Travel with Your Parents : Spolarium
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7 Tips on How to Travel with Your Parents and Not Go Crazy

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Caught your attention did I? When you travel with your parents the result can go either way.

It can either create an unforgettable bonding experience or it can be your reason why you need to consult a psychiatrist after the trip. – kidding !

Last January I had the opportunity to travel back to Manila but this time not as a solo traveler. If you read my previous post I introduced the concept of the Travel Buddy Experience.

Moreover, in that same blog post I gave a prelude that my first Erik the Hungry Traveler travel buddy experience was with my mother.  

Travel with your Parents : Mother and I

Mother and I on our 1st Travel Adventure for 2019

So have I scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist yet? The answer is a big fat NO!

The trip in its entirety was memorable and as a traveler who is so used to doing solo trips the experience was also very new for me.

Don’t get me wrong I have traveled with a group pre Erik the Hungry Traveller days.

But when you get so used to the habit of doing solo travels you eventually build mental maps of your routine when you travel.

I could document our 2 day trip with my mom in Manila- yeah like no one has ever written about traveling in Manila and blogging about it… Right?  

So instead of going the expected route. Let’s take a detour and give you a different experience of our Son and Mother manila adventure.

How, I a solo traveler tagging along my mother for a 2 day travel kept my sanity intact?

Well-read along as I give you 7 Simple and useful tips on how to travel with your parents and not go completely bonkers.  

1. Be The Captain of the Ship

Take the lead on your adventure! When you travel with your parent you have no idea what you are going to get. Will your parents be in the mood for some walking or would they prefer just staying at the hotel.

Regardless of what your parent wants to do you have to let them feel and understand that you are the captain of the ship and your goal is to find an island before your food and water ration runs out.

Being the captain it is your obligation to ensure that they enjoy the experience. They are your crew. You need to keep them happy or else a mutiny may happen along the way.  

If you are so used to solo travels- just like me. Being the captain of the traveling ship would not be a problem. This is where years of solo travel experience comes in handy when on travel with your parents.

Tiera Alta Dumaguete
Tiera Alta Lighthouse

You know exactly what you want to happen and you know how to ensure that it does happen. It’s just a matter of communicating with your crew aka your mom or your dad of the plan.

Which brings us to Rule number 2

2. It’s Always Best to Plan Ahead 

If you aim to be the captain of the ship then you must plan ahead of time the travel itinerary.

Planning can save you a lot of questions while on the trip and potentially avoid the bickering of where to go and what to do coz you informed them ahead of time.

As a solo traveler I make general plans. Not the detailed plans as I want majority of my travel experience to be spontaneous.

What I have learned with traveling with my mother is that it’s best that she knows ahead of time where were heading.

I provided my suggestions on the list of places I plan on taking her and get her nay or yay if she wants to visit those places.

Travel with your parents : Sculptures

Mother at the Philippine National Museum

Creating that plan ahead makes RULE 1 easier to achieve knowing you already have the buy in of your travel buddy. This can surely make the travel with your parents more than bearable. It can absolutely be fun!

3. Have A Secret Contingency Plan

By nature, I am a worry wart thus contingency plans are second nature for me.

When on a travel with your parents, the captain of the ship (meaning YOU- if you skipped reading Rule 1) must ensure that there is a Plan B , Plan C (you know how the alphabet works) in case your Primary plan goes awry.

Always be open to the possibility of a delayed flight, dead beat traffic or extreme weather conditions.

While on our Manila trip we agreed that after settling in the hotel we would head directly to the Philippine National Museum. However, our flight got delayed and traffic was heavy since it was a Friday and it was Manila!

We checked in to the hotel room hungry and tired. I did not have the energy to carry on with the museum tour for that day more so my mother thus I decided to pull out my Plan B itinerary card.

Travel with your parents : Luneta park

My Plan B : Sunset at Rizal Park

Having a contingency plan increases the chance of still having a great time despite few bend in the road.

4. Choose Comfort in All Aspects of Your Travel

Be sensitive when travel with your parents. Regardless if you grew up with the adventurous type mom and dad or don’t touch that act normal when in public type of parents.

