- By Kelsie Nolan |
- (2) Comments
If you are reading this, you probably know what it’s like to have your family absolutely FREAK OUT when you bring up traveling.The world can be a scary, intimidating place for a lot of people... especially those that haven’t had the opportunity to travel. It is understandable that your parents or sibling worry about you exploring the world, but it can get stifling if they do not keep their concerns in check. Here are a few of our best tips and tricks to communicating with your family about travel:
~ Plan it Out! ~
Know what you want out of your trip before you even begin the conversation.✈️ Do you want a 3-month Eurotrip covering the whole continent? Plan your route!!✈️ Do you want a 1 week stay in Cancun drinking on the beach? Pick your hotel, find good flights there and back!You want to come across as the most organized, type-A traveler they have come across.Have an itinerary to show them. Even if you do not stick to it, this will help them - and you - have a better idea of the plan of your trip!
~ Budget! ~
Know what you will need. This will entail some research on your part. Look up transportation costs, accommodation, local food and drink costs, and any entertainment youthink you will want! Plan for more than you think you will need.You should show your parents this budget and assure them that you have more than enough money to cover the trip... and be especially prepared if you’re planning to ask for help funding it.
~ Be Prepared! ~
If you have chronically worried parents, you can predict their spiel. Take the organized approach by writing down every concern you think they will bring up. Under each concern, write down your counterpoints! You need to go full debate style on them.Show proof that their concerns do not really apply to your travels, and show the ways you are prepared to avoid these problems!
~ Tell Them Early! ~
You do not want to spring this on your parents last minute. Trust me, I’ve tried. You want your family to have time to let this sink in.After they have time to address their fears and see your plan, they will hopefully start to get excited for you! Remember that they want the best for you. They want to see you succeed, and don’t want to hold you back. They’re just worried.
~ Express Yourself! ~
Make sure they know you understand their fears: Take the time to see this through their eyes and vocalize that to them. They want you to come home, and come home in one piece. Assure them that you will come home, eventually, and will do everything you can to stay safe.
(This may be a good time to include a joke about your dad needing to go full Liam Neeson in Taken if you get into any trouble. Humor lightens the mood. But gauge your parents sense of humor about the topic before doing this.)
Many parents think that traveling on your own, or before you finish university, or before you have a full-time job, is irresponsible and outlandish. It is something that our generation doesdifferently. We want our lives to include these life-changing experiences before we are too old to enjoy them. This may be a point you may not see eye-to-eye on, but it is helpful to *calmly* explain the benefits and your reasons!
Make sure you express your “why” and be genuine about it. Traveling can do amazing things for your self-confidence, personal growth, and interpersonal skills. Your parents will be a lot more receptive to you if you express your desire to learn about other cultures firsthand than go to a rave in Europe or get crazy at a Full Moon Party in Thailand.
In fact, while traveling you’ll learn more about a variety of things. Talk to your parents about how much you will gain in every aspect including: culture, language, politics, geography, social ability, money management and most importantly about yourself and your resilience.
~ Plan Your Communication! ~
Make sure they understand the difference in time zone. Embrace the millennial tech-wiz youare and add the clock of your destination to their World Clock in the clock app! They will love to refer back to that. Help them set up WhatsApp and test it out before you go...Make sure their notifications are on!Trust me, this is important! If your parents have Facebook or iMessage, help them realize that these are free modes of communication where you can text, call and video chat across international lines.
If you know your family has work, school, or other activities, try to plan a tentative time where you can talk every couple of days! Knowing calls with them are in your itinerary will keep a worried parent’s mind at ease.
~ Pictures, Pictures, Pictures! ~
Understandably, they want to see you enjoying yourself and know what your surroundings are like. Not only with this ease their concerns, but you will be letting them in on how beautiful travel is.
~ Communicate! ~
Calls are okay, but video calling is GREAT. Your family wants to see you safe, happy, living,and breathing. Seeing you and hearing your voice will make them much calmer. Try to keepup your tentative schedule as much as possible! They miss you and they look forward to it. It doesn’t have to be a long call... just a few minutes to say hi, then keep the details to text!
Even if you cannot call,do notlet days go by without any messages. This will cause a runaway train of worst-case-scenarios that you do not want to board!
We have found Whatsapp,WeChat, GroupME, iMessage, FaceTime, and Skype to be the most helpful. Family and friend group chats work wonders to keep everyone updated!
~ Don't Lie! ~
While traveling, things happen. If you do get into trouble, get injured, or sick it’s not worth it to not tell your family. They can help you... and want to be there for you - remember that. If you’re sick, they’re also probably the best at supporting you and there’s nothing like talking to your family to make you feel better. Keeping things hidden from the people that care the most will only cause trouble!
~ The Highlights! ~
This is the part that ismake or breakand many young travelers fail to do this. They will either feel much safer or much more concerned about you traveling again, so take this seriously.
You will probably (read:definitely) want to leave out that time you puked from bad alcohol, got lost on your hike in the jungle, or accepted a ride from a stranger when the taxis were too expensive.
Tell them about the beautiful beaches, amazing people, and all the incredible culture you were immersed in. Tell them what you learned! Keep it honest, but directed towards the best experiences. Stay positive with your stories & show them all the beautiful pictures they haven’t seen yet!
~ Your Growth! ~
Your parents truly want what is best for you, and you can convince them that travel is one ofthe best things! You need to show them the value that you gained.
✈️ Did you learn to say some phrases in another language? Let ‘em hear it!
✈️ Did you make incredible friends? Show them pictures of you guys!
✈️ Did you improve your navigating skills? You be the nav on the next hike!
✈️ Did you learn how to cook a new meal? Cook it for them!
This is your opportunity to show how you are growing from travel. You cannot demonstrate everything... like confidence, a better idea of what you want out of life, or a new world view... but you can explain it. Take the time to open up to them and let them know how you have grown. Good communication goes a long way!
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