Six Tips to Convince Your Parents to Let You Travel Solo

June 7, 2022

One of the most challenging conversations I’ve had with my parents was about my idea of traveling solo. I had lived at home throughout my childhood and well into adulthood, so the picture of me traveling solo at 22 was unthinkable for my family. This fear isn’t uncommon. The people who love us tend to be hesitant when you start talking about doing life differently, but it’s important to note that it’s from a good place.

Traveling around the world and experiencing it with my own eyes has shaped me in so many ways. I highly suggest traveling to anyone seeking an adventure or looking to empower themselves. However, taking that leap of faith into something foreign can be very challenging. 

Here are six ways to convince your parents to let you travel the world. Some of these are straight from my mom, so I hope this blog post helps ease some worried parents’ concerns and enables you to travel solo in this big beautiful world.

#1 START WITH THE PRELIMINARY RESEARCH

Before reaching out to your parents/guardians about traveling solo, set yourself up for success and do these five things.

FIGURE OUT WHY TRAVELING SOLO IS IMPORTANT TO YOU

If you don’t have a solid reason to start traveling alone or a good explanation of why traveling right now is a good idea, it will be much harder to get your parents to understand. Sit down and figure out why this means so much to you. Avoid general things like “I want to feel free” or “I just want to.” Get specific about what the reasons are behind your new interest in traveling. The more specific you are, the better it will be for your parents to understand where you are coming from. So don’t just skip over this part.

GET INSPIRED

Picking a place might seem easy; however, in my experience, it’s probably the most challenging part of this process. Ask yourself the following questions to help guide you in a direction:

  • What time of the year do you want to travel? The time of year is essential to give you an idea about what kind of temperature you might encounter and how much daylight you will have to explore the land. For example, if you visit Iceland in the summer, it’s pretty light the whole day and through the night. But if you go in the winter, the amount of daylight you have shifts significantly to less than a few hours. 
  • How long are you planning on leaving? I suggest trying a weekend escape and working your way up to a week/month-long adventure for a first-timer. 
  • How far do you want to travel? Distance away is essential because you want to make a trip as worthwhile as possible. Check how long you will be on a flight for a trip. If you are traveling halfway across the world, it takes more than a day to get there. So if you plan a one-week trip, you are using up at least two days just for flying. A trip like this also means you’ll have jetlag. The further you fly away, the more likely you are to encounter jetlag, making your days in a place less enjoyable until you are there long enough to get over jetlag. So keep trips closer to home unless you have adequate time for travel and jetlag.
  • What kind of trip are you looking for? Are you looking for an adventurous trip? Or are you seeking more of an educational trip? Or maybe a sandy beachfront to sit down with a coconut in your hand and the sun above you.
  • What is your budget? Start with a big picture of how much you have to spend and then break it down to how you will use the money throughout your trip. Try to get an estimate for things like airfare, hotels, food, transportation, and activities, and then see how your money for the trip is looking.
  • Who are you going with? Will you be meeting up with people? If there are other people involved in the trip, make sure to let your parents know about it beforehand and provide them with a list of contacts to reach out to if they can’t get a hold of you. 

CHECK VISA/ENTRY REQUIREMENTS and TRAVEL ADVISORIES

Be sure to stay on top of the necessary documents for your trip, especially when you plan on traveling alone. Does the country you want to visit require you to apply for a visa? Or do you have to show ceratin vaccine records before heading out? Go to Travel.State.Gov if you’re from the US to see the requirements. Checking this all beforehand and ensuring you are on top of it will help you have a smoother process of getting into countries and set the trip up for success.

TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR BUDGET

Having a clear idea of how much money you have in the bank will help narrow your search on your wanderlust adventure. Budget everything from flights, hotels, and even bus tickets to get an idea of how much it would cost you and then save an additional 30%.

Traveling alone can mean the trip is a bit more expensive because you are paying for everything in full. For example, if you are traveling with two friends, then all hotels can be split into three ways, any uber rides or sometimes meals. So keep in mind that alone also means a little bit more expensive.

LOOK AT A FEW FLIGHTS

I’m not saying book your tickets but have a gander at what flights look like so you aren’t getting hyped up on a trip you can’t afford. I use sites like Google Flights or Kayak to make my bookings. 

Helpful tip: If you don’t know where to go or your flight budget, go over to google flights, hit explore, choose your departure, and pick the length of the trip while leaving the destination blank. Google will then pull up the cheapest flights worldwide and show you on the map. 

