Reasons Travelling with your Parents is a good idea.
Travelling with the parents was not really a thing for me when I was growing up. I can think of 3 vacations we took when I was young, but that is about it. One of them was incredibly fun, full of adventures, activities, and memories (good and bad) that stayed with me for a lifetime.
As an adult, I travelled with my folks only a couple of times, and one time, while it was fraught with negative moments, it too became a trip I will never forget. I refrain from calling it a vacation because it was a trip with a purpose that meant a lot to my dad (and my mother in turn). This trip was the last chance I ever got to travel with my dad. Several years later, Nick and I took my mother on a road trip to Nova Scotia that we filled with many attractions and activities that would help give us all some good memories. Alas, this was the last chance to travel with her as well.
On the other side of this, we have Nick, who as an only child, has travelled extensively with his mother since he was born. In fact, he cannot recall his first travel experience with her because she took a trip to Brazil with him in-utero. Don’t tell her I said that. Together with the grandparents, they would go on many family vacations over the years. They would seize any excuse to get away when the opportunity presented itself, thus making many fantastic family memories together during his formative years.
Travelling together as adults
Depending upon your family dynamic, travelling with your parents can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. We have compiled this list of reasons why you should plan a shared travel experience with your parents:
• It Makes the Best Gift Ever
Why not surprise your mum and (or) dad with a trip of a lifetime? They will love that you thought enough of them to include them on your vacation. Travel makes a perfect gift for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or just because. So, instead of those boring gifts of sweaters, perfume, aftershave, or other meaningless trinkets, give them the gift of quality time together. A shared experience of travelling with your parents is the best gift you can give them.
• Thank Them for everything
When you invite your parent(s) to join on a trip – offer to pay for their flights, cruise, hotels, meals, etc., as a way to thank them for everything they have ever done for you over the years. Even if they don’t allow you to pay for everything, and you end up splitting expenses, the time together is all the thanks they need.
• It’ll Get You Both Out of Your Comfort Zone.
You are at different stages in your life. The way you experience things and the items you are interested in are different. Share these diverse interests by exploring somewhere new and experiencing the world together.
Some people are more risk-averse than others and may have some apprehension about getting off the beaten path or leaving the comfort of a resort. This can often be the parents, but it is not always. Visit places you might not typically think of going on your own. Get away from the touristy spots and check out more of the real culture, history, and food of the place. Put aside your ideas of what travel is, and see what travel can be.
• Get to Know Each Other
Change the way you look at each other by getting to know each other even better than you already do. Travel is an excellent way to bond as adults, see each other as equals, and shift the parent-child relationship from the past into the present and future.
• You’ll (Likely) Make Good Travel Buddies.
Your parents are probably more well-travelled than you. They have likely experienced more and figured out how to traverse the pitfalls of travel. So, when something happens on your trip, they can help you figure it out and solve the problem.
Remember: Travel can be stressful, and arguments & disagreements will happen, but they just don’t matter.
• Family History
If you are travelling to your family’s ancestral homeland, you can take some time to explore some family history. Where did your ancestors live? Walk the streets and explore the towns where your grandparents / great grandparents grew up. Many movies have been made about people visiting their distant relatives in the country where they are from and getting in touch with their heritage.
The year 2018 was a big milestone birthday for myself and Rogue Momma, & it was Nick & My anniversary all within a 1 month period. To celebrate, we decided to go to do a bucket list trip to Norway, so Tanya could visit the country of her ancestors. It was a very special trip full of emotion and one that we are all so glad we did. She was able to see the town her beloved family member grew up in and the gorgeous scenery he would have seen every day when he lived there. She was even able to bring him home – and scatter some of his ashes in the country he was born in and loved. Definitely, a trip to remember.
• Cross Things Off Your Bucket List Together
Chances are there are many places you both have always wanted to go. Now is an excellent opportunity to look at your bucket lists and see if anything in common. If there is, why not experience these places together?
I can honestly say that a trip to India was never on our bucket list, neither was it on Rogue Momma’s. However, when her work presented her with an opportunity to attend a conference in Mumbai, We jumped at it. This trip was not only our first trip for the three of us together, but it turned out to be one of the most amazing vacations ever. If you have never experienced HOLI in India – I highly recommend it. It was so much fun.
