Visiting your adult children in new cities may come with mixed emotions. Realistically, we don't want our children living far from us. But if they do, a thoughtful visit is appreciated. Before starting your journey, here are the best tips to consider.
1. Ask First
You don't want to show up unannounced, even at your children's house. Don't assume that you would be welcome any time of the year. Remember, they are grown adults and also need their privacy. It's best to run the idea by them before planning the journey.
2. Find a Trusted House Sitter if Needed
If you can't leave your home unattended for the duration of your trip because of pets or the fact that it needs constant supervision, find a house sitter who will help out. They will keep you at ease and make it easy to enjoy your trip, as you'll not need to worry or constantly check in.
3. Rent a Place To Stay Before Setting Off
Depending on how long you visit, this could be a condo, Airbnb, or a hotel, precisely because you don't want your children to feel cramped in their space. One online user said, “For several years visiting our son, we'd rent a condo for a few weeks. This way, we respect his space and still enjoy the visit.”
4. Try the RV Lifestyle if You Want More Adventure
A couple of parents on an online platform advocated for the idea of renting an RV for a few days and driving down to see their children. Those who have done this saw it as an adventurous experience and highly convenient as they spent some time on the road and could park to enjoy a meal or get some sleep. One said, “You don't even have to drive it yourself! You can also hire an RV driver! “
5. Seek Out Activities in the City That You'll Independently Enjoy
Another online user commented, “Don't expect your child to entertain you every day and night. This was the one thing that stressed me out when my mum visited because she wanted me at her service all the time.” You don't want to overwhelm your children, so draw up an itinerary and include some things you'll enjoy doing alone.
6. Have a Few Clothes and Essentials at Their House
Leaving behind a few clothes means that you'll travel light. You don't want to show up with suitcases full of outfits and toiletries, leaving your child to wonder how long you'll be staying. Having a few essentials at their home will make your travel easy and let your children know you're catered for while visiting for a short while. A travel expert added, “Remember not to clog their house with your belongings.”
7. Make Your Way Home if You Can
While some adult children may want to pick their parents up at the airport, it's best to save them the trip if you can find your way home. Please don't make them obliged to wait for you as you arrive. Instead, enjoy a cab ride as you glimpse the city.
8. Honor the House Rules During Your Visit
We may want to do things differently from our children. For instance, you may prefer having dinner earlier than eight o'clock or not want to take the dog for a walk. However, it's best to respect any set house rules. Remember that it is not your house, and you must respect any rules or boundaries your child sets. A travel guide added, “I don't enjoy evening tea, but I do it when visiting my adult child because it's her house, her rules.”
9. Offer Your Opinions Only When Asked
On a popular discussion forum, a user says, “I asked my parents to stop visiting because they would always complain about the city.” You may feel entitled to your opinions as a parent, but it's best only to give them when asked. Don't criticize the new city, complain about the long flight, or suggest how you'd do things differently. Hold your tongue until asked, especially if you want to enjoy subsequent visits.
10. Carry a Homely Reminder
Someone commented, “The sea shells my mom brought on her last visit always remind me of home.” Bringing an item that holds sentimental value and will remind your child that they are not too far from home (even if they are) will always be appreciated. Don't be the kind of guest who shows up empty-handed!
11. Accept That Things Could Go Wrong
You may miss your flight, it may start raining as you alight, or you may lose some money; all sorts of things may go wrong on a journey. However, preparing for this makes traveling to see your grown kids much easier. After all, you'll always figure it out when you arrive!
12. Appreciate Everything
Thank your children for accommodating your visit and spending time with you. Don't make them feel like they are obligated to. They probably could be exploring the new city without you, so a “thank you” goes a long way.
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