#2 ADDRESS THREE MAIN CONCERNS

TRAVELING SAFELY: SHARE HOW SAFE SOLO TRAVEL CAN BE

Have a chat about the safety protocols you plan to follow while abroad. For example, mine were the following:

  • No more than one day out of service
  • No night travel
  • Ensure that no high-value items will be taken on this trip
  • I will pass along contacts if meeting up with anyone
  • Forward booking information of hotels
  • Share flight information 
  • Share location

You are just trying to provide your parents with as much information as possible to help them have peace of mind. The more you can help them feel like they are on the trip with you, the better. 

Helpful tip. If you are doing an activity that asks for an emergency contact, ensure it’s a local number, such as your hotel. Or does your family have relatives near where you are traveling? Or are there any friends nearby you can use for an emergency contact? 

STAY IN COMMUNICATION AND HAVE A SOLID COMMUNICATION PLAN

When you mention traveling solo to any parent, they might think you don’t want them to be a part of the trip, even though this isn’t the case. Letting them know that you will stay in communication with them throughout the trip is the most important thing to stress to your parents about your solo adventures. Let them know that they will always have a way of communicating with you while you are gone. I know it might not be much to you, but a simple text saying “leaving the hotel” and a text “made it back” means so much to them. 

Download Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, or other communication apps to stay in contact with your parents and give them peace of mind. 

However, it is essential to set boundaries with your communication. Let them know how often you plan to connect or when you plan to be accessible for them to reach out to you. Scheduling calls will give your parents something to look forward to while ensuring you aren’t tied to your phone while out and about on your solo travel adventures. 

If you plan on going to remote places, consider getting a satellite phone with a text subscription. My preference is my Garmin inreach mini: There are plenty of opportunities to find something that matches your needs with four different plans. Look at the image below to find a plan that fits your needs.

HAVE A BACKUP PLAN

Make your backup plans a priority in the conversation with your parents. Be confident in your answers and present these well before they bring them up themselves: 

  • What is your plan in case the weather changes drastically for the worse?
  • What will you do if you miss your flight or any other transportation you have?
  • What will you do if you lose your passport?
  • What will you do if you lose your wallet?
  • Who is your emergency contact if you get hurt?
  • How will you avoid getting taken advantage of while out adventuring?

#3 KEEP IT COLLABORATIVE AND RESEARCH TOGETHER

This section goes back to communication. The fear of the unknown is very crippling. Try your best to take some of the fear away, and invite your parents to give their input on the proposed itinerary. Remember to reassure them that traveling alone does not mean you want to do everything alone. Regularly ask them questions and get their input on things related to your travels. In most cases, our parents have not gone to the destinations you visit, so they get to see it through you. Or,

While you are at it, this is also a great time to show them the research you have done beforehand and show them that you gave the trip some thought. An open line of communication will allow you to have fluid conversations and all questions and concerns addressed beforehand. When you are having these conversations, always ask them these three questions:

  • What do they like about what you just brought up?
  • What do they not like and why?
  • How can you change things to make them more comfortable?

#4 BEFORE GOING INTERNATIONAL, KEEP IT LOCAL

Before heading off on an international adventure, try going on a local experience with your parents. Plan everything from hotels to flights, car rental, food, activities, etc. Planning will allow your parents to see your process and help build confidence in your ability to design a travel experience. Once your parents are comfortable with you traveling, you can slowly start working your way up to longer trips.

#5 LET ME PLAN A TRIP FOR YOU

Planning a trip can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before. So let us take the stress away from the trip planning process. Once you purchase the package, it will take you to a 5-minute survey where we can learn more about you and curate your perfect trip!

#6 TRAVEL WITH ME

If your parents are not on board with you traveling alone, try group travel first. Join my husband and me for a trip! My husband, Michael Matti, and I are excited to share new experiences with our followers each year. These short guided trips will enable you to see a little bit of the world while making new friends. 

This year (2022), we are heading off to Bali! With its incredible beauty, delicious food, friendly people, unique culture, and beautiful amenities, this island has much to offer visitors. We have extensive experience traveling around this area and are excited to bring you along and help show you what a wonderful place Bali is.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • Keep in mind that this is going to be a continuous conversation. Bringing it up once isn’t going to be the best approach.
  • It might not work out right away. Be sure to keep a calm head and learn to move on from a conversation before circling back. Getting angry and frustrated will not help in opening them up to the idea of you traveling alone.
  • It would be best to plan out a trip in advance. I can assure you that saying you are leaving tomorrow isn’t the best way to go about it. Give your loved ones some grace and some time to digest the news. 
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Meet Priya

here to break societal norms.

In 2017, I quit my job and dropped out of school to set out on a path less traveled. Since then, I have ventured across the world, built a van and created a life that both scares me and fulfills me at the same time. And I’ve never looked back.

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