Now that pandemic travel restrictions have eased, more and more people are planning long-delayed travel. As I mentioned in a previous blog, one sector of travel that has come back into play is study abroad travel.
I have fond memories of my family’s visit to Italy in December 1989, when I was finishing up my semester of studying in Florence. I was proud to be their tour guide and translator, and I benefited from hotel stays and restaurant meals that had not been in my student budget.
30 years later, in January of 2020, our son was studying abroad in Florence, and we had planned a family spring break trip to visit him. We were excited to have an Italian Passover and Easter together, and I couldn’t wait to get back to my favorite city and see it through Will’s eyes. As you can imagine, that trip did not happen…
While my family’s study abroad travel plan didn’t materialize, you may have this unique opportunity right in front of you! Do you have a child or grandchild who is or will be working or studying in another country? Wouldn’t you love to see that place through your young adult’s eyes, and have a built-in “local” to show you around? Planning a trip like this has some unique considerations, and I’d love to share with you some tips and tricks to make your travel a fun, memorable experience for parents, grandparents, and “children” alike.
Remember that your child or grandchild is there to work or study, not for a lengthy vacation. Try to plan your visit during a time that they have some days off, like over a holiday. At the very least, plan a mix of “togetherness days” for the family as well as time for you to explore the city or area on your own while they attend class or are working. Also, try not to visit at the very beginning of their program, when they are settling in, or at the very end, when they will have deadlines and social gatherings with their newly-made friends. You can ease the pressure by joining in some of the local activities your child enjoys, like visiting the local pub or going to a show or sporting event.
Are there nearby places that your child or grandchild has been wanting to go but hasn’t gotten there yet? How about a restaurant they’ve wanted to try? Your visit can be the perfect opportunity for them to be able to meet these goals. If your child has several days available, you also could plan a mini-vacation designed just for your family or group, such as a Backroads “Older Teens & 20s” active family adventure, a long weekend at a beach resort in Portugal, or skiing in the Andes mountains.
While your child or grandchild may be excited to show you around their adopted hometown, remember that they have been there for a relatively short amount of time. You should not depend on them to be your sole guide or expert on the money or transportation system, the safest neighborhoods, or all the nuances of the language. Make sure you have a good travel advisor to work with you and your child to plan the trip, and cultivate relationships with tour guides and concierges at your destination to help you “on the ground.”
Seeing your young adult function in a different culture can be one of the most gratifying experiences of raising a child. When you follow your son through the Tube in London or hear your daughter give the taxi driver instructions in Italian, you have first-hand knowledge and appreciation of their intelligence, maturity, and independence.
Sharing an experience like this can be a unique and valuable way to strengthen bonds, and it’s something both of you can talk about in the months and years to come. You’ve given your young adult roots, and now you get to witness them spreading their wings. So if, your child or grandchild is working or studying abroad in 2023, contact Legacy Travel Designs right away to help you put together trip that takes advantage of this unique opportunity for your family to discover the world as you discover each other!
We’ll create your perfect vacation recipe from scratch, sourced from the finest ingredients below, and add our special sauce.
Art and Culture
Meeting the Locals
Rest and Relaxation
Indigenous Craft Workshops
We’ll add personalized surprises sprinkled throughout.
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