How to Tell Your Parents You Want to Travel The World After College

How to Tell Your Parents You Want to Travel The World After College


Here’s the big question: how to tell your parents you want to travel the world after college and not sit at a desk?

My parents don’t know yet that I’m planning to take a gap year between college and getting a job. They think I’m going to start a career once I graduate, but I KNOW I’m going to backpack around the world instead. I don’t even know what career an English major can have! I’m already scared to travel, and my parents will surely be scared for me too (and they’ll probably think I’m just wasting my money), so I’m scared to tell them!

Zach has it easy: his parents already know his plans. He already traveled between high school and college, so it’s no surprise that he wants to do it again. Plus they took him all over the world when he was growing up, so he was practically backpacking in diapers. My parents, not so much. We went to visit some relatives in Tallahassee once every few years, but that was pretty much it.

I know I need to tell my parents soon: I need to ask them for money for graduation so I can afford this trip, and my birthday is coming up and I want to ask for a backpack. Since I’ll be going home for spring break that will give me the perfect opportunity to drop the ball on them. I’m not sure how to do it, but I brainstormed a few techniques:


Suck up.

Before you tell your parents something big you should always be on your best behavior. Make sure your room is clean. Cook them dinner or at least order pizza. Do the dishes or take out the garbage without being asked. You want to make sure your parents are impressed with what a responsible adult you’ve become before you tell them something that can make them think you’re throwing your life away.


Make long-term travel seem like a cultural experience.

When telling your parents that you’re going to travel, it’s probably best to leave out the parts about meeting Australian surfers, tanning on the beach, and partying. You want to emphasize the cultural things like museums and cathedrals. Parents like that kind of thing.


Make it seem like a resume booster.

Travel can be a great way to gain experience and skills that will help you get a job in the future. You can gain valuable experience by volunteering with youth in Cambodia or teaching English in Korea. And that will look so good on a resume when searching for a job later. Even if I don’t plan to do any of that stuff, it will make the trip seem more beneficial to my parents.


Make them feel guilty.

My parents never took me anywhere growing up and they never got me a passport. Really, it’s all their fault I haven’t ever left America. I don’t plan to full-on blame them, that would just make them mad. But a little subtle guilt-trip never hurt anyone.


There you have it! Those are some of the techniques I’m going to use when I tell my parents that I’m going to travel around the world!

How did you tell your parents that you were going to travel the world instead of getting a job? Do you have any tips to share?


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How to Tell Your Parents You Want to Travel The World After College


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