Date of Trip: January 2016
My first solo-traveling adventure.
By Erick 17 years old. From Los Angeles.
My name is Erick. I’m a 17-year-old teenager from Los Angeles and yes, I’ve recently had my first solo-traveling last holiday season. Well, I wasn’t really alone, I traveled with my little dog (he’s a Pug which name is Chewie). Chewie is my best friend and he’s with me most of the times however, we went to visit my big sister in San Francisco and spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with her little family (I was going to stay at her home but I finally decided to stay at a hotel room to be more comfortable because of my dog and I also wanted to live the whole solo traveling experience).
This was supposed to be my first solo travel and flight and everything so, imagine my mother’s concern, her two little sons traveling across the state by ourselves. Anyway, it was a great adventure and everything resulted excellent because we planned it all with a couple months of anticipation.
First of all, we searched for the flight; it is actually a good travel tip to search and buy flight tickets with anticipation, rates are lower and sometimes you find special deals or offers. I would recommend to other teen travelers to consult websites like kayak or booking (the ones my mom and I consulted) which also helps you to find best hotel rates, location, services they offer and everything you need. I can definitely say that my adventure started here because it was a little hard to find a pet-friendly hotel nearly my sister’s house and the airline politics for traveling with pets. Everything resulted fine, we got our flight tickets and accommodation ready.
Then my mom was a little worried about the transportation, It was going to be holidays and that means traffic problems, so she searched for a private transportation service and give them my complete itinerary; the agency picked me up at my home many hours before the flight and took me to the airport, then when I arrived to California the same transportation company was there waiting for me and took me and Chewie to my sister’s. Yes, they were also pet-friendly! And this way I felt the adventure since I left home.
Finally, we arrived to San Francisco, and the first thing I saw was the incredible Golden Gate Bridge. I could imagine me and Chewie walking through it and taking some pictures and Snapchats to share. We did it the same day, by the way, my sister, her husband, and my little nephew went with us also. That was a day before Christmas and we did a little shopping, we eat outside and I drunk the best coffee I’ve ever tasted at Café Bellini.
One of the best things I knew about San Francisco was its famous Cable Car, I really wanted to take a ride on it so I made a 2-hour line waiting. That’s definitely an incomparable experience, you can watch the city, the streets, and the stores right from the cable car, there wasn’t doors or windows; I felt free and enjoyed the whole ride. Oh, I almost forgot to say that Chewie took the ride too! Yes, it is a pet-friendly attraction.
We had Christmas’s dinner, I was glad to be there and happy to had that opportunity of taking that adventure by myself, and I also was very grateful with my parents. There were 5 days left and I wanted to go everywhere I could. We visited Sausalito (a beautiful little town inside SF and near the Golden Gate area), Muir Woods National Monument which is an awesome park, and many other places around the city (most of them with Chewie as well).
Yes, I missed my parents but I was having a lot of fun and feeling independent too. Certainly, a day before my return flight I had mixed feelings; I was kind of sad but happy and grateful and yeah, a little nervous too but nothing I couldn’t handle.
Finally, the transportation service my mom hired was waiting for me out of my hotel and took me and my dog to the airport. I was carrying an extra bag because I did a little shopping there but I didn’t have any problem with the airline politics. It was a very quick flight so Chewie didn’t have problems as well.
Now I feel since that trip I’m more independent and I definitely grew up. It was an absolutely great adventure, a pleasant challenge and an experience in which I learned many things. I encourage teens to do this kind of trips, they’re very fruitful and we live and learn important things. If you plan everything carefully there’s no way something can go wrong. So, let’s have an adventure!