Parents of teenagers, this will make your blood run cold.
This week daughter #1 and her friends sat down to plan a three-week interrailing tour around Europe.
They decided which countries and cities they want to visit, costed it out and chose their dates – about five minutes after their last A level exam in June.
As a parent, this sounds like the plot of the first 20 minutes of every Eli Roth horror movie you’ve ever seen, that ends up in an underground bunker somewhere in Eastern Europe where millionaires pay fortunes to torture naïve young adults to death.
Either that, or that part of a recurring nightmare where the next thing to happen is all your teeth fall out and you turn up for work naked – and nobody wants to see that. MILFS may have been a thing for some time now but there is no such thing as a DILF.
Anyway, the route is planned – Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Krakow, Vienna, Budapest, Ljubljana, Milan, Venice and Split.
And speaking as a jumpy parent, all of which have been on the news in the past 12 months for one reason or another.
Yours truly’s day job is halfway between our great city of Lancaster and Manchester Airport, so for three weeks from mid-June I’ll have my passport in my back pocket just in case we get a teary phone call to say, “I’ve lost my passport” or “I’ve run out of money” or “We’ve had a big row and they’ve wandered off” or “I’ve got a job dancing in a nightclub and I live in Poland now” or “I’ve met a man, he’s a bit older than me but you’d really like him”. You get the picture.
The boss went interrailing with her friends in the late 80s-early 90s at around the same age as daughter #1 is now.
And while slumming it in tents and on railway platforms while living off stale bread which had been binned by bakeries was part of the experience back then, only upmarket youth hostels and hotels will cut it now.
To be fair to daughter #1, she’s saved up her wages from her part-time job and has costed out the trip to the penny, or cent.
But if this column’s a bit cranky then, this is the reason why.