What It's Like Traveling with Your Mum and Dad

January 15, 2015

Just to clear things up, I am by no means a solo traveler. Furthermore, my travel companions are none other than mum and dad. Of course, there are lots of perks to traveling with your parents: the great company, not having to pay for much, and just being able to go on a sublime family vacation.

But I realise that not everyone is able to travel with their parents. So this blog post is for clearing up common misconceptions about what it's like being in a different country with the two best -- or most annoying, take your pick -- people in your life. This serves as a heads up if you find yourself stuck in a rut.

First of all, you won't get everything you want. 
Just because I am an only child traveling with my parents does not mean that we don't have a budget to stick to. That being said, you don't get all the clothes that mesmerise you or get to experience all the thrilling happenings in the respective area. Your parents will not buy you everything. It's all about prioritising and making the most out of each and every adventure without acting like a spoiled brat. Being a brat will only dampen the mood. After all, you didn't go out into the great unknown just to be reprimanded by your parents, did you?

Let's get things straight: they will fight, at one point or another.
People think that a family vacation is rainbows and butterflies, just smiles and no complications. They think that everything goes smoothly and perfectly. Truth is, they're wrong. At one point, you will get sick of each other and you will disagree on things. Their most annoying attributes and habits will continue to annoy you and you might even be forced into [or be the victim of] the silent treatment. I speak of experience because this happens in the case of my parents. I had high expectations for every day, only to have an argument between my parents ruin it. On the bright side, I have learned not to let it get to me through my travels. I've learned not to take it too personally because it's all part of a healthy relationship. My advice? Just let them be; it'll all be okay in the end. They will make up, trust me. Also, don't try to be the mediator: they can work it out themselves and besides, that's a really awkward position to be in. One tiny bump in the road never did us any harm. Oh, and one more thing: the silent treatment never works. It only makes things worse.

Believe it or not, you guys will separate at some points.
A common misconception is that family vacations mean being with each other 24/7. Newsflash: they're wrong again! Some people just don't agree on the activities that should be done. For example, my dad completely despises shopping. So, mum and I separate: we hit the shopping centres while dad goes and visits yet another historic or cultural part of the city we're visiting. Don't be disheartened about having to go different paths once in a while. People like different things and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

And they will work.
It's no secret that travel is a bit pricey, no matter how much you scrimp. Parents have to take some time off the vacation to work, so that your trip to Universal Studios or your most recent shopping trip abroad is paid for. It's also entirely difficult to just leave the world behind them and escape to a different one; they have to be able to stay in touch. It might mess up your travel plans, but it's ultimately worth it.

So, I hope that this clears up a few misconceptions about traveling with parents. Please don't let this dishearten you or cancel your latest booking for that special, hard-earned trip with mum and dad. If I said that traveling with your parents is absolutely worth it and is undoubtedly one of the best experiences you'll ever have, that would be an understatement.