From a Millennial’s POV: The Pros & Cons of Travelling With Parents

From a Millennial’s POV: The Pros & Cons of Travelling With Your Parents

They say things like, “You? Pay? HAHAHA!”

For many reasons that may or may not have to do with our non-existent budget, travelling with parents has many perks in store for millennials! But when our parents (or parent) also become our travel partners, we are signing up for, well, quite a handful — let’s just start with that.

Multigenerational travel comes with its own challenges. Is it frustrating? Kind of. Does it make you want to claw your eyes out? Always. But boring, it never is! 

Also read: Surviving a Family Trip: 10 Things to Expect While Travelling With Your Parents

Pro #1: You can count on them for free food

travelling with parents

Image credit: Tiffany Conde

Make it rain, fam! Or drizzle? It mostly depends on how tightly your parents hold on to the budget while travelling. Some really like to let loose, while others prefer to stay frugal even in another country. But whatever their spending habits may be, this is probably one area where your parents have you wrapped around their fingers, and you are too helpless to say otherwise. Whether you and your siblings awkwardly turn your eyes to the wall when the bill comes or you practically leap over the table, wrestling over the amount to assert your independence, the bright side is that at least one of you has the family covered. 

The downside? If they pay, you can expect them to have a say. 

Con #1: Their hobbies and interests take priority

travelling with parents

Image credit: Benhroy (left); foodbysung (right)

Most parents don’t believe in the saying that goes, “If you’ve seen one place, you’ve seen them all.” They might want to visit ten temples! Or fifteen UNIQLOs! They might want to take photos of every funny-looking vending machine and suggestive statue in sight and then post them on Facebook with a caption that says, “Look what I found. Haha…” 

Let’s not forget that shopping sprees with them can get intense. Most parents avoid stairs and long walks like the plague. But they see a street market in the distance, and suddenly, they’re spring chickens again? They never want to leave! For five hours! And they might not even buy anything!

Pro #2: You can bond with each other as adults

travelling with parents

Image credit: Danielle Uy

After so many years of living in their shadow, it’s finally time for you to show your parents that you are a grown adult, darn it — and you are wholly capable of making your own way in the world! 

While travelling with parents, you can take the lead when it comes to matters such as booking your accommodations, picking the least stressful tours, and ironing out all the arrangements of your itinerary. Hey, they might trust you this time. Maybe, just maybe, you can actually connect with each other as adults on equal footing.  

Just kidding! These are Asian parents we’re talking about. They will question you every step of the way. 

Con #2: They can’t help but worry about you

travelling with parents

Image credit: Gaby Salud

You could have 20 stamps in your passport, a black belt in Judo, and your parents will still ask you if it’s safe to take a taxi at night. Sometimes, they’ll even insist on accompanying you, even when you would much rather strike out on your own. When your ma and pa can’t help but stress over the smallest things, it’s best to save the extreme outdoor sports and daredevil stunts for another day. Guess walking on a tightrope between two buildings will just have to wait! 

Pro #3: You learn who they really are

Image credit: Gaby Salud

Maybe your mom plays up the strict parent role at home but transforms into a Cool Girl when she travels, upstaging even your best OOTDs. Maybe in his previous life, your dad was a rock n’ roll kind of dude and partied hard back in the day. They just never told you because they didn’t think you could handle it. 

Have you ever considered that you could be the one cramping their style, not the other way around? Maybe they planned on making you the third wheel to their date all along. You never know! 

You probably think you know your parents all too well. But just as travelling can bring out the best and worst in people, you never really know your parents until you travel with them. Either way, these folks can still teach you a thing or two!

Con #3: They always want to end the day by 10pm

travelling with family

Image credit: Therese Sta. Maria

While travelling with parents, you will often return to the home base much earlier than you intend to. It makes sense that they might want to tuck in early for the night, so they won’t be overwhelmed when tomorrow comes.

Sadly, your parents aren’t as young and sprightly anymore. If they want to sit down and catch their breath for a while, let them know that it’s okay and that you’ll wait patiently with them. Nobody is more frustrated than they are about not being as mobile as they used to be. 

Even if you do return to the hotel while the night is young, it doesn’t necessarily spell the end of your plans to, say, hit the clubs. You can still sneak out and do your own thing anyway! 

Pro #4: It makes them happy — and that’s reason enough

Image credit: Danielle Uy

It’s a sweet role reversal when you treat your parents to the vacation they deserve. If travelling was a gift that your parents gave you when you were younger, you can return the favour by taking them with you for the journey — letting them see how you experience the world as an adult. 

When you see that happy twinkle in their eyes after you’ve invited them into your life, you realise that sometimes you don’t need their words to know how grateful they are. It makes them happy when you include them in the things that mean a lot to you, and travelling is, of course, an important part of your life. 

Even if your trip is punctuated with dad jokes, family shenanigans, and random hilarity along the way, these bumps make all those long weeks of planning worth it. 

Con #4: They won’t be around forever

Image credit: Therese Sta. Maria (left); Danielle Uy (right)

Nobody tells you that the hardest part of growing up is watching your parents get older. Things that used to come easy are now undertakings of effort, requiring more energy than they can give. A sudden limp comes out of nowhere and disappears just as fast, so you can almost pretend it never happened. Your parents shrug it off, pretend it’s just the usual. But sometimes, forgetting a small errand or repeating a story that they hadn’t realised they told you before, then losing the thread mid-thought, is all it takes to make you cry. 

If you have a good relationship with your folks, take the opportunity to travel with them whenever you can. The truth is that you have all the time in the world to try out different travel companions, but your parents, who also want to see the world with you, won’t always be there. 

Also read: Travelling With Parents: A Beautiful Adjustment

Image credit: Danielle Uy

The next time you regale your parents with tales of your travels and you catch them looking wistfully at you, consider bringing them along! It’s hard enough choosing their presents anyway, so you might as well give them the gift of travel, right? There’s so little to regret when it comes to travelling with parents. And seeing the world, like many things, gets dearer with age. 

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer based in Manila. When she was younger, she knew she wanted to write stories or go on adventures—now, she's learning to do both. She enjoys being swept up in books that spark her curiosity for new places, both real and imaginary.

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