Travelling with Parents

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I don’t know how it came to be, but I have quite a lot of experience in travelling with my parents. Specifically, travelling with my parents one at a time.

When I was 15 I convinced my mum (and sister + two aunties) to accompany me on a girls trip to Hong Kong. I couldn’t go alone at such a young age, so my mum sorta had no choice when I managed to save my pennies and book a ticket (ha! Sorry mum).

Then, on my 17th birthday I travelled to Europe with my dad. It was his first time overseas and this trip came about when he ‘challenged’ me to save enough money to book a ticket when I wouldn’t stop harping on about how badly I wanted to go.

A few years later during my university degree I had a tough ride getting through my second year of law school and living away from home (I’m super close with my family and my mum is legitimately superwoman in my eyes – without her cooking and caretaking combined with a ruthless university workload, I was a mess) – I convinced her to come with me on a trip to Thailand as I had found “two for one” tickets online and needed a travel buddy. She obliged.

Most recently, I was living in Berlin for a few months to see if I would like to move there permanently – and my mum simply insisted she MUST come help me settle in to my apartment. AKA my mum wanted to see Europe for the first time… and I gladly helped her book a ticket for a few weeks later.


Travelling with Parents

…..has grown on me over the years. For started, they’re one of the most reliable travel companions you can have under your wing. So many times friends have expressed their interest in coming to visit me overseas or going on holiday together, but time after time they have failed to come through (sometimes for good reason, usually because they can’t organise themselves in time!!!).

There are down sides, for sure. But the joy of sharing those moments of discovery with your parent(s) is priceless.

How to survive

If your parents are anything like mine, they haven’t travelled as far or wide as you have. If they’re already the globetrotting type, go you! They’ll require very little training and encouragement to try new things. Otherwise, here’s how to survive:

Go somewhere new to both of you

Out of the trips I’ve taken with my parents, the most memorable for both of us have been the trips to foreign places neither of us have been before. While it is fun to show someone a place you yourself are familiar with, it is much more exciting to explore and uncover an entirely new place together. That way you don’t come into the trip with too many expectations to live up to and can remember that particular country or city as the trip you took with your mum or dad.

Encourage them to try new things

Maybe it’s a generational thing or maybe most parents just tend to become less curious as they’re older? Whatever it is, you’re gonna have to give them at least a little encouragement to try new things. Whether its food, an activity, or an extreme sport, pushing your parents to try things outside of their comfort zone will give you both lasting memories and make for great stories to tell over the dinner table when you return home. My dad was afraid of heights and I somehow (after a long pep talk) convinced him to climb the Eiffel tower with me. Still a story I love to tell (him, not so much).

Try all of the activities

When you’re travelling with anyone, especially family, it can become easy to fall into the trap of your comfort zone and forget to get back out of your comfort zone to try new things. Doing loads of activities will allow you to create more memories and also make the days go quicker.

Wake up early and seize the day

This should go for all trips – regardless of who you’re travelling with (or if you’re going it alone). You’ll be much more productive and alert if you wake up early and seize the day, and it also makes it less likely that you’ll go home with any regrets. Wake up early, seize the day, and spend the evenings reflecting on all that you achieved that day (plus if your parents are anything like mine they like their dinner around 7 and bed time around 10 – haha!).

Make memories to last a lifetime

Don’t forget to capture those moments – and not just on the ol’ iphone and quick upload to social media. Parents come from pre-internet-generation and as such have a higher appreciation for tangible things, such as a polaroid photo or film camera. Be sure to take lots of photos both of each other, together, and the things you see as well. Memories have a way of fading over time so It can be great to go back and remember things you would otherwise forget.

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    May 2, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I spent 10 days with my parents on a trip to Scandinavia a few years back and whilst there were frustrating times I realised it was a pretty magical moment. None of us had been there before so to discover a new part of the work together was a really special experience.

    April 30, 2015 at 6:40 am

    I never properly travelled with my parents before, really – only twice. Once with my dad when I was 10, but I was too little to appreciate it, and then with my mom when I was 22! I was living in Germany back then (as I am now, though, haha), and she came to visit me in Leipzig and Berlin. We had SO much fun because my mom likes to see, taste, do absolutely everything and go absolutely everywhere. My kind of travel companion!

