Travelling with family: Ups and downs, perks and annoyances

We always talk about how fun it is to travel with friends, and heck there are tonnes of articles on solo travelling on the Internet. But when it comes to travelling with family, I noticed there is comparatively less content covering this topic on the web; why is that? I get it, I get it, some people, especially the millennials, may think it’s “uncool” and “boring” to travel with family (i.e., parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, you get the idea). Here I’m going to break down some of the ups and downs, perks and sometimes annoyances when travelling with family.

Travelling with family deepens your understanding towards each other

So you think you know your family members well enough after living under the same roof for years and decades long? You will be surprised to discover during the trip some of their habits or pet peeves which were previously unknown to you. 
Often, we spend most of our time outside the household working, studying, hanging out with friends with little to no time to spare with the family after a long day out at home. Nowadays, we even have more screen time with our precious phones than actual time to interact with the family. 
Therefore, when you go on a trip with your family, you literally have to stick to each other for a couple of days or weeks in a foreign country, that is the time that you have the opportunity to bond with your family members. Of course, it’s fun and enjoyable if your trip is smooth-sailing all the way. But, sometimes hiccups or even mishaps may happen, for example when you and your family were lost, when you could not figure out how the local public transportation works or when there was a huge language barrier or worst case scenario when one of you had lost the passport. Things are less scary and less stressful when you are with familiar faces. 
Besides, who knows you might learn a thing or two about your family members that might change your perspective or opinion towards them.

Travelling with moms may prevent you from falling sick on the road

While this may be an overstatement, but most moms I know, including my mom, often keep an eye out on what their kids are eating, ensuring they have a healthy balanced diet. 
One of the perks of travelling is the opportunity to immerse your senses in the new sights, smells and tastes. And yes I’m talking about trying out new foods and eating to our hearts’ (and stomachs’?) content. But very often, we tend to feed our stomachs with too much greasy, deep fried street food or when long-distance travelling is involved, we tend to lose sight of how little water we drink or the fruits and vegetables we have on a daily basis. Personally, I had experiences for being constipated for almost a week while I was in Cambodia due to dehydration and a lack of fruits and vegetable intake throughout the trip.
This is when moms come to the rescue. It may come off as a form of nagging, but moms usually know best. Next time when your mom is telling you to drink up or to eat more fruits and vegetables, it may be a good idea to follow suit to save yourself from further heartaches (the trip being ruined), headaches (due to dehydration) or even stomachaches (stomach upset). 

Travelling with family may improve your portrait-taking skills

I don’t know about your family, but my family especially my mom and aunts love having their photos taken! I usually take photos of the scenery or random objects when I travel by myself. But when I travel with my family, I’m pretty much very in demand for my photography services XD

My mom and aunts would ask me to take their photos at various angles as they displayed their choreographed poses in front of temples, statues, doors, trees, flowers, etc. The more portraits you take, the better you are at it! After all, practice makes perfect.

Travelling with family means lotsa patience and tolerance

Despite the perks mentioned above, sometimes travelling with family does have its annoyances and frustrations as well. After all, everyone has their own interests and preferences, right?

For instance, personally I like going to the small towns and the countryside for beautiful landscapes, panoramas and scenery, staying at a home stay and learn about the local customs and traditions or perhaps taking a culinary class. On the other hand, my dad loves staying in big cities.

To cater to everyone’s liking, we have to reach a compromise somewhere. We ended up touring the countryside for a few days, interspersed with a few foodie trips and a journey to the local shopping mall. To travel with family, we learn to be more patient and tolerant, more open-minded and more accepting to each other’s differences.

To sum it up, travelling with family does have its ups and downs, but the whole experience is priceless. It’s the only time you get to let your hair down and truly enjoy quality time with your family, which doesn’t happen very often.

Have you travelled with your parents and extended family? How often do you do it?

PS: For more info and my personal travel stories on Chiang Mai, please check out the link below:

Mi Familia!

Taken at an elephant sanctuary



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