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Why You Should Travel with Your Parents When You’re Young


Whether or not you’re the type to be screaming YOLO from rooftops, when it comes to spending quality time with your parents, take the path of no regrets.

My mom and I have always had a good relationship. But that’s not to say I didn’t have my typical teenage moments, when I didn’t exactly look forward to hanging out with my mom.

Fortunately, these sentiments have changed as I’ve grown older (and wiser of course). And the circumstances of our relationship have certainly evolved. I haven’t lived under the same roof as my mom since I was 18. Like many millennials at that age, I moved away for university (about an hour and a half drive from home). After graduating, I moved in with my boyfriend. And eventually, we bought a house and got married.

I can’t pinpoint a time when my “adult relationship” with my mom began. I know it was sometime after I called her in first year of university to complain about the worst earache of my life. And it may or may not have been around the time I called her at the wee hours of the morning on my 19th birthday because I was worried about having enough cash for the party bus we had rented for the night.

Does drunk dialing your mom push your relationship into new terrain?

I mean, I’ve made those calls before, but they were for the purpose of asking for a ride home after a high school bush party, while I tried really hard to hide the smell of whiskey on my lips. (My mom later informed me that I wasn’t fooling anyone).

Now, here we are, sipping on the wine poured from the bottle I may or may not have snuck into my oversized purse during the Jazz Festival in Montreal while my mom innocently looks in the opposite direction.

Oh, how times have changed.

My mom and I at the Jazz Festival, pre-wine.

My mom and I at the Jazz Festival, pre-wine.

Yes, I’m writing to tell you that you should travel with your parents while you’re young. It doesn’t have to be a major trip – I’m not suggesting blowing your savings for this, by any means. Just a simple weekend getaway will do – anything that forces you into an unfamiliar environment, where you can explore and try something new. Here’s why:

You’ll see one another in a new light.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve changed a lot from the wild, small town girl I was at 17 (besides my “frugal” wine sneaking habits). I wouldn’t say these changes have been drastic, but they’re noticeable. After all, I now have adult responsibilities to consider – bills to pay, a partner to support, and a fur-baby to care for. Not to mention a business to run. While my mom has certainly been around to witness these changes over time, she gets to see them in a different way when we’re spending four straight days and nights together, just the two of us.

And I see the transformations in her, too. My mom has been through a lot in her life. Major career changes, a divorce, and three adult kids living in different cities (and even provinces) to name a few. It’s so nice to have the opportunity to share the details of these life experiences – and not just in the form of regular dinner table chatter, but meaningful, in-depth conversations that last long into the night.

You’ll bond over unpredictable occurrences.

Our trip began with a train ride from Toronto to Montreal, which was clearly the best option because my mom tends to get anxious driving in new places and I am not the most patient navigator. On our first night in Montreal, we headed to Bota Bota Spa on the St. Lawrence, which was highly recommended by a friend of my mom’s (and we quickly understood why). We enjoyed some quality “girl time” relaxing in the outdoor hot tubs as the sun set over the city. It was the perfect start to our weekend.

Relaxing at the spa with a view.

Relaxing at the spa with a view.

Of course, these kinds of trips never go smoothly from start to finish. There were certainly moments when our various idiosyncrasies made their appearances. The good news is my mom knows me well enough to give me a bit of extra space (and a lot of food) after a morning spent hiking Mont Royal and an afternoon walking across the city. (According to my iPhone, we tallied over 28,000 steps that day). And I know to schedule time into the itinerary for my mom’s “artistic pit stops” where she sketches the sights we see (because, you know, a quick photograph just doesn’t cut it…kidding, mom).

You’ll appreciate the extra time together.

If there was one lesson I took from our extended weekend getaway together, it was that I miss spending this kind of time with my mom. I loved the ease of waking up and going out for breakfast. Or how happy she was just to walk me to a local coffee shop so I could work, and meet up with me when I was done. Then there was the time we spent sipping sangria on a patio overlooking the Old Port, sharing endless laughs beneath the afternoon sun.

See… wasn’t kidding about the sangria.

I’ll avoid getting all cliché here, but I know these are the kinds of memories I will always hold onto. When I think of any resistance I had in booking the last-minute trip in the first place, like taking the time away from my business, or finding room in the budget for unexpected travel expenses, I’m so glad I didn’t let such minor obstacles interfere with the opportunity to spend time away with my mom. And I wanted to share my experience here with you today, in the hopes that you feel the same way if ever presented the chance to travel with your parents.

Have you ever travelled with your parents as an adult? What was it like? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.


Charlotte Ottaway

Charlotte is Co-Founder and Managing Editor at The Reply. She is a writer, blogger and amateur photographer with interests in positivity, creative muse, generational differences and the future of work. She has written for Canadian Business, Zoomer Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post Canada and other Canadian publications. At her company, Web of Words, she helps solopreneurs and small business owners create real human connections online through blogging and social media. Better known by family and friends as Carly, she currently resides in Newmarket with her husband and dog-child. To learn more, check out her website at and follow her on Twitter @charlottaway.