    Claire @ TallGirlBigWorld
    April 29, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Traveling with parents can be tricky sometimes, depending on what mood their in. Sometimes my mom is super organized, which I love, and other times she sleeps in until 10 and I feel like we waste our morning. Ultimately, I love traveling with family because even if you have a disagreement over something, you know they’ll still be there for you in the future! 😉

    April 29, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Would be more than happy to travel again with my Dad because he is an organisational, itiniery-happy freak like me, but could not travel again with my Mum because she is the type who thinks ‘oh I’m on holiday, I dont have to be on time, organise anything, pick somewhere to stay’. Ahhhh. Which is a real pity, because she lives in Darwin (I’m from Melbourne) and it would be cheaper for us to meet in Asia than simply visiting each other!

    April 29, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Love this post 🙂 I want to travel to New York City again and I hope to convince my mum to come with me!

    April 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I convinced my mom to come to Paris with me and she followed me all the way to Prague before she flew home! It was quick trip for her but she loved it. Me being a seasoned traveller and her being a princess she definitely had a culture shock but fell in love with Paris.

    April 29, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    This is such a cute post! My parents and I have been traveling together for a very long time but our travel styles are quite different. I still love hanging out with them and seeing them get excited about things! I hope someday to go somewhere with them too

    Characters & Carry-ons

    The Blonde Tourist
    April 29, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Wow you are a brave girl! My Mum is too much of a fuss pot needing everything planned to a tee and stressing at the slightest thing. My Dad though, is the exact opposite and much more fun. We have travelled through the UK together a few times and he’s always up for a challenge or new things. Different stroke for different folks I guess! x

    Caroline Achieng Otieno
    April 29, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I traveled alot with family as a child, now I’m so far from home and all that is a memory. But I travel some bit with my daughter…maybe when she’s 20, she’ll have her take on what traveling with her mum was..:-)

    April 29, 2015 at 4:13 am

    I once when traveling on a ‘boys’ holiday with my father to Bosnia. Mostar makes my penis go hard! 🙂

    April 29, 2015 at 4:00 am

    Great post and cute photos! I traveled until I was 18 with my family (my Dad, 1 Brother & 2 Sisters) mostly in Germany and enjoyed it very much! My Dad is a single parent (i don’t know if thats the right word but I hope you understand) and I’m very thankful to him that he saved his money to travel with us, even if it was not far away. This Summer I will travel with my boyfriend & his family. They are completely different to our family, they travel a lot because they can afford it and i really looking forward!

    Greetings from Germany xo
    Jasmin from

    April 29, 2015 at 1:59 am

    Hmm . . . I kind of see where you were going with this but I found some parts of this post (e.g. reference to “training”, and “encourage them to try new things”) a bit patronising, to be honest! I’ve travelled with my mum and it was exactly the same as travelling with a friend. In fact, it was easier than with certain friends, since my mum is more sensible and thinks further ahead than other people. Surely you’ve found yourself travelling with people your own age who have far less travel experience than you? How is it any different?

    In my experience, the biggest thing to bear in mind is not to allow yourself to fall back into the routine of becoming the sulky teenager as seems to happen whenever we go home for the holidays (I’m told this doesn’t just happen to me!!). It’s easy to let your parents take charge or pay for everything, or allow yourself a miserable grump when stuff doesn’t go your way, but on the road, you’re equals. (I say this as a 30-year-old woman who still falls into this trap!) That would be my number one tip for travelling with parents.

    Beyond that, the stuff above could really apply to travelling with anyone who has less backpacking experience than you do; mum, dad or otherwise. Besides, your parents may not have travelled as extensively as you but they’ve been around for an awful lot longer and no doubt picked up plenty of tips for living along the way. I’m sure there’s stuff you can learn from them as well!

    Sarah Lynn
    April 29, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Adorable photos!
    One of my favorite trips was with my father to Cancun after I graduated high school. It was definitely not the ‘spring break’ kind of Cancun trip, but it was so much fun. We had the opportunity to visit Chichen Itza and had the opportunity to climb El Castillo before it was shut down to the public. Watching my Dad experience vertigo and then try to climb down is still one of my favorite stories.
    Great post!

