Traveling alone is an important rite of passage, but it can be tricky for mom to see it that way. Persuade her to let you go it alone with these strategies.
- Step 1: Explain that, in many cultures, teenagers take a year off between high school and college to travel -- called a "gap year" -- in order to experience the larger world and have a chance to contemplate their future.
- Step 2: Tell her that traveling is an education in itself. You'll be figuring things out and gaining valuable self-confidence along the way.
- Step 3: Use business tactics, like a formal presentation. Cover issues they may have, like health issues, safety, and emergency preparedness. It may seem extreme, but parents love it when kids go the extra mile.
- FACT: "Generation Y," those born after 1980, make up 12 percent of all U.S. leisure travelers and take an average of 3.9 leisure trips per year.
- Step 4: Consider a destination that offers the chance to learn and grow or follow your interests for your first solo trip. Mom will be more likely to OK a solo trip involving museums or art galleries than spring break at a party spot.
- TIP: Save to pay for your trip yourself rather than expecting mom to foot the bill.
- Step 5: Convince her that the companions you'll be traveling with are reliable and responsible. She'll feel better if she is sure you have someone you can count on when she's not there.
- TIP: Introduce her to the people you're going with so your mom knows them.
- Step 6: Display maturity during the time period before you ask. She'll be more likely to think you can handle traveling solo.
- Step 7: Have all the pertinent travel details outlined for your mom to see. Include how you're getting there and when, who's picking you up, and all of your return details. This will show her a level of responsibility and planning skills.
- Step 8: Let her know that your destination is safe. Ease her fears by promising to have your cell phone on at all times and carry a temporary, emergency credit card.