10 Tips For Traveling With Your Mom

Eurotrip challenge with my mom

Selfie in Lisbon!

Once I came back to Europe, I took my mom for a trip across Germany, Portugal and Spain. In total, we spent over 18 days on the road visiting over 15 cities and towns, we slept at 4 different airports and 3 hostels and 2 apartments, walked a lot and traveled by local buses and metro. I wanted to show my mom what backpacking and etramping is all about. Our budget was $25 a day each and believe me or not, we easily stuck to it. There were no restaurants or fancy cocktails, no taxis or airport pick ups. Instead, we did a lot of food shopping, cooked at hostels and had our lunches and dinners in local parks or at the beaches. So much fun! Best holiday ever!

My mom’s getting ready for the flight

My mom turned out to be even more adventurous than I thought. She never complained about being tired. She was blissfully happy to visit such amazing countries and beautiful cities. She was talking pictures like crazy, posed for photos like a professional backpacker and once she said: “Aga, let’s take a selfie”, I knew she was my travel girl!

Visiting Fatima in Portugal

When our trip came to an end, my mom asked me: “Where are we going next?” I was a bit surprised… After 18 days of backpacking, I was pretty sure she would never want to travel with me again, but I was wrong. In fact, my mom loved every minute of our mini Eurotrip and she was ready for more adventures. She even enjoyed sleeping at Madrid and Lisbon airports and having a lunch on the grass in a local park in Lisbon and Fatima!

With all my experiences, I’d love to present you with…

Tips on Traveling with Your Mom

#1 Prepare your mom for the worst

If you are taking your mom for a budget holiday/ trip, make sure she knows what she signed herself for. Be honest with her and tell her that she may be forced to walk a lot, showers happen very random, she might sleep at the airport, etc. Once she knows that and agrees for that, she will never get surprised during the trip or she may not want to go with you.

Lunch time!

#2 Explain your travel style

Before taking your mom on a trip, you should explain your idea/ purpose of travel to her. I travel for $25 a day and my mom knows that. I spoke to her about the way I travel, what things I mainly focus on when being on the road, what tramping is all about, etc. She knew all of this before she decided to join me. She was also aware of limited budget we had.

#3 Make sure she packs light

If you decide to go backpacking with your mom, you should make sure she packed light. Her backpack should be lightweight and easy to carry so she can enjoy her journey more!

#4 Make a plan

Making a travel plan is crucial when traveling with your mom. In this way, she will know exactly where she is going to be each day, what places she will visit and what kind of activities you will both do. A proper plan will help her prepare good clothing and pack things she may find useful when you start traveling.

Breakfast at Goodmorning Hostel. My mom’s first visit in a hostel. She was the oldest one there.

#5 Respect your mom’s decisions

Once you are both on the road, you should always respect her decisions and take into account her health, mood and feelings when changing your travel plans. If you mom feels like staying longer in one place, extend your stay without arguing. If your mom looks exhausted, slow down and relax. If she wants more adventures, make sure she will experience something new. If she feels like going home, don’t stop her. No pressure!

#6 Always keep an eye on her

When traveling with your mom, you should make sure she never gets lost and if she does, she knows the way to the hostel. You may visit crowdy places where it’s easy to get lost. In this case, write down the proper address of your hostel/ hotel on a piece of paper and hand it over to your mom. If your mom does not speak any English as mine, being in a situation when she can’t find you may be extremely stressful.

Fatima Sanctuary, Portugal

#7 Keep the balance

It’s important to keep the balance between sightseeing, eating, talking and taking pictures. Try not to spend too much time walking or eating. That can either make your mom bored or way too exhausted. It’s good to start your day with a proper breakfast, then do a bit of sightseeing followed by a lunch break. At night, you can do some fun things as dancing, clubbing, etc.

Wine tasting in Lisbon

#8 Let your mom be your guide

From my personal experience I know how important it is to listen to your mom’s tips. Although you are in charge of the trip, don’t ignore your mom’s advice. She may also know how to read the map, haggle, get a discount or ask the way. She might surprise you!

#9 Be your mom’s teacher

Be patient with your mom and teach her how to take pictures, how to haggle, look for affordable accommodation or talk to locals. Show her how to read a map, book a train ticket or deal with flight delays. Once she knows that, she will be a great help, trust me.

Breakfast at Ribeiro Hotel

#10 Laugh a lot!

