What it’s like to travel with a parent as an adult

Annette was both excited and nervous about traveling to Tanzania with her mother. Here’s her advice for adult travelers planning a trip with their parents.

Planning a family trip? Traveling with your parents can be stressful and stressful. It can also be therapeutic and enriching. Something I’ve always wanted to do as an African American is travel Africa. Going to the motherland with my mom was my dream trip.

I recently went Premium Tanzania Intrepid Tour with my mother. Here are some tips that made our adventure less stressful and more fun!

Pack distractions

Two women, one of them wearing sunglasses, smiling for a selfie

It is important to pack some fun activities, favorite games and snacks to help you pass the time during the flight. My mom and I brought coloring books and crayons, which came in handy during a four hour layover in Zanzibar.

Consider creating a trip binder with a printed itinerary, and a place to jot down memories, goals, intentions, and milestones. This is a good way to help everyone remember what you did on the trip and how you felt.

Yes, you can buy snacks everywhere, but it’s nice to have some home comforts on hand (this comes in handy if someone is a picky eater).

Technical assistance

If you’re traveling internationally or spend a significant amount of time traveling, it’s a good idea to download some favorite movies, podcasts, or series for your parents to watch while you wait. This will keep them entertained while you’re in transit rather than asking you out All of questions. Download entertainment at home where you have a strong and secure wifi.

I’d suggest bringing an extra pair of headphones for your parents, too (they were a lifesaver on our trip!). Mom is sleeping with the TV on, while I need silence and darkness. She used one of her devices to watch downloaded shows at night. I used a sleeping mask. Even though I could hear her laugh every now and then, I was still able to fall asleep thanks to my headphones.

Find a meeting point

A woman in a pink tracksuit and bag carrying basil stands in Ngorongoro Crater

This wasn’t the first time I’d been traveling internationally with my mom; We’ve been to Canada, Mexico and Jamaica together. However, this would be the farthest and longest we’d ever travel together and I was a little concerned. I had 35 hours to travel to Arusha, Tanzania where the tour started. However, my mother was traveling from a different location so I booked her the shortest flight with minimal stops.

Her first stop, and our first meeting point, was at Doha Airport in Qatar. Wifi isn’t always accessible, especially in international airports, so it’s a good idea to research your meeting point and find a specific, easy-to-find place to meet within the airport. There is a large teddy bear statue at Doha airport which was not only great for taking selfies but was also the perfect meeting point to catch up with my mom.

Comfort is key

As you get older, rest isn’t a pleasure, it’s a necessity. We had a 10 hour layover at Doha airport so I decided to splurge and book a dorm for us to lay down and rest between connecting flights. It’s almost impossible to sleep comfortably in economy class, especially if you’re a plus-size traveler. Booking a dormitory was our compromise as neither of us could upgrade our seats on the plane.

Convenience is the reason we book Premium Tanzania Intrepid Tour instead of other options. with Basil Featured tours You get the best accommodation and the highest level of service. This meant we stayed at a mix of resorts, boutique hotels, and permanent campgrounds in each of the national parks.

When traveling with your parents, you may need to change your natural pace. This could mean slowing things down, taking more breaks, or choosing to let things go.

Ask for what you want and need

Woman with dreadlocks and purple cat looking through binoculars on safari

Since my mom and I were traveling from different places, it was not possible to reserve seats next to each other. However, at each airport we checked in together and asked if it was possible to sit next to each other. At this point, my mom said I was her daughter and that we live in different countries; 95% of the time people responded with amazement that she was the mother of an adult daughter. The other 5% asked where I live.

During one check-in, the next three flights are assigned seats. Our seats were supposed to be next to each other but ended up being in rows apart. Once we got on the plane, I explained to the flight attendant that we were a family and hoped to be seated together. The hostess was very helpful and even found us an empty line.

Take all the pictures

A woman smiles at the camera while standing on the balcony

Family time is sacred. It is something that should be celebrated and brought to life with lots and lots of images. There is usually only one person taking pictures who is rarely inside, so it’s a good idea to pack a tripod and set your camera phone on a timer to help capture some memorable moments. Both in. Ask your fellow flight mates to take some shots for you, too.

Give yourself some space

It can start to feel like the walls get a little closer to you when you’re sleeping, eating, and traveling with a parent for days on end. It’s completely normal to need some alone time and it’s okay to ask for what you need. When my mom was dancing to my last nerves, I would tell her I needed a moment. Then I walk a short distance or go to our room to create some distance.

Take some time throughout your trip to do something solo, whether that’s going for a walk or listening to a podcast in your hotel lobby. If you can afford it (and if it’s an option), consider booking private accommodations. When you’re traveling and eating every meal together for days, having your own space can be a saving grace.

Allow them to do whatever they want

Two women dressed in white, one with an orange hat and long green hair, the other with long braids, smiling at the camera

There were more than a few times on this trip where my mom said or said something embarrassing. As a 37-year-old woman, I’ve learned to let most things go. While we were in Tanzania, she was reminded that, other than being my mother, she is a fully formed person with feelings and flaws. For the two of us to enjoy ourselves, I needed to allow her space to be her true self and not just be my mom. If that means smiling through some awkward chatter, then so be it!

One of the things she kept doing while creating her video “content” for later posting on social media was wrongly identifying our location. Although our 8 day tour was in Tanzania my mother mentioned we were on a tour of both Kenya And the Zimbabwe. In the end, it became a joke with the group. We all asked her where we were or where we were going… she always got it wrong!

But in the end, traveling to Tanzania with my mom strengthened our relationship. We made new memories. We traveled to the Motherland together and went on safari. I was able to listen to her stories that I had never heard before. We learned more about each other in a way we never would have been able to if we were at home.

Feeling inspired? Follow The Adventures of Annette on Instagram.

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