A chaperone-less trip probably makes a nervous wreck of 9 out of 10 parents. Maybe it's the senior trip to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico; maybe you're thinking of a full-on gap year to backpack around the world. Whatever your reason to go traveling without parents is, this can be tough one to pull as a teenager–or a 20-something still living under their roof.
To them, it probably all comes down to your safety and their degree of trust in you. Test our five tips (and compromises) and you'll be more likely to open the door to newfound freedoms.
How to Go Traveling without Parents
1. Ensure your safety
Show your parents your detailed itinerary. Highlight the incredible attractions you want to visit. Explain to them how you'll stay safe in those areas. Draft a communication plan. The more familiar they become with your plans and destinations, the more at ease they'll be.
They still don't want to hear it? Offer a compromise by getting a GPS tracker app. Not only will it force you to stay out of questionable spots, but knowing they'll be able to follow your every step might finally convince them.
2. Pay for the trip yourself
Saving for a trip involves drafting both personal and financial goals. You will have to make sacrifices and reach a certain level of responsibility: get and keep a job, not go out as much, etc.
Thus, financing your adventure in its entirety will show your parents not only maturity but also how badly you want it. Don't be surprised if you gain more privileges after you complete the feat!
Most importantly, though? Asking for permission and money simply lengthens the already-tough list of arguments you will have to defend in front of the jury. Think about it.
3. Get on your parent's good side before you ask them
Take a moment to analyze your relationship with your parents. Have you already proved to them you can act like a responsible adult? If so, go ahead with tips # 1 and # 2. If not, you must work on building trust first.
It's as simple as respecting their curfews, offering to help around the house, maybe even pitching in next time mom goes grocery shopping or dad takes the family out to dinner.
Don't suddenly become Mother Teresa of Calcutta, though–they'll read right through it! Be genuine in your efforts to become an independent young man or woman. This will benefit all parties involved.
4. Have friends your parents know and trust tag along
Whenever I asked mom for permission to go to a party or event as a teenager, the first question she asked me was “who's going?”
I may not know your parents, but I'm sure they are way more likely to give you permission to go on that trip with Lily, your childhood friend who lives across the street, than Stacy, the captain of the cheerleading squad who you just met at a party last month.
You should always pick your friends wisely, but even more so when you're trying to go traveling without parents or chaperones!
5. Prove the trip's value
Lastly, vanish the idea that you're only going away to get trashed and make other bad decisions. Show your parents this trip will teach you something.
Have you been taking Spanish classes? Say you want to practice your Spanish with locals in Playa Del Carmen. Heading to Thailand? Say you've looked into yoga and meditation to become a more centered person.
Heck, just showing a genuine interest in whatever destination's heritage will let your parents know you're curious about the world around you and wish to explore it.
This story was brought to you in partnership with Family Orbit.
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