To go or not to go? The dilemma of whether to travel with your parents

I love my parents. They give me respect, advice and support, but most fun of all, free holidays. What’s the catch? I have to go with them. Being 20 and holidaying with your parents is not the most appealing of things. Especially when I am already looking for flights to return back to my independent and self-sufficient life back in Aberystwyth, after only three days of being at home. However, being broke and having a destination like Florence in the mix made it seem like a good option.

Florence is a beautiful city enjoying European prestige in both culture and architecture. Its majesty is enjoyed by millions of tourists every year who flock to sight-see and shop.

Looking around Florence, it seemed that I was not alone. Financially, holidays with parents are beneficial, especially with student debts already running into the thousands by third year undergraduate. Accommodation in an Ibis on the outskirts of Florence for a week, costs roughly £45 a night without breakfast, and central restaurants are extremely expensive, so a parent’s wallet can be very useful. Free board, food and transport all adds up to a massive saving. But is the financial incentive enough to give up a week of freedom? Because, let’s face it, whose parents would want to see their child come back to the hotel room at 3am, covered in foam?

Freedom does seem to be the prevailing loss in this whole escapade. While on a shopping trip to the centre of Florence, my sister and I were invited to a party at a bar where an international gathering was taking place. Naturally, being confined by the dinner plans of my parents, we were unable to attend. Though, missed opportunities can be easily rectified on a family holiday, as we had greater access to other activities. Like horse riding through the Tuscan vineyards or a lesson in archery, which resulted in a family wide competition to see who had gained the biggest bruise and whose proficiency at aim would allow them a week off doing house work. It’s doubtful that a hangover would compete with these memories.

This is not to say however, that the holiday was without its drawbacks. Frustrations ran a little high when common family “discussions” (code for arguments) arose over a meal at a restaurant and so guilt-trips and boredom arose. All easily avoidable but aggravated by often claustrophobic situations.

Although ‘free’ will always be a powerful word, I think that regrettably this will be the last trip I take with my parents. While financially beneficial and great for building family relationships, they are naturally coming to a close. With all that in mind, I’m struggling to find a true justification as to why I should have avoided this particular holiday!