Monday, 14 May 2012

Travelling with your parents!

I know that there are several grown ups on the board that still do Disney with their parents. I think this is fantastic and I hope that I still get to do Disney with my kids after they "leave the nest". I'm curious though, who's in charge? Was it easy to make that transition from being "the kid" to being adults traveling together? Do you have any advice for people with kids that are almost adults on how to keep each trip special? (source)

A 'Grown Up' way to tour World Showcase! Source:perfectance

Being 24, I guess that firmly puts me in the ‘adult’ social bracket. Being 24 and traveling to Walt Disney World with my almost 50 year old parents and 20 year old 'little' brother means we are one big ol’ bunch of grown ups traveling together.

When my brother and I where much younger are parents took the lead, paid for the trips, made the reservations and wrote up the itineraries as well as doling out the spending money. As we got older, myself especially, we started to get more involved in the planning aspects of the trips and once I was working I was able to contribute to the cost of the trips and take along a few extra pennies of my own to spend!

So how do we make it work? Communication! When your younger, it’s easy to have your parents lead you by the hand, but once you’ve grown older and become an independent ‘adult’ your can be more reluctant to ‘fall in line’, so to speak. I think what’s worked well for us 4 for so long is that we all have a genuine love of Disney and the parks and we all enjoy doing a lot of the same things during the trips, from food to rides and everything in between.

Dad and I are big time planners, planning even when we don’t have a trip on the horizon! But as a family, we will all make suggestions about dining and itineraries. We don’t have one person in charge and responsible for everything. With everyone having equal input into the planning, nobody feels left out! It also means that everyone gets sometime to do something they really enjoy, be it shopping for Mum, eating Chinese food for my brother or hitting a water-park for my Dad. There’s something in there for everyone!

One of the things that people constantly presume is that as a group, we spend 24/7 together for two weeks - not true! My parents will go for a nice meal together, Mum and I will go shopping, little bro and I will attack evening extra magic hours and so on. Yes, we tend to dine as a group most days, but we all eat the same meals, so what’s the point in dining separately?

The transition from traveling as a child to a grown up was so smooth I think I blinked too fast and missed it! It was a natural progression, most of which centered around the fact that I, then eventually my brother, could pay entirely for ourselves. That made a huge difference to our holidays to Walt Disney World, I’d say it’s the primary reason we’ve been lucky enough and able to go as often as we have.

I’ve been asked so many times why, at my age, am I still going on holiday with my parents. Well, I say why not? Why does it suddenly have to stop when you reach a certain age? I’m very lucky in that I have a brilliant relationship with my immediate family and as I’ve got older, it’s only got better. My Mum and Dad take trips just the two of them, and I have had several holidays – including trips to Florida, with my boyfriend over the years. If anything, I’m getting the best of both worlds! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think I’m pretty lucky!

My advice to grown up kids traveling to Walt Disney World with their parents? (Or should that be the other way around?) Communicate! Make sure everyone who wants a say in the planning gets a say in it! Make a point of including something special for everyone. Be it a favorite meal or a day off site at Universal. It’s important to make everyone feel included as much as possible – but if you all share the same love of WDW, you won’t find it a taxing task!

And don’t be afraid to split your group up for a few hours here and there, it’s a great opportunity to buy birthday and Christmas gifts for the other without them knowing!

Though I might not be able to travel with my parents as much in the near future, I know that someday we will be traveling again – maybe with my own little ones in tow!

Are you an older family group traveling to Walt Disney World? Any tips to share?

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. If as a family older children or not and you cannot make a Disney trip work then you certainly need to look closely at your family dynamics.As the great man himself said "this was who he built WDW for"