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U.S. Teenager traveling alone internationally

U.S. Teenager traveling alone internationally

Old Oct 28, 15, 1:45 pm
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U.S. Teenager traveling alone internationally

I know this happens many times a day around the world, but it's a first for us. Our 15 year old was invited to stay with his godparents in Cusco over the holidays. We have been there a few times before as a family, but my wife and I are unable to make the trip this time.

What should I know about sending him on his own? Will going through immigration as a solo 15 year old be a problem?
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Old Oct 28, 15, 2:15 pm
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Suggest you check with the nearest Peruvian consulate, as well as your country's consulate within Peru. Will the routing have your son transit any third country?
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Old Oct 28, 15, 2:28 pm
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No third country. Mia-lim-cus.

Thanks for the help. I will check with them!
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Old Oct 28, 15, 2:32 pm
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In terms of airports where I'd least like to have a teen get stuck with an unexpected overnight, LIM is certainly somewhat high on the list. I haven't been there in a few years, but remember lots of touts and reports of problems with shady cab drivers.

YMMV
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Old Oct 28, 15, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
In terms of airports where I'd least like to have a teen get stuck with an unexpected overnight, LIM is certainly somewhat high on the list. I haven't been there in a few years, but remember lots of touts and reports of problems with shady cab drivers.

YMMV
That was one of my biggest concerns. He has been through it several times, along with countless other airports around the world. But being on his own is something different.

PS lim isn't a whole lot better now.
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Old Oct 28, 15, 2:54 pm
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As the OP is concerned about both general travel issues for a teen as well as issues specific to Peru, for more discussion, let me move this to the dedicated forum on Peru. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Oct 28, 15, 3:00 pm
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Your own analysis of your son's maturity and self-confidence trumps any advice you could get here, IMO.
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Old Oct 28, 15, 6:17 pm
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Besides checking entry requirements (notarized permission letter from parents?), think about the teen having money and credit card like instruments (prepaid Visa?) for emergencies and small purchases in airports and on airplanes, a cell phone that will work in Lima (I assume that the godparents will meet him at the airport and take him back to the airport, going with him as far as possible (to passport control), waiting until his flight home departs safely. He needs to have medical insurance for Peru and it would be good to give the godparents a medical power of attorney (it might be called something different there) so that they can make decisions in an emergency.
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Old Oct 28, 15, 6:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Moderator2 View Post
Your own analysis of your son's maturity and self-confidence trumps any advice you could get here, IMO.


And as you know, there's a hotel @ LIM, worth every Sol, if there are IRROPS, possible stranding, etc. which obviates any need to go into the city (assuming availability).
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Old Oct 28, 15, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by travelinterpreters View Post
What should I know about sending him on his own? Will going through immigration as a solo 15 year old be a problem?

First, check the operating carrier's requirements for unaccompanied minor. For a 15 year old, some airlines require you use the service, some don't. But be mindful of operating carrier--for instance, if I recall correctly, Lan was more stringent than AA. Second, given that travel is international, you will need a letter/authorization (Letter of Consent?)--more info on this should be in State department website. Lastly, get him into a flight that arrives from Mia and leaves for Cuz all in the same day. I recommend avoiding the overnight. Once there, international to domestic connections in Lima should be fairly easy. Good luck!
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Old Oct 28, 15, 8:56 pm
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I really appreciate all the help.

We have stayed at the lim hotel quite a few times, it's expensive but worth it!

The flights are tough to line up to Cusco to try and avoid the overnight at lim.

As for knowing my son and what he is capable of... I think he is good to go for the trip, he thinks the same. I was asking here to see what others think of a teenager doing something like this. He is 6'2", looks like he is 18, and handles himself WAY better than I did when I was 15. Then again I had not left the country when I was 15, and he has traveled extensively.

I would love to see him go, and. I really appreciate all the help from my fellow FTers. I will look into what papers are required tomorrow.
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Old Oct 28, 15, 10:00 pm
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Both AA and LAN have flights from the US arriving early morning at LIM. There should be little to no chance of stranding him there as LAN alone has flights to CUZ almost every hour during the day. Just avoid the flights that arrive in the evening.
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Old Oct 29, 15, 4:09 am
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If Peru has legislation similar to what is required in Argentina, then its not the entry that may give you issues, its the EXIT. Many countries in LA have very strict documentary requirements for kids that don't travel with BOTH of their parents. In your case the kid is alone, so this will catch additional scrutiny. Notarized permissions, if required, may take time as since you are based in the US you may need to get the paperwork done first and then have it properly translated so its valid for use in Peru.... the devil is in the details so suggest you do your homework quickly.
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Old Oct 29, 15, 4:33 am
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If he feels ready, and you provide any document he needs, as well as a source of funds, let him do it IMO. From your description, he seems ready, especially if he would not have to leave any airport on his own.

My friends regularly sent their two kids (together for mutual support, and both expressing comfort with doing the trip) to their grandparents in Brazil, from the time they were 5 and 6 respectively (and more on their own by the kids' reports than 'services' for minors would lead you to believe) and they have grown into very resourceful young people because of the experience.
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