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

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Planning to travel with your parents and you fear you may loose your sanity while on the trip?

You kick yourself in the butt since you feel like an evil person for dreading the trip. Do not worry you are not alone.

And that’s totally normal. Well at least for me. And I am no expert about this field.

Come to think of it I did graduate with a degree in Psychology.

So yeah I have like 50% authority about this topic.

But fret not! No need to see a psychologists just yet.

Just read this post to find out how to survive a trip with your mom, dad or both and not go insane.

We all love our parents and we want to make them happy.

However, admit it or not there is a certain degree of complexity when they join you for a travel escapade.

Love them or Hate them: Family is Family

Traveling with your parents can definitely go either way. It can be extremely fun or could sometimes be extremely traumatizing.

Well maybe I am exaggerating about the traumatizing part.

But like I said it 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.

Related post: Types of Travel Buddy. Which One Are You?

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

I have always wanted to write a post that included family I just did not have the write feature to kick start a discussion up until now.

Travel with your Parents : Mother and I

Mother and I on our 1st Travel Adventure for 2019

How To Travel With Your Parents and Not Go Insane

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.

I did not want to just plainly 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.

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.

Bickering with your travel buddy more so if you are on a travel with your parents should be avoided.

And one sure way to prevent these things from happening is for you to prepare for the trip days ahead.

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.


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.

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.

Travel with your parents: Red Planet

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

The hotel we stayed in is a great budget friendly hotel.

It’s an affordable hotel but I did not compromise safety and comfortability.

There are a lot of budget hotels that are better or equal in service with 5 star hotels.

You just need to do your research and book ahead of time.

5. Food Answers All the Problem

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.

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.

I wanted a photo of the Spolarium – another fave artwork of mine
Yeahup those are her fingers alright!

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

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).

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 trip.

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

Its Okay To UN-SOLO Travel Sometimes

Traveling with mother dearest reminded me of the fun and excitement of having a travel buddy.

I got so used to traveling solo that this trip reminded me that hey you need to switch gears sometimes and mix things up.

Traveling with my parent made the experience more meaningful.

Like when you want to react about what you saw while on tour you can share it right away with them.

Or when you want a photo taken of you then you have someone who can readily take it. Well as you have read just don’t expect it to be of crisp quality.

How Not To Travel With Your Parents

On the opposite end of the coin. Doing the opposite of the tips I shared with you is how you should not be traveling with your parents.

Never ever should you loose patience, not keep an eye on them and not be sensitive with their needs.

I guess now that I am a bit older the table has turned. I am now the parent when it comes to traveling and they are my kids.

Finally, it helps that I have always received love and support from my parents thus it is not hard for me to give it back to them.

Again, the opportunity of bringing them along my travel and food blog journey is an experience I shall forever cherish.

Travel Buddy Experience Now on Full Gear!

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

I hope that you got something out of reading this blog post.

I sure did enjoy writing this post and reliving the memories of our first travel together with me not just a son but also a travel and food blogger.

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

The Travel Just Keep on Coming for Erik the Hungry Traveller

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

The solo traveler blood will always flourish in my veins.

But with the experience I got with traveling with my parents I can now say I have hybrid traveling blood.

Well, its a step forward for me to explore further the concept of travel buddy.

If I am able to travel with Mother I am certain I can open my mind to traveling with Friends.

So friends out there hit me up!

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!

And I promise you a lot of exciting travels and features are coming up for year 2019.

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Erik the Hungry Traveller

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 : instagram.com/erikthehungrytraveller Facebook: facebook.com/erikthehungrytraveller Email: [email protected]

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34 Responses

  1. Avatar Jason M. says:

    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!

  2. Avatar Sara Essop says:

    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 😊

  3. Avatar Heather says:

    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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  4. Avatar Bilal says:

    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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  5. Avatar Sarah Wilson says:

    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 🙂

  6. LOL I LOVED THIS! I def needed this when I went to Russia with my dad. All pics came out blurry and he wasn’t patient at all haha

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  7. Avatar Ava says:

    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.

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. Avatar Akriti says:

    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!

  10. I love this. Traveling with your parents can be good. It seems like you took the right steps to make sure both you and your mom had a good time, and didn’t go crazy! Lol.

  11. 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.

  12. What a great trip! It sounds like you guys had a great time and I LOVE the photos! A travel buddy also sounds like fun!

  13. Nice reading about your travel experience with parents. I always feel more comfortable and secure when I travel with them.

  14. Avatar Nina Cochingco says:

    Your seems to be easy to be with type of person. Your photos shows she obviously enjoyed the trip.

  15. Avatar Nena says:

    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.

  16. Avatar Bree says:

    I like the idea of a contingency plan. We’re traveling with parents this summer and I think it might be crazy!

  17. Avatar Fran Jorgensen says:

    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!

  18. Avatar twinspirationalparties says:

    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.

  19. Avatar Alexandra Cook says:

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

  20. Avatar Amy says:

    I have never tried traveling with my parents now that I grew up and this is something that can help me a lot.

  21. Choose comfort all the way is REALLY VERY important when travelling with the parentals. And I really agree that food is the solution to everything. It just helps.

  22. Avatar Samar says:

    I will completely agree with all the points.

    I think planning is one of the most important part of travelling.

    Thanks for sharing.

  23. Avatar Chad says:

    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.

  24. Avatar Mavs Escala says:

    Aww. This looks so cute. I bet you had so much fun with her!

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