You must always choose comfort over adventure when on a travel with your parents.

Travel with your parents: Live comfortably
Mom Sleeping Comfortably. Shhhh

Always place yourself in their shoes and ask the question. Will my parents enjoy this? Remember, gone were their youthful days and even if they don’t verbalize it (well mine does lol) you always need to place their needs first over yours when traveling.

No, it does not mean spending a huge sum of money for the trip. There’s a big difference between traveling Luxuriously VS traveling comfortably.

For my part, I ensured that our hotel was strategically located relatively near to the tourist spots that we plan on going.

I ended up booking our hotel at Red Planet Manila Bay. It was not a fancy hotel but it was safe, clean and comfortable.

I could rave about the hotel even more but this isn’t a paid blog post for Red Planet (although a free hotel accommodation could change my mind hahaha) .

Travel with your parents: Red Planet

Mother and the Red Planet Fox… Can you tell which one is which ?

The goal for our trip was for my mother to visit the popular landmarks in Manila. Rizal Park, Binondo, Ocean Park and Manila Bay to name a few.

Check my blog post if you my dear sane reader am not familiar with the places I mentioned.

But seriously the hotel is a great budget friendly hotel that best describes what I mean about traveling comfortably vs luxuriously

Plus it was just walking distance (parent’s eerr “old people standards”) to the landmarks I mentioned.

5. Food Answers All the Problems

Cartoon characters show us that when you haven’t eaten for days you start to hallucinate food or hallucinate the person next to you as food. Yikes!

Having food on hand while on travel with your parent can reduce stress, anxiety and anger.

So Yes, almost always food answers all the problems in the world.

As I mentioned earlier we encountered a delayed flight going to Manila and we were so hungry that we almost bought airplane food.

But we decided we wanted a decent meal thus we had one after settling down in our hotel.

When we got lost in Chinatown- heck I thought Binondo and Quiapo were the same! What remedied our exhaustion was food from my favorite Chinese restaurant.

Travel with your parents: Chinese Food
Chinese Food at my fave resto

And when we were at our hotel room we always had some chips and drink on hand.

So need I say it again- always have a sandwich within reach when traveling with your parents.

6. Expect Your Pictures to Be Blurry

Imagine finally witnessing and recording the appearance of the Yeti or the Lochness monster only to find out you forgot to click on the record button!

Unless your parents are photographers by profession expect to have blurry pictures taken of yourself or better yet expect you won’t have a single decent shot of yourself throughout the trip.

One thing that got me excited with having a travel buddy on my return to Manila was that I can finally have a photo taken with my favorite paintings in the Philippine National Museum.

My shots

I got some shots alright, but they either were blurry, not centered or had my mother’s fingers on the shot.

Travel with Your Parents : Spolarium
I wanted a photo of the Spolarium – another fave artwork of mine
Travel with your Parents
Yeahup those are her fingers alright!

Well selfies help, similar to how I take my shots when on solo travel.

See there are still elements of solo travel that is extremely useful when traveling with your parents.

7. Hakuna Matata and Just Enjoy the Moment

Be in the moment and enjoy your parent and son/daughter bonding experience.

I am blessed to still have both my mother and father with me thus getting the opportunity to travel with them is something not everyone can readily experience.

Travel with your parents
Eagle eye

Thus even if the places we went to in Manila were places I have already visited I still absolutely enjoyed my experience.

Travel with your parents: Mom and Penguin

 It was not the places we visited that made the trip fun and memorable. It was the opportunity to travel with my mother (cue emotional music).

Seriously, as a person who has been doing solo travels for 3 years now it was a breath of fresh air to have someone who knows you very well join you for the ride.

It was a great bonding moment to say the least. Not perfect but a great experience at that

Travel Buddy Experience Now on Full Gear!

And there we have it the 7 Tips of how to not go bonkers when on a travel with your parents.

Solo traveling is extremely fun but doing it with a buddy- moreover, with your parents provides a different kind of adventure.

Now that I have officially kick started my travel buddy experience for 2019. I am now more excited for what other adventure awaits.

