My close friends are probably holding their breath as I type since they know what’s been going on behind the IG scenes. Long story short, this is the first trip that my father and I have taken alone in my 26 years of living. It may not seem like a big deal, but this is particularly important at this point in my life. Why? Well, my father hasn’t quite understood my decision to quit my corporate job or even gallivant the globe alone, so far away from home. And that’s putting it lightly. If I’m being honest, it’s affected my journey.
So when I was invited to a press trip with the opportunity to bring a plus one, I immediately thought of my dad. On one hand – The flight would be quick, the environment would be different, but the accommodation would still be in his comfort zone. It would be perfect for him and therefore, us. On the other hand, there was the potential for this experience to strengthen our bond. As I’ve learned, Travel has a way of bringing out the best in people. Or at least, I hoped…
Needless to say, there were moments of discomfort in the beginning. Fortunately, though, there were also moments of joy. The sound of the beach waves crashing brought a lot of calm. The comfort of the resort brought relaxation…and this is coming from the girl who thought she was too AdVeNtUrOuS to actually enjoy a resort. The bomb margaritas onsite brought some much-needed conversation. In the end, this three-day trip by the sea brought the best of memories.
And somehow, I think he’s onboard now. I think he gets it. I was able to show him why I’ve made the choices I have and where they’ve led me. What’s that saying? “Don’t tell them, show them.”
Also by a miracle, I got my dad to do yoga onsite!!! He prefers to call it stretching, but that’s okay..we did yoga together and he actually liked it. Now, that’s what you call….growth.
Life is short, so make these memories while you can! Just as we grow older, our parents do too.
For some, a parent is their right-hand travel partner. For others, the idea of traveling with parents can seem daunting. From personal experience, I know that trip planning can get a bit more complicated with family members. Here are some tips to better manage traveling with parents:
Book a Pre-Planned Tour – Handling logistics can be one of the most complicated aspects of group travel in any form. A Pre-planned tour can relieve a lot of that stress for everyone involved. Accommodation and transportation will be taken care of so that ya’ll can simply show up and have a good time!
Stay At A Resort or Go On A Cruise – If your parents prefer relaxation over constantly being on the go, then a resort may be the best option for you. Once again, this relieves a lot of the pressure that we often face with choosing the best things to do or places to eat. Personally, my parents think I do the absolute MOST when I travel and they’d much rather take it easy. Staying at a resort prevented a lot of potential disagreements and/or arguments. Note: This may also be a great option if you have a parent with mobility issues.
Compromise – As a solo traveler myself who is used to doing whatever I want when I want, I used to struggle with the idea of being on another person’s itinerary. These days, I simply go in with that mindset that this trip isn’t about me. I may not get to do or see all of the things that I normally would. At the end of the day, I try to remember that it’s REALLY about spending quality time with loved ones and these moments are rare. I can always return in the future. The destination will always be there, but I may not get the chance to make memories like this again.
Stay In Separate Rooms – When you share close space with anyone(but especially parents), disagreements and even annoyances are bound to crop up. It may help to book separate rooms so that you both have the time and space to unwind on your own terms.
Discuss Expectations – Will you stay in a resort or bunk together in a hostel room? Will you fill your days with activities or lounge by the pool? You may have different interests or expectations, so it’s important to discuss these things before you depart! Establish any potential boundaries before the trip to prevent problems during the trip.
Spend Time Alone – You may be traveling together, but that doesn’t mean that you must spend every waking moment together. Instead, you should both plan to spend some time alone. Wake up early and read your favorite book while your mom sleeps in. Go to the museum while she watches her favorite broadway performance. These moments alone will make your time together that much sweeter. We all need a break sometimes!
Know that tears may be shed and arguments may be had. At the end of the day, this trip is only temporary. Hopefully, you’ll look back on this trip with fond memories!
Have you ever gone on a trip that helped strengthen a relationship/friendship or bond? Ever traveled with parents? What was the experience like?
Hey, I'm Ciara. I’m a global citizen and lover of travel. Want to know more?
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