By Maddy Turner
My entire life I have been travelling with my family – in the beginning it was Me, my Mum, my Dad and my Sister. More recently, my brother in law has also joined the mix. Overall, I have been on four cruises, and travelled almost everywhere in Australia. I have also visited Bali, Singapore and Vanuatu. Now, I’m not trying to brag about all of the places I’ve been – no, I am very blessed to have parents who have the philosophy of “travelling while we’re young” and I respect that. My most recent travelling experience was to travel to Uluru – just to enjoy the site not to climb it (just thought I’d clarify). I went with all of the above listed people, and we drove – it was a very, very long road trip. But upon this never ending trek through the middle of the Australian desert, I started thinking of the pros and cons of travelling with my entire close family, and here they are:
- Family Bonding: Me and my family have always been relatively close-knit, and I can confidently say that travelling with them over the years has been a large contributor to that. There’s just something about four people sharing one bedroom on a 12 night cruise that forces the family either apart or together – luckily it was together in our case.
- You don’t have to pay: Okay, so this may sound shallow, but it is a perk of travelling with the fam – your parents tend to spoil you can pay for you to do things. Granted, this is much more likely when you’re younger, but my parents have paid for a meal or two for my sister and brother in law – after all, they only have a bronze-lined bank account, not a gold one. Also, everything will eventually even out – if you offer to pay for ice cream, they may repay you with dinner, ya see?
- It’s just fun: Look, it sounds cheesy, but I genuinely enjoy spending time with my family – I don’t actually get to see them as much as I used to, with my sister recently getting married and my parents now starting to travel without me. I jump at any chance that I get to spend with my entire family, because it doesn’t happen very often. I’m in the unique position of having a job I can travel with, and parents who can also travel whenever they want to. You make memories when you go all together – good or not, I’ll always look back on them (and the many photos my mum takes) fondly.
- Living with your family with you 24/7: Constantly being around your family on holidays is very different than when you’re just at home and have other things happening. You might be living and sleeping in very close quarters, so you have very little privacy. You will also find that you don’t have much time for yourself, which can be very emotionally taxing if you’re an introvert like me.
- Compromise – Especially when I was younger, I found that I had to sometimes sacrifice what I wanted to do on the holiday. This could be for example, I wanted to go to the park, while my parents wanted to do something “adult” like going to ten different museums in one day. Of course, we went to museums because I couldn’t drive therefore it was up to what my parents wanted to do. I am now however able to drive myself, so this happens less often these days.
So, as you can see, to me the pros definitely out-way the cons when it comes to travelling with your entire family. Yes, you might have to spend your time in close proximity to then a lot, and yes, you’ll probably get on each others nerves on the odd occasion – but the memories you make are worth it and priceless. So, if you have the means to do it, get the fam involved and go for it.