I hope you continue following this solo traveler’s journey in discovering more fun and exciting travel adventures in the months and years to come!

Please follow and like us:

Erik James aka Erik the Hungry Traveller is a Human Resource Ninja and at the same time a travel & food blogger. He uses his passion for the arts particularly with painting and photography to add more fun and color to his social media pages. He loves extreme adventures and does not back out on any food challenge. His passion for food and travelling started during his childhood years where he would accompany his parents to business trips around the Philippines. He currently focuses on writing blogs on solo travelling and trying out restaurants that are not your usual run of the mill places. To counter his extreme love for travelling and FOOD he also enjoys swimming and mix martial arts so that he can stay “relatively” fit and healthy. Instagram : Facebook: Email: [email protected]


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    Jason M.

    I have been considering going on a trip with my mother for some time now but I always worried we would end up in a fight or something. Since she has been on her own, she has not gotten out much. I have a few places in mind to go with her to see that I think she would enjoy. I want to surprise her for her for her 50th this summer. These are some great tips that make me feel a bit less uneasy about everything. She is a very picky woman but I think as long as I plan everything ahead and keep myself in charge of the trip, it will go smoothly. Thanks for the wonderful tips!

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    Sara Essop

    I think that it depends on your parents’ personality too. Some are easier to travel with than others. My mum is not an easy person to travel with. Your mum is beautiful, by the way 😊

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    You have some really great tips here Erik! With these tips and the knowledge I gained from the last time my dad came to visit for a whole week, I think I can survive another smooth vacation with the ol’ pops. Thanks for sharing!

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    Omg this was such an amazing read because of how closely we relate to this. We learned our parents just wanted to enjoy the simplicities we ended up planning everything and taking lead

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    Sarah Wilson

    Ahh, this is such a cute post. I, too, had to adapt my adventures when travelling with family and they used to drive me crazy but now they’re gone, I am so happy for the memories. Keep enjoying trips with your mum and dad for as long as possible 🙂

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    I wish I could get my dad to travel with me some but he is 97 and says he’s been there and done that. No further interest in traveling. Your “rules” are great advice (and cute!) though for traveling with anyone.

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    Linda (LD Holland)

    We no longer have parents to travel with. But this has some good tips for when our children travel with us. We would definitely fight for who will be the captain of our trip! Having contingency plans are always a good idea as too many times we have had unexpected things come up – both weather and sickness have derailed us. We would definitely be planning a trip that has more comfort than our children may need. But they always love being spoiled just a little with luxury accommodations. It sounds like you had a great trip with your mother. And that you were well prepared.

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      Erik the Hungry Traveller

      Hi Linda! Your comment totally means a lot for me especially coming from another parent/ mom . Im sure your kids love and enjoy travelling with you folks.

      And yes, I did enjoy the travel with Momsie . In fact we are travelling again this May to Hong Kong. the trip to Manila was the trial run if I wont loose it if we travel internationally. LOL

      Cheers and safe travels to you and your kids.

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    Omg!! This article is so me! Even though I love my parents a lot, I have to agree I do go crazy whenever I’m traveling with them. Mainly because of conflict in interests and generation gap. This is really a great read!

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    Crystal Carder

    I have done a lot of traveling with my parents throughout the years and it is always so nice to have memories to look back on. I understand not everyone has awesome parents to travel with, so these tips are definitely great ones and I completely agree with just enjoying the memories being made.

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    These are super helpful! I would love to travel with my mom but haven’t really been able to find a good way to plan it. This helped a lot.

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    Fran Jorgensen

    I love everything about this post! These are great tips for me as I get ready to travel with my inlaws! I love to travel by myself so this will be a real challenge for me. Thanks for sharing!

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    Traveling with parents sounds so fun, I don’t think my parents would hassle me if ever we travel. They are so fun and strong enough for long walks.

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    Alexandra Cook

    love this topic! every single one of them is such an important guide when traveling with our parents. Thanks so much for sharing

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    It’s always a good idea to have a backup to the backup to the backup. Consequently I took a trip with my parents a month ago and it went fine.

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