

İ think honestly this is not an issue if you can trust İstanbul and the people as a being such a large city, it is more an question if you can trust your daughter and her friend. And İ think that is very important. A question: would she be allowed to travel to New York with her friend?

İf she is independent, sensible, grown up then why not. Especially when they are together there is not much what could happen. İ am European and started traveling with my sister since we were about the same age. We took the train to Prague, Paris, to southern France. And İ assure you much more could have happened there than in İstanbul. We were well prepared, very alert, and aware of what could happen.

Be sure they book a good hotel, so they are safe. They will go around see the sights, go shopping, have fun for sure... be sure you can be in touch over Skype or in any other way. You know the city has over 14 million people population, so count how many of them are 18 year old teenagers. İstanbul is still on the top of the list of the more safer cities in the world. And İ am sure the recent events that happened to this poor New York woman makes you worry more, but that seems it was a very unfortunate incident, she was at the wrong place at the wrong time. And we here about killings in the USA on the news so often (compared to killings in İstanbul). Nevertheless that is where you live, where your daughter grows up. İ would say, if you do trust your daughter on traveling within the USA on her own with a friend you can trust her too on traveling to İstanbul.

Istanbul, Turkey
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3. Re: Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

You say she has travelled a fair amount...has she travelled outside the USA?has she expertienced other very large foreign cities before?If not then I would be a little wary with such a young girl.

She is your daughter,what is she like just how grown up and street savvy is she?At 18 they think they know it all and can handle anything but most are actually not all that!What is her friend like?Super sensible?Bit scatty?Would one lead the other astray?

These are things only you know for sure but if she hasn't had much experience of foreign travel then I personally would think twice.Istanbul is a safe city really and truly but not every 18 year old person is yet equipped to handle it.

Surrey, UK
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4. Re: Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

I agree with VR and Sari - and indeed asking 'would you let her go to New York' is a good guide line. Young people have been travelling to Istanbul for decades and just looking at the visitors going in and out of the hostels in Sultanahmet shows that they still are in their droves.

Istanbul is safe - but it is, as one poster put it, far more 'foreign' than European or US cities. If she is well-travelled, confident, able to put amorous men in their place effortlessly and better yet, able to cut them dead, has good street smarts, and is sensible, she is safer in Istanbul than most other major cities (and could get into more trouble in her home town!).

It is a long way from home though, and most 18 year olds are only just learning about traveling and all the culture shock (and steep learning curve) that entails. Istanbul may be too much out of her comfort zone.

Istanbul, Turkey
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5. Re: Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

GTTD,you put my thoughts into better words than I did :) I know some middle aged people who really shouldn't be travelling solo!So much depends on the maturity and confidence of the individual.

Dublin, Ireland
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6. Re: Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

I agree with the above - this is less about Istanbul and more about the two girls - are they trusting or wary ? How do they deal with charming men ? Do they fall for a 'hard luck ' story ? Are the aware of their surroundings or a bit scatty? Do they take good care of their possessions or are forever leaving a bag

behind or locking themselves - some teenage girls can be very immature and scatty but not all so only you can judge or if you feel unable

to be objective about your daughter ask a goid friend or family member and also whst about her friend as they both need to be able for this

not just one. Why don't you and a friend go as well and then you can both have a holiday but allow her some freedom as well as you can go your separate ways sometimes and do things

as a group on other occasions?

Also can I ask 'why Istanbul' it is a beautiful and fascinating city but I would have thought not first choice for 18 year old girls ?

Edited: 6:14 am, February 17, 2013
norwich
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7. Re: Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

My son and his girlfriend,both 19, have just returned from 2 weeks in Lanzarote. It was their first holiday without any parents and I must admit I was worried about them.They stayed at a good quality AI hotel and we made sure they had access to money if they ran out of funds.We were lucky that somebody on another forum lives close to the hotel and offered to go to them should they need help,it really put my mind at ease knowing that they could call on her if necessary.I'm not sure how I would have felt otherwise.They took a netbook with them and were in contact with us most days.

You can probably judge how your daughter and her friend would cope in an emergency better than they can, but I doubt that you will be able to influence her decision if she really wants to go.I'm glad my son stayed closer to home.

Dublin, Ireland
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8. Re: Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

I think technology is such a comfort to parents in these situations. I went on my first holiday in 1980 at 18 with another girl of 17 to

Magaluf in Majorca. There was no text , e-mail or skype and with the exception of one phone call ( huge cost) there was no contact for 2 weeks. ! Our only mishap was being conned by the gypsy rose sellers who pulled the old ' make a lot if noise and confuse them' and managed to confuse us with the peseta notes t so we paid about €15 for a Rose instead of 50

pence - enough for a really good night out in those days.

We were furious when we realised but it toughened us up and we were able to be abrupt and brush all the street sellers off after

that . A life long lesson as the scam still survives!! And we never told our parents or anyone we were too embarrassed at being

'done'.

Other than a bit of sunburn and a case of the

blues leaving our 'holiday romance ' behind we

had a great time and really enjoyed the independence.

Looking back though we were quite sharp and

aware of the usual dangers that we were aware of a home i.e getting too drunk , drugs , spiked drinks , going off with unknown guys , walking home alone , being followed etc which much

as we like to look back with rose tinted glasses were just as relevant then as they are now.

It was the unknown beach sellers which we had never encountered before that got us!

I often think now though that our parents must have been worried sick but they never said a word.

New Castle, Delaware
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9. Re: Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

I would 2nd the ask why Istanbul, even as a 20 something female here now, it really still wasn't even my first choice. I just happen to land a good deal on airfare and hotel.

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10. Re: Worried mom wonders about safety for her teenage daughter

Frankly that does not sound like a good idea. My daughter has traveled extensively but always as a family and Istanbul requires some real travel savvy and at 18 doubt she has that. No way no how...it is a different world than even 10 years ago and even with (and maybe especially with ) technology kids meet people from online connections. Sorry but when I look at that woman that just got killed and where she was staying all alone I just wonder what people are thinking.