I am currently hoping to go to Germany next year with my friend, who is a few months younger than I am. I will be 16 by the time of going, but he might not be. Is there any way as a 16 yr old and 15 yr old can travel to Germany without a parent/guardian, but with parental permission?
Sure, why not ?
It's probably a good idea to have a letter from your parents approving of the travel but there is nothing that restricts you from moving around freely. One of my sons and his friends did a Germany trip when they were about that age (maybe 12 years ago). We didn't do anything special and there didn't run into any issues.
Generally speaking, yes.
Under German law, the legal guardians must supervise minors as appropriate for their age and maturity. That may include letting them travel to another city, or another country, on their own.
- How long is the trip, and how is it organized? The best case would be if you were visiting someone in Germany, a relative or a friend of the family. The parental consent letter would name this contact, and it would also be a good idea if a separate letter gives this adult the power to handle e.g. medical emergencies.
(Or it could be a student exchange with a host family, but you don't sound as if that is what you want.)
- What is your citizenship, and do you need a visa?
Even for visa-free travel, you must have the funds to cover your stay, and you probably should not take all cash. So how will you handle that?
- As a minor, your ability to enter contracts is restricted. It may be necessary for your parents to book any hotels. You should read up on what you can and cannot do in this regard.
- Depending on your budget, you might look at a traditional youth hostel (Jugendherberge). They do accept minors without guardian, with the right paperwork. (Depending on the location and price, you may or may not be in a dorm with other youths.)
In a commercial backpacker hostel, you would meet young adults slightly order than you. That could be problematic. A 16-year-old may buy beer in Germany, but not share it with a 15-year-old. And if either of them get drunk, there could be a cop saying let's call your parents. And you have a problem. Better mix with other youths.
- The 15-year-old will need a separate letter, and you will not be the guardian of your friend even if you are older. The letters may mention that you are traveling together, merely for information.
You may need permission to leave your home country and/or for your flight/train, as you haven't mentioned which country we can only guess. Having letters of permission of your parents should take care of that. But it does not hurt to ask before you buy the tickets.
There might be concerns about one of you kidnapping the other, so make sure both sets of parents include both your names in their letters.
Within Germany teens traveling without parents is quite common, it may be less common where you are from, if so, are you sure you can handle traveling without adults?
As a precaution make sure you have an emergency telephone number and if at all possible one in the part of Germany where you will be.