We here at XX, Will Travel are celebrating Mother’s Day by taking it back to where it all began: our Moms. Read on for travel tips from the women who gave us life…and extra spending money for souvenir t-shirts. Feel free to share tips you’ve learned from your own Mom in the comments.
My Mom has the no-holds-barred attitude and precise organizational skills usually found in Special Forces Counter-Terrorism Units. She tackles the smallest of plans with a carefully detailed strategy session that involves at least thirty to-do lists, multiple analytical interpretations of whatever she found on Google and drills, people, drills! But much like Sun Tzu, General Patton, and Miranda Priestly, the great lessons my mom has learned throughout the years can be found in pithy one-liners. And when it comes to travel, she stands by one simple axiom: Plata, Pasaje y Pasaporte. (That’s “Money, Ticket, and Passport” for you non-Spanish speakers who, alas, will fail to appreciate the alliteration.) Basically, the three things you absolutely must remember to avoid travel woes are:
1) Enough money to feed you for a couple of days
2) A confirmed ticket to get the hell outta dodge and
3) An identifying document that will please authorities
That’s it! Anything else can be bought/ignored/forgotten/burned to flames. Don’t overthink it: grab the essentials and hit the road.
Mother’s Day is a hard time of year for me. My Mom died in 2013, and it is extremely difficult to explain how live changing this loss has been. I want to share stories about how funny, kind, intelligent, and amazing she was, but even almost two years later, I can’t without crying.
However, I can tell you that my Mom was honestly the best travel companion that I have ever had. When traveling together, we followed these three simple rules:
1) Get up! Get out! Go enjoy the day!
2) It’s your vacation, do what you want to do.
3) Always meet up for meals.
Keep these in mind, and you will have a happy and successful trip wherever you go.
Though I did inherit my Mom’s lack of navigational skills, I definitely did not inherit her relaxed approach to getting lost. As a small child, I remember driving up to forks in the road and being asked, “Which way do YOU think we should turn? Left or right?” At least if we weren’t getting where we needed to be, we were building a bond of trust. And we always eventually got there, picking up some interesting stories along the way.
A few of my top travel tips from my Mom are:
1) Wander. It’s one of the first things I do when arriving at a new place, and I’ve made some of my best discoveries by shelving my Type A tendencies and simply choosing left or right.
2) Sing. It makes you happy…and takes your mind off of having to pee.
3) Be flexible. If your flat, Midwestern feet fail half way up San Francisco’s famously crooked and steep Lombard Street, it’s totally OK to hail a passing cab.
Oh, and don’t forget to send your Mom a postcard!