As Christmas is getting closer. I thought to do a post on family trips specifically when it is one parent and one child. These probably do apply for a big family outing, but as I only experienced one parent/one child trips, these are the only things I can say about them/my experiences.
I have done many trips with my dad and many trips with my mom. Both my parents have different travel styles, which I believe was perfect for my growth as I got to experience different things.
You might know that my father and I have done 2 bike trips together, the Transamerican Trail and from Alaska, which is a different type of traveling for sure. My mother and I have done more resort traveling and staying in hotels rather than the camping and hostel life with my father.
I don’t have many blogs about my mother’s trips with me because they all occurred before I started this blog.
Here are my 5 Joys and 5 Irritations on traveling with a parent (as the child). Let’s start with Irritations first.
1. They Know You
They know what buttons to push and sometimes they don’t care- either to get a rise out of you for laughs or due to an argument you are having on where to eat dinner. They have seen you since birth and know every little thing. There is no hiding.
The difference on traveling with a friend or significant other or some random person you clicked with in a hostel is that this other person hasn’t seen your Goth stage, or your Justin Bieber stage, or your I’m not going to shower for 5 days stage. You could have re-invented yourself just for that person. (Side note, I have not had any of these stages lol).
Your parent? They have seen ALL the stages and can hold it over your head for sure.
2. There can be limitations on traveling
This applies to both parent and child. As the child, I can’t exactly go out partying every night when I travel. I don’t really have a decision on where we are sleeping or what we are eating (a big part is the child does not hold the wallet).
As a solo traveler, the money I spend, is what I have earned; therefore, I can go wherever I want.
As a parent, they also can’t party every night either. They need to look after the child. Or if there is a really cool bar that is recommended in all the tourist books, well the parent can’t take the child into the bar and might have to miss out on the experience.
3. More stuff to carry
This more applies to the parent of younger children. They have to bring diapers, changes of clothes in case the child dirties themselves, and toys. Often, the child can’t contribute in carrying the items so the parent has to.
4. Parents are bigger
Going on hiking or long walking trips were annoying to me as a young child. How could I keep up without exhausting myself when my legs are half the length of my parent? I always felt like I was running.
I am sort of getting my revenge now, as I can out walk them, but when I was younger, it was definitely the other way around.
5. 24/7 Contact
My teenage angsty-self did not like the fact that I was always with my parent 24/7 during these trips. I couldn’t have some alone time and be away from them for a bit.
Perhaps my parents felt the same- I re-iterate: TEENAGE ANGST
1. They Know You
This is also a great thing! They know when you are sad, they know what will make you happy, they know the signs if you are about to get sick, etc. The parent has lived through it all before so you don’t have to explain anything.
Solo traveling, one has to explain many things: your background, any food allergies, etc. With your parent, nothing else is needed to say.
2. Unconditional Love
They still and always will love me. No matter my teenage angst or not. No matter my tears biking up a mountain (really, crying wasn’t necessary, but hey- I hate mountains on a bike).
When the child gets sick, the parent is always there, sacrificing their own travel time to make sure the child gets better.
When traveling alone or with a friend, it isn’t such a certainty that the friend or anyone in the hostel with look after you, especially not as well as the parent.
3. Inside Jokes
This goes along with “They Know You,” but humor and laughter is so important that I thought to make it it’s own bullet point. In a way, inside jokes are a secret language between parent and child that the outside world won’t understand.
4. They are with you!
One of the biggest joys is that your parent/child is with you! You don’t have to give them a call later explaining everything that you saw or did. You already shared the experience with them. Plus, you have someone to take solo pictures of you or a buddy to do selfies. I can’t be the only one who is embarrassed with taking a solo selfie?
5. No Worries
Once and awhile you might find yourself a bit short on cash for that particular souvenir or just want to eat out at a really nice restaurant, but don’t have the budget for it. Luckily, your parent can chip in.
Traveling while older is nice because of being able to ask your parents for a little something to help. Also, they won’t let you starve or eat plain pasta 5 nights in a row either.
This doesn’t even have to be for money- you need to use the restroom, but don’t want to carry all your stuff? There is always someone who can stand with the bags while the other goes to the bathroom.
Fiddling with tickets or baggage before boarding a bus/train? The other person can save 2 seats in the meanwhile.
The seats and bathroom can apply to traveling with any other person, but I guarantee your parent will watch your bag more closely than anyone else.
Traveling with a parent is definitely a lot less worrisome.
Thanks Mom and Dad!
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