There comes a time when you’re in your mid-late teens or early twenties when you decide you want to travel more with friends and partners, and in turn that often translates into spending less time traveling with family. It’s not always a conscious decision and more often than not, just a way of embracing adulthood and the flexibility that comes with it.
For me, this happened after the first year of college when I was about 19. I had worked over summer and also for about 8 months before moving to Melbourne in Australia for school, and had saved up enough to start going on little trips here and there with friends. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started traveling again with my family. It’s not always a breeze and I occasionally need a glass of wine (or two) to calm down, but here’s my take on the benefits traveling as a family, why you should do it, and why you should do it now.
1. Let them get to know you better as an adult
Do you feel like a different person when you’re on holiday? It’s probably because you’re able to detach from the daily grind and if you’re anything like me, have had one too many mojitos (yes – this is going to be a recurring theme throughout this website, if you were wondering). I’ve had many more honest and revealing conversations with my family while traveling than back home; it helps them to understand and see you for the person you are now.
2. And…get to know them better
See #1. Your parents and siblings are not robots – they also feel different when they’re given a chance to unwind and detach. Everyone evolves as they get older and getting to know your family better as individuals is an experience, in and of itself.
3. Show them new experiences and places
My family have all traveled our fair share around the world, individually – for school, for business trips and with friends. Your parents and siblings may not have thought about where to go next or may not be as willing to try new things without a bit of a nudge. This is where you come in. Last year, my sister and I went on a road trip to Santa Barbara together – neither of us had ever been and she probably wouldn’t have gone if I hadn’t suggested it. We ate, went to the spa (where I got a first degree burn from the sauna), shopped, and she laughed at me for two hours as I tried to drive on the other side of the road for the first time.
Earlier this year, I took my mum to Siem Reap in Cambodia. Never in a million years would she have ever considered Siem Reap as a vacation destination. But guess what? We soaked in the culture, saw a million and one temples and watched the sun rise over Angkor Wat. It’s these kinds of things that neither of you will ever forget.
4. It gives you a chance to spend time together
It’s not always as easy as you think. Things change, people move away, everyone has their own schedules – you should see my family’s Whatsapp chat history, trying to plan a Sunday dinner is like trying to herd cats. Over the past few years, I traveled a lot for work and worked many sleepless nights: traveling with family gives you all a chance to spend more quality time together.
5. And last but not least, it can actually be a lot of fun (and/or, really funny)!
There are definitely ups and downs (especially if you’re traveling with parents) – but in my personal experience, it’s been well worth the memories. If you can’t be silly in front of your family, who can you be silly in front of? We still reminisce about all of our shared travel memories and a few more joint trips are already in the works.
Looking for more travel tips? You might like these guides:
- Getting itchy feet and want to plan a holiday? Here are 5 things to think about when picking your next travel destination
- Make your globetrotting less stressful and more enjoyable with these 23 travel tips and tricks
Do you like to travel with your family? Share your experiences with me below!
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