By Sarah Hoberman and Sonya Mitchell
They sat around a dinner table piled with maps of Europe with circled cities that outlined their route for their three-week journey in Europe.
Each of the four friends chose the destination of their choice, and it was at this gathering that they collaborated their desires and ideas to make their Euro-trip perfect.Â They decided on Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam and various cities in the South of France.
âWe all chose the city that we most wanted to go to, and depending on location we either added cities or had to adjust if they were too out of the way,â Emily Helpern â07 said. âWe were all really flexible because we just wanted to make our trip work.â
Organizing her big trip to Europe took advanced planning for Helpern.
âFirst we had to find a time that worked for all of the people involved because certain people had prior arrangements during the summer like family graduations and college orientations,â Helpern said.
âAlso, we had to propose the idea to our parents. Some of us were allowed because our siblings had done a similar trip. But one of our friends wasnât allowed to come because her parents werenât okay with her traveling Europe alone with no parent supervision.â
Although many take senior trips, not all choose to travel to Europe due to the expense or their interest in another location. However, many students do.
âWe wanted the luxury of being able to be in a country one day and then have it be as easy as hopping on a train and being in a different country the next day,â Nicky Berger â07 said. âAlso, three out of the five friends Iâm going with on the trip have never been to Europe before, and we wanted our trip to be somewhere special, not just a resort you go to over spring break.â
Once in Europe, Berger will be traveling primarily by train with the exception of one flight and will be accompanied by friends John Howe â07, Spencer Spiegel â07, Thomas McAndrews â07 and Cole Baker â07 for three and a half weeks in July.
âI wanted to see different parts of the world before college,â Clark Porter â07 said. âThe only city I have been to in Europe is Venice, so I wanted to see all the other famous cities and sites.â
Porter andÂ his group will be traveling to Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Prague.
âMy dad helped me plan it because he goes to Europe a lot, and our parents felt more comfortable with us staying in hotels then in youth hostels with a lot of other kids,â Lauren Smith â07 said. âItâs not like theyâre five-star hotels.â
Although hotels, expensive or not, have the advantage of privacy and greater luxury, youth hostels attract teens because of their price and social aspects.Â
âWe wanted a reasonable budget and wanted to be able to put more money towards other aspects of the trip,â Berger said.
âAlso, my brother stayed in hostels when he went on his senior trip and said you meet people from all over all the world and it is a really great experience.â
Students find that all the planning is worthwhile because of the destination and the experience that awaits them.
âDuring the day weâll probably go to some museums and a lot of beaches,â Berger said. âBut at night we want to act like locals and experience the culture from the localsâ perspective by going to restaurants and clubs.â
Berger is looking forward to the beaches in Cinqueterra in the south of Italy because it is not a destination for many trips.
Because so many different groups of friends go to Europe there is an opportunity to meet up with other student groups.
Porter who is traveling with senior pals Alex Valner, Jon Sebastian, and George Welsh will actually be meeting up with Berger and his group of friends in Berlin.
âIt is our last hurrah before we all go away,â Berger said. âWe are all going to different colleges in different cities all over the country.â