• It’s the Best Way to Catch Up
Sometimes, we don’t always have those important talks with our parents. We miss out on opportunities to dig deep and discover how the other is ‘really’ doing. What is going on in their lives, share stories about each other’s lives, etc? Travelling with your parents and being on vacation together is a great time to reconnect, especially if you have long travel or share a hotel room. Have conversations with your parents about family history so that you can pass on, and keep these stories alive.
We take plenty of cruise vacations with Nick’s Mum because it is a great way to see the world in a relatively relaxed environment that is good for different generations.
Check out our Tips on taking a cruise
• Photographic Evidence
The flurry of travel photos that you will take of your parents will make for a great memory book, perfect for framing and sharing with other family members. A lot of people are more open to having their photos taken when they travel – parents included. I have more pictures of my parents on vacation than in most of their daily lives. Snap as many shots of and with your parents at all of those great locales & attractions; your future self will thank you.
• Show-off Favourite spots
Have you ever travelled somewhere that you absolutely fell in love with, and thought “My Mum would love this place”? We have, and when the opportunity came up, we took Mum to see this destination.
Parents have probably travelled (or grew up) somewhere that they love, enjoy visiting, and want to share this with their children. Let them show you around and share their joy at this destination. Seeing these destinations through each other’s eyes can be a beautiful experience.
• Parents tend to pay for a lot
What’s better than saving money when you go on vacation? Often, parents have more disposable income, and they want to enjoy moments with you while they are still able. They will usually pay for more luxuries and conveniences like flight upgrades, better restaurants, nicer hotels, and more activities, making the trip more enjoyable for everyone. Travelling with your parents is not about taking advantage; it’s about sharing incredible experiences together.
• Comedy Relief
Travelling with your parents can be a lot of fun, for many reasons. One reason is the joy you will have as you have new and exciting experiences together. Perhaps you will see a whole new side of your parent that you have not seen before. Their silly, fun-loving side.
As a well-travelled person, Rogue Momma loves to enjoy local culture whenever she is on vacation. Sometimes this results in some hilarious events that make that trip even more memorable for ‘US’. On one trip to Nashville, she insisted we go to a local honky-tonk to enjoy live music and a beer. She is a bit of a lightweight drinker, and after what appeared to be a few sips – she became very ‘happy’ to be in Music City. Coffee, please!
“If you Aint Laughing, you aint living”. – Dolly Parton
• Experience a different type of travel
Those who know us and are frequent readers of Roguetrippers will know that we pack a lot into every trip we take when we travel. That is how we do travel now. However, parents have a different way of travelling. When we return from a trip with Rogue Momma, she frequently gets asked, “how did you do all of that”? While she prefers to take a more relaxed approach to travel, she looks forward to travelling with us and experiencing all of the more exciting things we find to do.
When you travel with people of a different generation, their health has to be taken into consideration. The types of adventures you plan may need to be scaled back to accommodate their mobility, ability, and sensitivities. Not every trip is going to be suitable for both you and your parents, but that shouldn’t stop you from inviting them. Nick’s Mum always says – she would rather be invited and not be able to participate in everything than to not get the invitation at all.
Safety tips for protecting yourself and your parents on vacation
• Conversation Starters
Strengthen the bond you have with your parents through conversation. When you take a trip with your parents, you open up and have conversations you might not otherwise have. Tap deep into those feelings and explore these conversations while you travel.
Family gatherings will change, and the dinner table conversations will shift away from those tired, rehashed childhood experiences. A shared travel experience will give you new stories from which to draw. Regardless of what happens on the trip, the banter at the next holiday gathering will likely be a lot livelier.
• You never know …
We have a finite amount of time with our parents, and before they are gone, start making these unforgettable memories with your Mum & Dad now. Make the most of the time you do have left. You won’t regret spending this quality time with them.
• Create Incredible Memories to Last a Lifetime
Time together on travelling with your parent(s) allows you to have experiences that will stay with you forever. When your parents are gone, these are the memories that will bring you the greatest comfort in times of grief. Memories of these shared experiences are the most important reason to travel with your parents.
Travel Tip: Don’t forget to pick up amazing souvenirs from your travels together. They will become physical reminders of these precious moments when they are gone.
We don’t always travel with Rogue Momma, but we do try to plan at least one trip with her every year (or 2). Travelling with your parents may not be something you do every time you travel, but it is something that will fill your heart with memories for years to come.
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”