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How to Travel with Adult Children (And Enjoy It)

Nothing is as rewarding, fun, and memorable as traveling with your kids when they are still young. But things become a little bit challenging when they grow into adult childhood.

They become more choosy and want to do things their way, making it more complicated than when they were young. But is it possible to travel with your 20-something son or daughter and actually enjoy the time together?

It is possible to travel with your adult children and enjoy it. However, this calls for proper planning, communication of expectations, and choice of destination.

You need to allow them to take part in the decision-making at all stages, and consider their goals and priorities. This way, they will have agency, which will make your travel less stressful (and possibly even more fun for you!).

Traveling with adult children doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Whether you are going for a day or a week with your children, you need to plan well and start out in the right mood for everyone.

In this blog post, I will share essential tips to make your travel enjoyable and also the benefits of family vacation trips.

Helpful Tips For Traveling With Your Adult Children

Discuss Priorities and Goals

With young kids, it is easy for you as the parent to choose where to go, but things are different with adult children. You must discuss your choices and allow them to give their ideas.

Whether you already know where you are traveling to or not, ensure you get their opinion first.

This is not only in terms of the physical place you are visiting but also their expectations about the trip and how they want it to be. Have a round table meeting and hear them out, especially their goals and interests for the trip.

Having everyone’s ideas and desires out in the open will help set appropriate and realistic expectations for everyone. Communication is key!

Talk About Money

For any trip to be successful, proper budgeting must be done in advance. Let the children know what you as the parents will be covering.

Are you paying for everything from transport to hotels to food and drinks, or will you cost-share?

Starting your journey without discussing this might be a (relationally) costly mistake that will ruin your time away.

Let your children know you are not paying for everything like you did when they were young. You don’t want to argue in a hotel when the bill is on the table.

Having a money talk will help them prepare in advance and avoid such embarrassing scenarios.

Ensure There Is Something For Everyone

This is a tip that will make the trip enjoyable for everyone. Your destination should accommodate everyone you are traveling with regarding taste and preferences.

It is not a must that you do everything together. Everyone can have their alone time and explore their interests for some time within the same area.

This will be more fun as you gather together in the afternoon for lunch and share your experiences.

Leave Room For Compromising

The preferences of your adult children might be more specific, unlike when they were young. That’s why it’s critical to be ready to compromise about things they prefer that you didn’t know about.

Their opinion on the hotel you choose or the destination could be stronger than you might have thought.

Surprisingly, even your choice of food or meal time could ruin your trip. For instance, you might want everyone to be present for a big breakfast in the morning, but they want to sleep a bit longer.

Talk about that before hitting the road; otherwise, a disagreement might lead to hurt feelings and a disappointing trip.

The best way to avoid all these is to compromise and keep everybody happy.

Set a Practical Timeframe

Spending time with the adults you have seen grow from birth can be fun. Therefore, you might be tempted to set a longer time for the trip just to have more time to catch up with them.

Nevertheless, depending on their schedule, this may not be okay with your children, and you should resist the temptation.

You don’t want to travel for two weeks and have your children inconvenienced or fail to get along because of the time factor.

A helpful tip would be to plan a three-day or week trip and see how it goes before committing to a two-week trip.

Avoid Making Assumptions

Assumptions have turned many family trips into a nightmare.

Don’t assume that your 21-year-old will love spending all their vacation time with you because they have been away for a whole year.

You might be shocked to realize they need some alone time on the beach.

You should ask the children how they want to spend their time during the trip and make the most out of it.

Take The Needs of Your Grandchildren Into Account

If your adult children have kids of their own, you must also consider their needs.

Allow your adult children to say what they would like for their kids and how they think the trip will be enjoyable for them.

Also, choose kid-friendly places to ensure the little ones have fun.

Moreover, avoid interfering with the parenting styles of your adult children; otherwise, you are sure to ruin the trip by adding your two cents.

Share The Chores

If you will be renting a house during your vacation, it means that there will be duties to be shared. You will need to prepare the meals, clean, and change the beds.

Splitting the responsibilities will make the trip enjoyable since no one will feel overworked. It will also allow everyone to feel they are part of the vacation.

You can babysit your grandkids as your daughter takes care of the laundry after breakfast.

Avoid Subjects That May Cause Emotional Tension

When traveling with your adult children, be careful to avoid subjects like politics, money, or religion. As much as you feel justified to argue about the American senate, that may not be wise, no matter how persuasive your argument is.

Also, avoid having discussions centered around you and your interests. Your adult children may not take an interest.

Instead, focus on practical and comfortable topics for the whole family. You can even discuss in advance the topics you would want to discuss during your trip.

Ensure There Are Activities For Everyone

This is another helpful tip when traveling for a family getaway.

You must ensure that there are plenty of activities for everyone at the destination or resort you visit.

Also, remember to ask if the activities are free or if one has to pay for them. A vacation without activities for everyone in your family might be boring to some, bringing in unwanted discontentment.

Why You Should Go For A Vacation With Your Adult Children

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about a vacation is cost and budget. But these are nothing compared to what you stand to gain from a vacation.

Here are some benefits of a family vacation with your adult children.

Promotes Family Bonding

The busy life and the struggles to meet one’s daily needs can take over all of your time and energy.

This means there is little time left for family, and if one is not careful, your relationship with your loved ones may be affected.

This can be especially true when your children are no longer living at home, but are out in the world learning to meet their own needs.

Nevertheless, having some time together outside the usual home set-up helps bring families together away from the stress of day-to-day life.

The amount of time you spend with your family daily is not as important as how you use the time with them that you do have. A vacation offers a lot of time to spend with your family, whether you will be horse riding, swimming, or hiking.

It will give you quality time to have fun and bond with your loved ones away from the disruptions of school or work.

That time together can help solidify the bonds of communication and respect with your adult children that you may not have throughout the year.

World Appreciation

Traveling with family is more than taking pictures of the beautiful beaches and sunsets. It also gives you a deeper understanding of the world and humanity.

Traveling to different parts of the world allows you to meet new people, learn about their culture, and explore new environments.

There is always something for everyone in a family to experience during a family trip.

Small kids can expand their view of the world through travel, but adult children can appreciate all of the history and culture you are seeing so much more than when they were younger.

Life Enriching

Traveling with family teaches everyone why making memories and enjoying various experiences is essential – it provides food for the mind during the mundane moments of life.

Family vacations also come in handy in promoting self-confidence, interpersonal skills, and independence. Additionally, it promotes an active and healthy lifestyle through hiking, swimming, and other activities.

When children spend time with their parents, at any age, great memories and connections are made.

Don’t lose the chance to spend a great time traveling with your adult children, but plan your trip together now before they get too busy or you get too old to enjoy it.