a VirtualTourist member from Miami
My 15 year old son loves to travel and has asked to go to Prague and Budapest this summer before he returns to school. I make a point to travel with him to some "distant" place each summer, but this year I am unsure because of the recent world events. Right or wrong, Americans do not seem to be thought of too kindly around the world these days. I would love some feedback from Americans who have been to these destinations recently. I promised my boy's mom that I would make these inquiries!!
Budapest is absolutely safe city. Well, pickpockets should be taken into account but they exist everywhere. In my university we have a lof of American students who came for the exchange programme and none of them complained about unfriendliness. Hungarians might seem not so talkative but being silent doesn't mean being non-friendly. Hungary is not "America non-friendly" country. I'd rather say they r ok with everybody coming to their country. Don't worry :)
While I haven't been to Prague or Budapest in a couple of years I would say that both will not present any major problems. I am currently studying in Estonia and have travelled throughout the Baltic region and have run into very little serious anti-Americanism. Also, Prague and Budapest are two amazing cities that are well worth a visit. I had a great time in both cities and only wish I had more time to spend there than I did. While I understand the concerns about hostilities toward Americans, I would not let them get in the way of your travel plans.
Alkitta, I think it is more word of mouth than anything. From what I have noticed, when people have a great trip they usually have a hard time describing what made it so great, but if they happened to have a bad experience (getting hastled by a single individual telling them to go back to American or treating them rudely) these are the things that tend to get passed on in great detail. For me its one of the sad things about people talking about travels, for some reason they like to emphizise the negitive instead of the positive.
In my own experience, and opinion, you get treated anywhere (including in your own country) in relation to how you behave and treat others. The old golden rule: "Do unto others as you would have done unto you". Respect others, you are in their home, not yours. Obey rules/laws, you expect yours to be obeyed. Observe and enjoy the differences and culture of where you are. Don't flaunt your own nationality or expect special treatment because of it. Be polite, ask - don't demand. Keep your mind open to what you can learn, and remember you don't know it all, or just because you do something differently doesn't make it right. And PLEASE never say loudly: "WHAT IS THIS IN REAL MONEY!!!!" (Cringe... remembering my grandmother say that to my grandfather, and hearing other tourists say that to each other, and if I heard it, so did others.) So, whether my little sermon is any more applicable to Hungary and Americans than anywhere else, I don't know...
Hi, This question pops up every now and then and the generalisation "Americans do not seem to be thought of too kindly around the world these days." is a statement I dislike a little bit. It's not about nationality, but how you behave: "treat others the way you want to be treated". We can agree that "politically" we may disagree on certain topics. I think most people over here are very capable of making the distinction between "politics" and "tourism". Don't worry too much: he'll enjoy Europe! Gerard
I too have noticed that the question "is it safe for an anerican to go to...." keeps coming up. How do you get the idea that you are not welcome in Europe or for that point anywhere in the world? hey we are friendly people on this side of the pond!!
where does it come from?.. well, I think it's quite easy to answer. 1st of all mass media. American officialsperhaps were sure that all the countreies must be happy to get along with USA. And if some counties disagree, it's simply being "transformed" into anti-Americanism and such a "cake" a given to the USA citizens every day on TV or radio or whatever. I'm in Budapest sor 9 monthes already, since september 2002. And I can tell u for sure - there is NO anti-americanism or anti-whatever here. All depends on how u behave, asit was mentioned here. As for the concern, please don't forget that a father is going to send here his 15-years old son and it is absolutely logical that he worries. Everybody would do the same in his shoes. So I think we Euyropeans should better cheer him up than ask "why oh why?"...
Good conclusion, it has been interesting to read all your comments :)
I think I replied the question "Is Hungary safe for4 American boy of 15 years " and it seems that the forum initiator agreed that the reply was on the topic.
In my opinion, the only one who will be concerned with his (or your) nationality will be him. Same as here, really.