I spent eight months in South America including Tucan Travel’s 46 days overland tour through Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru… all with my parents.
We were one of the few families I saw traveling together and the only family in our tour group. My brother and I are teens, which leaves some wondering how we as a family can travel together. The questions arise… to my parents, “Aren’t teenagers moody and hard to deal with?” To my brother and I, “How do you get along?” Secret is, we don’t always and here are some tips for traveling with your parents.
1. Respect Decisions
Since everyone has their preferences and likes, when traveling, each person may want to do a different activity. Either way, you’ll have to learn to respect whatever decision someone makes.
For my family, we sometimes give one another a chance to choose which restaurant to go to. For places that we’ve never been to before, we choose restaurants based on looking at the menu and the atmosphere. In Colonia de Sacramento Uruguay, as we walked through the old town, my mom picked the restaurant.
As we were entering, my brother and I protested against staying. Wrong move! We should have listened. After a small argument, we left and headed for a different restaurant. That dining experience became one of the worst, as the outdoor chairs were dirty, I ended up touching bird poop, several stray dogs laid by our feet and the food wasn’t that great.
After that incident, when a decision is made, we all adhere to it. Sticking to one person’s initial decision may turn out for the better.
2. Try Not To Argue
Arguments will happen when traveling with your parents. The trick is learning to avoid it because it slows everyone down and may even cause you to make mistakes.
One thing we struggled with while traveling in South America was finding directions. When my parents put my brother in charge of finding out how to get to a destination in Santiago, the capital city of Chile, we kept arguing because some of us thought we weren’t on the right street. Turns out while arguing, we were walking in the complete opposite direction of our destination!
3. Realize That Life Is Short
Truth is, nobody lives forever. At times, as much as you think you can’t stand your parents, remember that life is short. They won’t be in your lives forever.
This brings a new perspective and can change your outlook if you don’t particularly get along with your parents. Traveling may be a great opportunity to spend time with your parents while you can.
4. It’s A Privilege
If you get the chance to travel with your parents, consider yourself privileged. I don’t know of many people my age that travel overseas or go on tours with their parents long term. It could be due to schedule conflicts, work, money and other situations.
The experience of traveling with your parents is a once in a lifetime experience that should be considered as a privilege.
5. Have Fun
You’re traveling! That alone should make you happy. And add on the fact that you’re with your parents and you’ll soon find out traveling with your parents is a lot of fun.
If you and your parents are looking for tours to go on together, check out Tucan Travel’s overland trips in South America here.
Bethany Looi is a social media manager based in New York City. She has been to 26 countries and will be joining Tucan Travel’s Trans Mongolian Railway from St. Petersburg to Beijing with her family soon. You can find her at www.bethanylooi.com