So, let’s first get rid of the stigma: traveling with your parents is not lame (usually). I personally grew up traveling with my parents to visit our relatives in China, and later continued traveling with my mom because she had more of a travel bug than my dad. Her passion and love for seeing new things greatly impacted me to be the same; I attribute my wanderlust 100 percent to her. Below are five important reasons why your next trip buddy should be your parent.
1. Different Point of View
Being your parent, they are certainly wiser, more knowledgeable and more experienced than you are in various walks of life. Their developed repertoire will provide a different – and valuable – perspective on your travels. For example, my mother’s hometown of Tianjin, China, she was able to point out tons of technological advancements that sprung up just in the last ten years that I took for granted. I was able to learn about my mom’s birthplace and how she grew up, which is a side of her I may have never discovered if I hadn’t traveled with her.
2. You Won’t Just be Partying
A common tendency for young adults when they travel is to party as much as they can. And, why not? You’re in an exciting new city with your best friends and without your parents nagging you about staying in. But sometimes crazy partying gets the best of your vacation, especially if you black out and barely remember anything anyway. Traveling with your parents will guarantee to be memorable for all of you. Instead of bar-hopping, try eating out at a luxurious restaurant, or attending a family-friendly performance.
© Simon Pielow
3. Financial Support
Smart budgeting while traveling can be difficult, especially for young travelers. When you’re traveling with your parents, most likely they will want to pay for some of the expenses. Whether it’s treating you for a lunch or buying that fancy souvenir they saw you eyeing, your parents want you to have a good time and will try to make that happen if they can! This may seem like a selfish reason, but once you are having a great time with your family, you will naturally want to support each other in any way possible.
4. Positive Encouragement
Like any good mentor, a parent will encourage you to expand your horizon by trying new things, maybe even things that you wouldn’t normally do on your own. For example, they can nudge you to ask the peppy tour guide a question you had, but were too self-conscious to ask on your own. Or, you can all try new foods together if you are too grossed out to try it solo. Traveling is all about stepping out of your comfort zone, and parents are your number one cheerleaders who will encourage you to chase your adventurous dreams.
© Hamza Butt
5. Build a Stronger Bond
I can say without a doubt that travelling with my mom strengthened our mother-daughter relationship by tenfold. There is something about being a foreign land where the only thing familiar is the person you’ve known all your life. Hanging out with my mom like a friend made me appreciate her so much more than just as a mom. Spending quality time as you grow older is important and you’ll come to understand that. Having common interests with an open-minded parent will be life-changing.
My most recent trip was to Japan with my mom and it was honestly one of the best times of my life so far. As cliché as it may sound, we really did have so much fun together. We went to places we liked, ate foods we both liked, helped each other with shopping – and the list truly goes on. Next time, give your folks a chance and take them with you – you will be pleasantly surprised at how good of a time you will have.