Traveling is all about experiencing new things and having fun. No matter what mood you are in when traveling with your mom, try to stay optimistic! Make your mom laugh, crack some jokes with her, talk about things you both liked and disliked on your trip and make sure your mom is always happy. If she enjoys the journey, you will as well!

Selfie at the bus station in Lisbon

Have you ever traveled with your mother? If so, what was your experience?


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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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66 thoughts on “10 Tips For Traveling With Your Mom”

  1. I have never went on a trip with just me and my mum but I just book a flight for 2 for early next year for a short trip to a neighbouring country. I’m looking forward to that and will keep your tips in mind. :)

  2. KarolinaPatryk travelling couple

    your mom is really awesome! it’s great that you were having fun :)
    we often travel with our parents, sometimes they are even more adventurous than we are!

    1. Seriously? That’s so cool. Towards the end of the trip my mom was getting so comfortable with her new role of backpacker! :D

  3. Hi, guys! I really really love this post! it feels very warm <3 I haven't traveled with my mom alone, but sometimes we travel with my sisters. I love traveling with my mom (even more than with my friends) because we have a lot in common! and I like it that when we travel, she takes care of me, making sure I eat ealthily, & I could also be of some use since I speak english (she doesn't). Would love to take her to Europe someday since it's always been her dream to go there! :))

  4. Loved seeing how much the two of you enjoyed travelling together. I wish I had done this when my parents were younger. We lost Dad recently after a long illness and I’m now thinking how much I ‘d love to show Mum around places like Rome and Florence. However, at 81 and with some health issues, I’m really not sure how much walking she’d be able to do. I really must have a good think about it.

  5. Great tips! My mum is coming to visit Beijing soon. She’s actually in China now doing a tour all over the country first, then she will end in Beijing and stay with us a for a while.

  6. These are fantastic tips Agness. I’m sure that my mother would have loved to travel with me but sadly, she passed away when I moved to Germany. However, I have travelled with my brother. And that was awesome. He had just finished university, and I had moved to London so everything made an impression on him. We travelled to Brighton, Bath and Cambridge together. It was such a good laugh.

    In fact, I’m thinking of getting us all together for summer in a French villa. Pool, wine and everything LOL!

  7. My fave travel buddy is my Mom, it’s kind of crazy because the first time we travelled together years ago I was thinking she just might slow me down or curb my inquisitive need to peek into strange obscure food markets. No so. In fact, she ended up opening doors I’d never imagine & I’m so excited to be off again in late December having a magical cruise with my Mom & meeting up with some family & friends in Cambodia.
    Great travel tips for traveling with your Mom – heartily agree with them all.

  8. Hahahah! That was so funny to read :)
    I’ve just imagined my mom (questioning everything, sometimes scared without a reason, doing everything “her way”) to travel with me. ;))

  9. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    This is such a cute post Agness!! Love the selfies and that your Mum suggested it herself :) I went to Florence with my Mum many years ago and I think in hindsight, I probably rushed her around a bit too much – she never complained but I know she found it a bit tiring so next time, I think I would slow my pace down a little :)

  10. Hi Agness, I really enjoyed this article. Tell your Mum that I have heaps of respect for her, as not everyone wants to “rough” it – as in travel on a challenging budget. That is so cool. I hope you loved Lisbon BTW, my other half is Portuguese.

  11. Whenever I’ve traveled with my mom, she made the plans. I don’t think my mom would like budget travel, but I bet we could find a happy medium.

  12. Hi Agness! Nice article and great tips! I am planning to bring my mother go Spain and Portugal this May! Would be nice if you could share with me on the places you have visited and would recommend us? :)

  13. Alex of Looking for Heroes

    This is so lovely and I really relate to this! It reminds me of trip with my mum. We went travelling across the United States and I was so happy to be her guide. Travelling with your mum is an incredible experience. We have even made a movie out of out trip to inspire others: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA1f_eBIe04

    Thank you for sharing this!

  14. Hey,
    Thank you for this amazing article and sharing your experiences. I was having a faith crisis right now on my hostel bed, about travelling with my mom n staying in a hostel. You see, I felt like I was the only one doing this and felt really stupid when we ran into a bad roomate issue. This just made me question everything (our first experience in hostel, we’ve travelled together before.) But your experiences makes me feel like there’s nothing wrong with this, and I shouldn’t be bothered by people’s judgments or their bad behaviours
    Thank you :’)

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