I have been living overseas (Singapore) for close to 6 years. Studying in Singapore means I have to be away from my parents who are still based in China.
Ever since I graduated from university, I will go back and stay with my parents at least twice a year (and sometimes they will also come to visit me in Singapore). Definitely, that’s not enough but I have been trying my very best to spend more time with them. Well, if you do some simple calculations, the scary fact is that given we can only meet 2-3 times a year, I may only see them around 100 times in my remaining life. Because I am always away from them, I do hope that each of our meetup is a memorable one, which will brings them brightness, laughters and sweetness as much as I can. And, because of this reason, I do spend a lot of time planning a perfect family trip with them every year.
Here are some tips I summarised from my experiences of planning a trip with my parents. Hope it do help some of you too.
Know What They Like
When you plan a family trip, it is a decision which involves everyone in the family. You must always seek for their advice in the first place. Ask them where they want to go, what they want to eat and which hotel they prefer to stay etc. It’s ok to make a tentative plan but do remember to let them review the trip plan and express their opinions. Normally, parents prefer destinations where they can enjoy the natural landscape & scenery to experience the freshness of nature. To be honest, most of time our parents may just follow what we say. However, involving them in the decision making also shows you respect their opinions.
Slow Down the Pace
Don’t ever plan a trip with a tight schedule when you are travelling with your parents! This is one of the most important things to remember! Obviously, a 10-day trip travelling to 10 different places that need long journey transit every day is not good for their age. Also, a trip which follows a long checklist of restaurants in hidden corners should also be avoided. In my opinion, a trip which is slow-paced, relax, easy to transit is best for our parents. Most importantly, it must be flexible. If needed, just slow down and have a rest.
Agree On Schedule
Don’t forget that our parents may have different lifestyles. For example, most young people sleep late and get up late while parents live a healthy style which they sleep and get up early. That’s perfectly fine if we put some efforts in communication and understanding. For instance, while we are still in bed, our parents may have a morning stroll around the hotel. Or sometimes if they do want to enjoy the sun rise, we can just adjust our clock and accompany them to go. Well, the thing to note is to show more understanding to each other and make compromises as necessary. The last thing we want to happen is that conflicts arise.
Plan in Great Details
This is necessary to save time and energy during a trip. Make sure you do a complete research on how to reach a destination. Book a comfortable hotel and make sure the transfer is OK. Book transportation in advance if need be. Locate restaurants, shops, and stations around. In addition, do some homework on attractions you are visiting as if you are a tour guide. The final product should be a detailed daily itinerary.
Always Prepare Medicine
Depending on your parent’s health condition, bring all needed medicine. If you need some guide on what medicine to bring for your trip, feel free to use our luggage checklist. We have listed down some of the most common type of medicine that you should prepare before every trip.
During the trip, ensure that you take plenty of photos/with for them. Photos are memories which they can reflect on when you are not around. Don’t only take photos of your parents, but take photos together with them.
Carry Luggage for Them
Be considerate! Don’t ever let your parents carry heavy things. Carry their luggage for them.
Take Care of Their Mood
Pay more attention to what your parents feel and what they think. Tell a joke if the atmosphere is abit too tense. You can also talk about a sweet memory. Comfort them when they suddenly become emotional (well, sometimes it happens). The best thing you should do is to try to communicate with them as much as possible.
Nowadays, young people may like to travel with friends or even alone. It is also easy to postpone a family trip with excuses like work. But before you do that, think of how much your parents have sacrificed for you! You will not be who you are today without them.
A note to everyone, please do spend more time with your parents, either it’s a trip by which you explore the world together or even just staying at home with them. Just being with them is where all the sweetness and warm will comes.