Parental Guidance: How to travel with your family with your sanity intact
It’s bound to happen sooner or later – a family trip with your parents, and maybe your in-laws too. The upside? You get quality time to bond with your family, time for you to put aside your mobile phones and tablets and really talk to each other. What with all the distractions that come with modern city life, you might find that you haven’t really talked to your mum and dad face-to-face in a good while.
And the downside? You’ll be pretty much stuck with them for the whole duration of the trip. You may love them, but they’ll soon get on your nerves – and vice versa – after prolonged exposure to them. And if your parents are getting on in age, they’re bound to have certain habits that may seem odd in a different cultural context. They might insist on sharing food, even in a fancy French restaurant, or break out their toothpicks after every meal.
However, with a little planning and a lot of patience, a family trip can be a joy instead of a nightmare. Here are a few pointers to get you started:
Pick your destination carefully
This almost goes without saying, but it’s so important that online casino we have to reinforce it: location, location, location! Make sure you pick a holiday destination that holds something for everyone – and that include you too. And take into account the journey to and from the chosen destination as well. Your parents probably won’t be able to tolerate a 12-hour flight with multiple layovers as well as you, so short-haul flights are always preferred.
Do your research thoroughly
Now that you’ve picked your destination, it’s time to do your research. Free-styling through the days might sound perfect to you, but it probably won’t be welcomed by your parents. Try to make daily itineraries around activities that would hold interest for everyone – it’s not essential for you to stick together at all times, but at least suggest one or two things that would be attractive to your parents while you go on your wakeboarding adventure. Most importantly, plan your travel options well in advance, so that you won’t have to waste their strength walking around looking for the right bus.
Factor in alone time
Family trips are great for bonding and creating memories, but all good things need to be taken in doses. Once you’re in a foreign city, there are bound to be activities that attract you more than your parents. Before you fly out, establish your need for some alone time so that your parents won’t feel like you are ditching them.
Pack extra medicine
It’s easy for parents to pick up a tummy bug or colds while they’re travelling – after all, they have to adapt to swings in temperature and cuisine. Before you depart, remember to pack extra medicine and vitamins. It’ll be much easier than finding suitable medication in a foreign country!
Share the bills
One of the greatest perks about travelling with your parents is that they’ll want to treat you to dinner or a show. And there’s no shame in taking advantage of that – they’ll want to show their appreciation to you after you’ve done all that laborious planning.
However, you’re a fully functional adult too, so you shouldn’t rely on your parents to pay for every single bill. Offer to pay for them too, or set up a pool that all of you can contribute to for the duration of the trip.