Let’s talk about parents. Your parents. My parents. Everyone’s parents.

Unless you’re super lucky and were raised in a household of nomads, your parents will probably sooner or later stand between you and travel. Now don’t get me wrong – I am actually lucky enough to have parents who were able and willing to take me and my brothers on many vacations. They are both retired now and go on multiple holidays each year. I’ve even taken the trip of a life time with my dad to Tanzania and Zambia! But that’s the point – they go on holidays. They don’t go on extended round-the-world trips; they don’t arrive and see where the wind takes them – they travel with a purpose; and that purpose is usually over after 7-14 days.

Your parents don't want to let you travel and explore the world? Don't worry - here are ten tips for talking to your parents about travel.

 

The first time I talked to my parents about long-term travel, they were shocked – “our little girl, alone in Scotland?” While that trip never happened, we settled on a safer option, a year of volunteering in Denmark, but ever since, I’ve traveled a lot, moved abroad for uni twice, started writing for various travel blogs and traveled even more for work. I remember, before I moved to Scotland for uni, my mum just called it the latest of my travel shenanigans and researched postgraduate courses in Austria for me. She really did not want me to leave again.

Now, some of you are still at the stage before going on your first big solo trip, and you wonder, “how on Earth am I going to get my parents to agree to this?”

Here are some tips based on my own experience of how to talk to your parents about travel.

1) Don’t appear too impulsive

When you tell your parents about your wish to travel, approach them with plan and prepare to answer all their questions. The more you already know about your trip, the less they can catch you off-guard and kill the spirit.

Your parents don't want to let you travel and explore the world? Don't worry - here are ten tips for talking to your parents about travel.

2) Do your research

Which countries are easy for first time (solo) travelers? Where will you stay? How will you get around?

You don’t need to have everything set in stone, but thinking about these questions will strengthen your confidence and show your parents that you are ready for the responsibility.

3) Emphasize how important travel is to your personal development

Make your parents understand how you hope to grow from traveling, for example by encountering different people, immersing yourself in another culture or expanding your knowledge and horizon. Your parents won’t be able to resist the passion in your voice!

4) Show dedication

Particularly, if it’s a question of money, get a side job and start saving as much as you can. Show your parents your budget plan and ensure them, that you can do it.

5) Share your itinerary

Give your parents an overview of all your flight schedules, hotel reservations etc. Discuss how often you will be in touch (and stick to it) and let them know about days where you might not be able to access the internet to contact them. I still share all my flight schedules with my mum, so she can follow my steps, and send her a text when I have arrived at a new destination.

Your parents don't want to let you travel and explore the world? Don't worry - here are ten tips for talking to your parents about travel.

6) Be flexible about the length of your trip

Being flexible is particularly important when it’s your first solo trip. I changed my plans from woofing around Scotland to volunteering in Denmark, because it made my parents feel safer. Or maybe you can start with a shorter trip and then ease them into longer journeys.

7) Emphasize the skills you learn while traveling

Travel is not just about personal growth, but also skills development. Particularly if your parents are concerned about your future career, tell them about the things you will learn on the road. These skills can include new languages, budgeting or time management – here is how you can present them on your CV!

8) Have a plan for after you return

We all know that plans can change – especially if you go away for a few weeks or months – but it shows your parents that you are responsible enough to think about your life ahead.

9) Consider traveling with someone else

Ask a friend or sibling to come along, or book an organized tour, especially if your parents are worried about you traveling by yourself.

Your parents don't want to let you travel and explore the world? Don't worry - here are ten tips for talking to your parents about travel.

10) It’s about mutual respect

And finally, make sure to take their fears seriously and find solutions together!

How do you talk to your parents about travel?