My oldest (20 years old) is going to Italy to study for 3.5 months. He is leaving this Sunday.
He has his return plane flight ticket.
He has a credit card, Euro's and Dollars.
If (when) the Euro falls, or Italy gets booted from the EU, what issues will he encounter? He will be a 1.5 hour train ride from Rome in the smallish city of Macerata.
If he were your son, what would you send with him to make sure he can get home?
Oh yeah, he has a map of Rome with the US Embassy marked.
First, sounds like you are asking the right questions..
(1) International Phone Card
(2) Levi Jeans New (can be traded or given as gifts) - 2 pairs
(3) Good Pair of Hiking Boots
(4) Junk silver about $250 worth (20 dimes - 20 quarters - 10 half dollars) - Just put them in a baggy in his carry on and treat them just like regular change and shouldn't be problem. TSA will see it as pocket change.
(5) Exit Plan "A" and Exit Plan "B" with the phone numbers and contacts he would need to execute either plan...including all train stations and bus stations for each plan. Plan "A" - plane out of Italy.... Plan "B' - might be train to England.
(6) Embassy locations for other surrounding countries with phone numbers.
(7) Agreed upon Twitter or Facebook account where both of you have log on information to exchange information and or status.
I am sure it will be a great trip, but it's great you are doing some prudent planning. I hope my suggestions are helpful.. :-}
Italy will definitely not leave the Euro in the next few months. Currency will fluctuate. That's normal. May lose a bit, gain a bit. No sweat. Forget the Levis IMO, buy some stylish clothes when he gets there. Can be cold this time of year.
Obviously needs to have his wits about him as any traveler does eg. getting drunk and robbed much likely than some great social financial upheaval in the timeframe. Don't pester him to keep reporting back every day.
Try food he has never tried before and have fun practicing the language with beautiful women.
It is ironic that you posted this as my niece who is also 20 will be leaving for Italy a week from Sunday. I have forwarded this post to my sister and asked her to either post or reply to me with what they have done.
If she does respond before this weekend I will gladly post it here for your information too.
Thanks again for posted this as you never know whom else is in the same situation.
A healthy dose of paranoia is good to have but i think your'e exaggerating a bit ?. 3 months ...
With that kind of attitude you won't be able to let him go anywhere and be his own man because smth might happen. Just give him some Euros and some dollars, tell him to keep his head on his shoulders and off you send him to have some fun.
Trust me he will be fine, but if aliens invade Macerata you can tell him to find his way around the pond in Albania and he can live/eat at my parents house for free for as long as the invasion lasts
Having spent a number of months in Italy over the years I can tell you that the best place for your son or anyone to stay is in the countryside. Stay put and if things get bad wait for the worst of it to blow over.
Personally I don't think anything such as Italy leaving the EU is going to happen but I suppose stranger things have happened. I would think it more likely that Vesuvius erupts or the national rail network goes on strike...
There is a long tradition in the countryside to take care of themselves, the panic and or potential fighting will be in the cities. So if it were my kid I would tell them to make it their business to befriend a local family with strong roots in the community. A retired doctor or dentist would be ideal. The older generation has seen it all before and appreciates Americans someone in their 70s or even 80s is ideal. Drop by the local church and do some volunteer work, trust me they will know your son if something happens and will know him to be a "good kid". He will be looked after.
Personal relationships matter.