7 Tips on How to Travel with Your Parents and Not Go Crazy
Planning to travel with your parents but fear you may lose your sanity while on the trip? You kick yourself in the butt since you feel like an evil person for dreading the trip.
Fret not! No need to see a psychologist 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. We want to make them happy. However, 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 go either way. It can be fun or it could be traumatizing. Well, maybe I am exaggerating about the traumatizing part.
But like I said it can go either way.
It can either make for 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 together 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.
So have I scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist yet? The answer is a big fat NO!
The trip in its entirety was memorable, as a traveler who is so used to solo trips, the experience was also very new for me.
I did not want to do a blog about the 2-day trip with my mom to Manila. 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 a solo traveler tagging along with my mother for a 2-day journey kept my sanity intact?
7 Tips on How to Travel with Your Parents
1. Be The Captain of the Ship
Take the lead on your adventure! When traveling with your parents, you have no idea what you are going to get. Will they be in the mood for some walking or would they prefer just staying at the hotel. Regardless of what your parent wants to do, let them feel, and understand that you are the captain of the ship.
Your goal is to find an island before your food and water ration runs out. Being the captain, you must ensure that they enjoy the experience. They are your crew. 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. That is where years of solo travel experience comes in handy when on travel with your parents.
You know 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 – mom or your dad of the plan.
Which brings us to Rule number 2
2. It is Always Best To Plan Ahead
Since you aim to be the captain of the ship, then you must plan ahead of time the travel itinerary.
Planning for the trip can save you a lot of questions and lessen the likelihood of a fight.
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. What I have learned about traveling with my mother is that she should know ahead of time where we’re 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.
Creating that plan ahead makes RULE 1 easier to achieve. You already have the buy-in of your travel buddy. It can surely make traveling with your parents more than bearable. It can be fun!
3. Have a Secret Contingency Plan when You Travel with your Parents
By nature, I am a worrywart, and 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, Plan D (you know how the alphabet works) in case your Primary plan goes wrong.
Always be open to the possibility of a delayed flight, dead beat traffic, or extreme weather conditions. When we were in Manila, we agreed that we would leave our bags at the hotel and head directly to the Philippine National Museum.
However, we had a delayed flight. And traffic was heavy since it was a Friday and it was Manila! We checked in to the hotel room. We were hungry and tired. We did not have the energy to carry on with the museum tour for that day. So I decided to pull out my Plan B itinerary card.
Having a contingency plan increases the chance of still having a great time despite a few bends in the road.
4. Choose Comfort in All Aspects of Your Travel
Be sensitive when traveling with your parents.
Regardless if you grew up with the adventurous type of mom and dad or the strict type. Always choose comfort over adventure when traveling with your parents. Place yourself in their shoes and ask the question. Will my parents enjoy this?
Remember, gone were their youthful days. Even if they never say it (mine does lol), you always need to place their needs first over yours when traveling.
No, it does not mean spending a sum of money on the trip. It’s a big difference between traveling Luxuriously VS traveling comfortably.
The hotel we stayed in is a great budget-friendly hotel.
It’s an affordable hotel. I, however, 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 have to do your research and book ahead of time.
5. Food is the Answer to Any Problem
Cartoon characters show us that when you have not eaten, 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, food always answers all the problems in the world. As I previously mentioned we encountered a delayed flight going to Manila. We were so hungry that we almost bought airplane food. But we decided we wanted a decent meal.
When we got lost in Chinatown – thought Binondo and Quiapo were the same! What remedied our exhaustion was food from my favorite Chinese restaurant. And when we were in our hotel room, we always had some chips and drink on hand. So 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, 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 about having a travel buddy on my return to Manila was that I finally have a photo taken with my favorite paintings in the Philippine National Museum. I got some shots alright, but they either were blurry, not centered, or had my mother’s fingers on the shot.
7. Hakuna Matata & 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. Having the opportunity to travel with them is something not everyone can readily experience. Thus even if the places we went to in Manila were places I have visited I still absolutely enjoyed my experience.
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 three years, 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. Not perfect but a great experience at that
Travel with Your Parents: 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 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 to something and you can share it right away with them.
How Not to Travel with your Parents
Doing the opposite of the tips I shared with you is how you should not be traveling with your parents. Never ever should you lose patience, not keep an eye on them and not be sensitive to 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.