    April 29, 2015 at 12:21 am

    I just finished traveling a bit with my mum and really enjoyed it. However, I must admit it was REALLY tough. Much harder than traveling with my friend (who shared similar interests to me and similar energy levels). I think the main thing for me was just accepting the fact that I wasn’t going to do EVERY SINGE THING I desired to do at each location. My mom has more physical limitations than I do. We were going to enjoy every second doing the slower things that we could do together. We were going to make great memories, even if we didn’t hit my top attractions at each location. The travel experience was different but precious and rewarding.

    Jonathan Woodyard
    April 28, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Wear them down with too much fun.

    April 28, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Nice post. I am excited to be showing my family around Italy and Croatia in a few weeks time (where I work this summer) which will be interesting 🙂

    April 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Great post I think the best piece of advice is go somewhere that is new to both. It’s exciting for both parties. Needless to say waking up to seize the day is essential no matter what type of holiday it is. When I travel with my parents, it’s always a good time with good food, drinks and exploring.

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    April 28, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    It must be so exciting to travel with parents who haven’t seen so much of the world – you can approach everything with newness and open eyes! My parents were wanderers decades before I even came into the picture, and though I do love travelling with them I will say this – having been around, they are both extremely picky and what they see/do/eat. This can be a great thing of course, because they already know so much of what’s good! But the downside? They already know what’s good – AKA – they won’t have any interest in going to the rubbish place in the guidebook hundreds of people go to just for the hype!

    Jennifer Stevens | Adventurous Appetite
    April 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    What a nice post 🙂 I’m lucky that my parents visit me wherever I live abroad. They actually just left Shanghai after 5 weeks in Asia!

    April 28, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Love this post! Because of my still young age and my family’s shared love of traveling, most of my travels have been with parents. It can be the best kind of trip or not as good, depending how you choose to spend it, and these tips will definitely do the trick! Also the fact (especially for you g travellers) that doing stuff together with your family when you’re on a vacay together is much more fun than every one going separate ways all the time – parents can be great company if we get them the chance!

    April 28, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Well said! Traveling with parents is great! I actually just came back from a trip with both of my parents in southern China. My parents are getting older and I really cherish being able to travel together. With each year that passes by, they are less mobile and less able to handle long flights. Get your parent travels in before it’s too late!

    April 28, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I am fortunate enough to have a family who makes traveling a priority in life. Both of my parents have traveled quite a bit. My mom lived for a year in Australia (of all places!) when she was 16 and backpacked by herself throughout Europe for a summer in college. Then at 25, she lived in Spain for a year. My dad’s been all over the US and also spent time backpacking through Europe when he was in college. They’ve raised me to believe in treasuring experiences above things, and it is with their support that I’ve been able to visit much of North America and Europe, as well as parts of South America and Africa. My favorite vacation with my family to date is when we visited the Yucatan Peninsula together. No electronics, no distractions, just the four of us eating great food, exploring, and spending time together.

    April 28, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Great post! I actually love travelling with my parents! We have met up to travel and go on adventures together over the last few years now and always have a blast. It is funny (and probably so cliche) to say that more and more they have truly become my best friends, but it really is true. This summer I am taking them to NYC for a few days and we could not be more excited! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Susan the farm quilter
    April 28, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I enjoyed exploring Seoul and Perth with my daughter when she was 20 – we both got tats of a kangaroo so that memory won’t disappear!! I also got to take a cruise with my hubby and my dad to celebrate my dad’s 92nd birthday – we all went snorkeling together that trip!! It is fun to take trips with parents and with adult children!!

    North East Family Fun
    April 28, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Lovely tips – it is nice to experience new things together as a family I think and it does reinforce bonds between you x

    April 28, 2015 at 7:46 am

    I haven’t traveled with a parent its only been with the person I’m dating, friends or all of my family. I do know that getting up earlier is better since the day can get away from you and the next thing you know its 4 and you haven’t left the hotel yet.


    April 28, 2015 at 7:04 am

    I love traveling with my parents. It’s always fun exploring around with them. Sure, the activities might be different than traveling with my spouse of friends, but it’s a great time to bond and catch up. It’s funny, when I travel with them, we do always end up waking up early and start the day early… with my husband it’s a little more relaxed (sometimes too relaxed!).