For the past few months you’ve been dreaming of far flung places, of adventures under the sun and upon mountain tops. You’ve been saving some money towards buying that ticket that will help you realise your travel plans. But one thing you still haven’t done is mention it to your folks.
I think you’ll agree that it’s not necessarily easy to tell them that you’re planning to jet off to unknown lands, on your own, for something life changing. So how do you go about convincing your parents that it’s a good idea for you to go traveling the world, alone?
How to convince your parents to let you travel alone
Here are some handy tips I want to share with you on how to broach the subject and put their minds at ease. This is how to convince your parents to let you travel alone!
Talk about Safety
Your travel safety is definitely one of the biggest, if not the biggest concern parents have with regards to solo travel! Worrying is part and parcel of being a mum or a dad. A parent’s job is to take care of you, and it’s your job to try to quell their fears as much as possible.
Sure, we can’t guarantee that we’ll be 100% safe, 100% of the time. But we can take some practical steps that will help put their minds at ease. How do you convince your parents to let you go? First of all…
Get travel insurance
For starters: get travel insurance and leave a copy with your parents. Sometimes things CAN go wrong. We might miss that flight or a bag may go missing. We might just break something skiing or hiking – yes, it can happen to you. Having a solid insurance plan is hugely important in helping reassure Mum and Dad that you have medical coverage in the unlikely event of a serious accident or illness. Don’t have regrets on your adventures.
Be prepared with the best travel safety gear
There are many things that I carry in my backpack to reassure myself and my parents that I am taking care of my travel safety. My absolute favourites are:
Start with easy destinations: prove you can do it
As a first solo destination, maybe start off with a relatively safe and easy destination. The media doesn’t help when it comes to stereotypes about different countries – for the sake of your parents’ nerves, maybe don’t jump in at the deep end with a country like Afghanistan or Honduras!
Though culturally fascinating, these countries will set danger alarm bells ringing in your parent’s heads. As a starting point, pick a place that isn’t struggling with social unrest, terrorism and rife crime…or exploding volcanoes ooh err.
I started out teaching English in South Korea to show my parents what I was capable of. And from there, I’ve just been upping the anti every year. With 8 years of solo travel under my belt now, the countries I’ve been to in the last 3 years (India, Bangladesh, Iran etc) are more challenging in my parents eyes, than say Thailand and the Philippines.
Yet, psst…let me tell you this. I’m from London…and just think about the amount of terrorism that’s been going on there lately eh? Personally, I think the world is awesome and there’s going to be the good with the not so good WHEREVER you go.
Learn self defense
Get yourself on a self defence course! Many community centres, gyms, women’s organisations and schools offer one day self defense courses. And they’re often for free!
Or if you want to start online, join my free self defense course! You will be able to learn some nifty moves that will boost your confidence and help keep you on the ball when it comes to self-protection. Your parents will sleep better at night knowing that you’re equipped to get yourself out of a sticky situation.
I sleep better at night knowing that when it comes to the crunch, I CAN protect myself. It happened in India, and I’m grateful for having learnt Jiu Jitsu to protect myself on the road.
Reassure them that you will stay in touch
Another concern your parents have is that they’ll miss you! They will worry that you’ll be on the other side of the world and that they won’t hear from you for weeks on end.
How to convince your parents to say yes to you going it alone? Promise that you will communicate once a week, either via social media, an email or even a phone call.
In today’s world of Facebook, Snapchat and Skype; staying in touch is easier than ever. I wholeheartedly encourage you to invest in a portable WiFi device. Wherever you are in the world, you can stay connected by having portable WiFi.
I’ve been trying out my new Teppy. It keeps you connected in over 100 countries, with unlimited internet. It’s a travel companion your parents will be reassured that you have. Plus, I’m loving their new Kitestring feature – which alerts family members if you don’t check in online at an agreed time! I’ve been using it whilst hiking in the woods this month whilst housesitting for a friend. Check prices for your Teppy rental here!
Remind them of your qualities and strengths
Think about what your traits are. Are you a planner or more of a fly by the seat of your pants kinda girl?
Your parents will feel more confident in your ability to travel solo if you show them how much you’ve planned and researched your destination(s).
Have a solid itinerary in place, at least for the first month or so while you find your travel feet so to speak. Explain to them how you will support yourself: will you save enough to see you through to the end or are you planning on working?
Flying by the seat of your pants can be a positive quality too. It shows your parents that you can think clearly, and make quick judgments in difficult situations: a very useful skill to have!
Think of examples of when you’ve had to do this in the past and remind your parents of how you coped well under pressure, by relying on your inner wisdom and clear head.
Do you have common sense? What kind of people do you hang out with? Are you dependable, where have you shown initiative and strength in the past? Think of examples of past and current situations and experiences that show that you are a good judge of character. Also show them that you are reliable and conscientious. Your parents will be grateful for you highlighting your kickass qualities and strengths.
Get your parents involved with travel planning
Wondering how to convince your parents to let you go somewhere adventurous? Ask your parents for tips on the best place to find flights (psst it’s Skyscanner – download the app!) and who to fly with. Ask them to help you research what travel gear to take with you. Essentially, make them part of your plans!
This will help your parents feel more involved and connected. Ask them to help you come up with a daily budget; though you should already have a rough idea of what that is. They may be able to come up with stuff that you hadn’t thought about.
Maybe they could come and visit you during certain holidays such as Christmas, since that’s the time of year when we tend to miss family and home the most.
Clarify your reasons for wanting to travel
For a lot of us, travel is in our DNA: it’s what keeps us feeling alive and fulfilled. It’s our reason for being and it’s an itch that just won’t go away. Am I right?!
Think about what drives your wanderlust and explain your thoughts to your parents. You may be a nature lover that needs to explore the natural wonders of the world first hand. Perhaps you want to immerse yourself in a new culture or learn another language. Maybe you want to be a part of woman empowerment like me and help ladies in the slums of India. Or you may be a history buff and want to see for yourself those ancient ruins and famous landmarks.
Ultimately, you love the independence and freedom that solo travel brings and you need it!
How to convince strict parents that travel is for you
Your parents may ask you how you think travel will benefit you in the long run and what you are hoping to achieve through your globe-trotting. Whether it’s just for the sheer adventure of it all or for discovering more about yourself; it will certainly make you a more rounded, cultured person.
To convince your parents, tell them that travel will open doors to new experiences and it will help you learn a lot more about yourself. Travel helps you know yourself so much more than sitting at a desk from 9 to 5; let me tell you!
Travel tests your self determination, your courage and resilience, but it will also bring about new friendships and a deeper understanding of the world and its people.
Travel also helps you discover new passions and helps you find new life goals. I have changed from a psychologist, to an English teacher, to a burlesque dancer, to a full-time blogger and now I’m working with other companies to consult them on their blogging business. Things just keep getting better and better!
It’s your time to reach for the stars!
Travelling is one of the best educations we can give ourselves! Hopefully you’ve got a way better idea now of how to convince parents that you’re fully capable of traveling the world!
Now that you’ve got your parents’ blessing for travelling the world solo, it’s time to pack your bags and hit the road. There will be highs and lows, but ultimately it will be living life to the full. Go get it adventurer!
What did you say to your parents to convince them that travel was the best thing for you?