Traveling with adult children

Old Apr 18th, 2005, 05:43 AM
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Traveling with adult children

Posted this by mistake in GB instead of Ireland. (Husband and I are going on to Scotland after sons depart)Hope I'm not breaking the rules by reposting and don't know how to make it not appear again under Europe. Oh, well.
We're going to be doing a one week driving vacation through Ireland with 2 adult sons (24,28) a new fiancee and my husband brother in a van. Any suggestions for things to bring along, do, to make the time fun (cards, for example), accomodate everyones needs, etc.? Any ideas would be appreciated. Haven't done a family trip with everyone since they were kids and I'd bring a song book and a soccer ball.....
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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Hi marsha,

There is only one forum for all of Europe.

Click on your name to get your other post.

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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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I don;t wish to appear rude - but aren;t they old enough to know how to amuse themselves? And won;t the trip itself be the amusement?
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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marshacarlin,

There is no "Ireland" or "GB" board. All questions appear under the Europe forum. Selecting a country when you post your question is supposed to facilitate the rather clunky fodors' search function.

In the kindest possible way I'd like to suggest that while your intentions are clearly the best, you might want to back off the mom role a bit. Your sons must have taken their own road trips by now and know how to entertain themselves. I'm a mom too. It's hard to let go.

Here's one practical suggestion for you all. If you and your group aren't used to driving on the left hand side of the road, you'll want make sure the driver always has a navigator to read the maps and be on the look out for turn off's, etc.
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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Have to agree with other posters. These are all adults. And while we didn't drive, took all our kids, spouses, and a fiancee to Paris. They were quite able to navigate on their own when they wanted to.
If you want to find your post again, just click on your name at the top.
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 06:49 AM
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Much depends on when your trip is scheduled: There are some outstanding golf courses in Ireland. Do your sons like to play golf? I recommend Carne Golf links near Belmullet, Co. Mayo. The best course I have ever played, bar none; but if you're a lukewarm golfer I like Spanish Point Golf links: a 9-hole 'Executive' Links golf layout that won't cost you an arm & a leg.

There are some Horse 'meets' like the one in Listowel, County Kerry in mid-September; but the smaller ones might be more fun. You might compare Listowel to Keeneland, in Kentucky's bluegrass country: lots of buyers from all over the world bidding on the legendary Irish colts.

There's even a 'Matchmaking Festival' in & around Lisdoonvarna (Co. Clare) in late September. And there's Willie Clancy's Irish step dancing classes & competitions around the Armada Hotel (Spanish Point, near Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare) the last half of July.

Things like that in addition to 'Trad' Irish music festivals (late May in Ennis, Co. Clare) should be enough to keep your people busy and interested.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 10:33 PM
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As an adult daughter (with husband) who shared a 13-day trip to Ireland in 2003 with their beloved father (and father-in-law), here's what I think you (and they) need to bring:

1) Patience. Tight quarters in a vehicle can make for snipping in even the closest of families - especially when you're lost and trying to decipher which road +really+ goes to St. Johnstown.

2) Similar expectations. If someone assumes they're going to pub crawl and others assume they'll be museum hopping and no one talks about it first, someone will be disappointed. Talk about what all of you want to see and do before the trip, then make sure everyone gets some of what they want.

3) Space and some time apart. You and your husband will need it. Your son and his fiancee will need it and your other son will, too. Probably not "planned" time apart either - maybe just mental permission to wander alone for a while in smaller permutations of your group.


Luckily, we did well on all of this - except maybe the space part. My husband and I going off together would have meant leaving my (hearing impaired) father on his own. Luckily, he's got a bit of the hermit it him and welcomed the occasional chance to read a book alone in a pub for an hour or two.

Don't think I wouldn't recommend the family trip, though. Exactly the opposite. We all had a great adventure and plan to do it again two years from now.

Sorry for the essay - I just thought I'd weigh in as the "adult child" part of the equation.

Have wonderful time - I bet you will!
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 12:48 AM
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Thanks for all of your thoughtful replies. Of course, I expected the "you might want to back off the mom role a bit". Point taken, however, once a mom, always....anyway, I have appreciated the perspectives offered. I've packed playing cards, some crossword puzzles, a harmonica, some dramamine, and a good attitude. Unfortunately my husband thinks we're locked into the van which could prove interesting.....we'll see.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 06:56 AM
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Especially if you're driving up the weat coast (Connemara, etc.) thru what is called the Gaeltecht, see how much Irish you can all learn: Roadsigns are all in Irish now, so there's a bit of necessity to it. I almost cried a few years ago when I had to tell an older gent (I was about 70 at the time) in Carraroe (Connemara) that I didn't understand Irish. One reason for this is that we learned our prayers in Gaelic (as it was called then) before being taught them in English.

BusEireann's Buses show destinations alternatively in English and in Irish

You can start with Slainte (slan cha), meaning Good luck. Maybe somewhere between Ross a'Veal and Belmullet you can do a family conversation in Irish.

Do it at breakfast and drive the other tourists wild!
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 07:23 AM
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I would follow Worktowander's advice. I travel quite a bit with my mother and when we first started traveling together as adults, she was always concerned about how to keep me "entertained."

The most important items to pack are patience and a sense of humor. Road trips can be trying when it's just 2 people. The more added to mix, the more things can get dicey. Allow for times when individuals will be cranky or grumpy. Respect the need for some to have a bit of privacy and the desire to go off alone for a bit. And don't get insulted if some one would rather listen to music privately through earphones rather than get involved with the group.

Learn to let things roll off your back and try to be flexible. And concentrate on enjoying your trip. Your sons are old enough to take responsibility for their own fun and entertainment! You deserve a good time, too!
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 09:12 AM
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I have traveled with my adult son and the "mother" role had to be dropped really fast. If there is a new fiancee involved, I would suggest dropping it even faster.

I know once a mother and all of that, but try and find yourself a new role in their lives.

One thing we found amusing in long drives in Europe were CD's of songs from both of our youths. We listened to Rolling Stones and to Devo along with CD's of Euro music.

We're going again as a family group in the Fall so let us know how your trip went.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 09:20 AM
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I agree with worktowander esp. #2. A few years ago our family went to Europe together, which included my adult niece (22 at the time). On days when she wanted to spend time seeing things different from the rest of the fam, I took her separately so the others could enjoy their own thing. When my sister, my mom, and my niece reached Paris, however, they were on their own (I stayed back in Provence)........My niece wanted to spend time at the Notre Dame, but my mom complained incessantly so they had to unfairly cut their time short. I think my sister still feels a little guilty about that. ya know what I mean?
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 09:32 AM
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My husband and I travelled 10 days in Italy with our 22 year old daughter and her 23 year old boyfriend last year. We were living there and so had access to a CD collection so this was easy but you might want to plan in advance for something that was a big hit with our gang.

Each day we took turns playing a special piece of music on the road. Then you had to tell a story about the piece you'd chosen. For example, I told the gang about the time a folksinger in a coffee house had dedicated a specific Bob Dylan tune to me and why. (I think this may have been the first time my kid realized that I was not born a wife and mother.)My son-in-law to be (I hope, we really came to like this guy) picked a Bach concerto that was his Grandma's favorite and actually shed tears sharing memories of her.

We had fun and "Tune for the Day" became a highlight and a great way to share across the great divide!

PS. Also, if you are going to bring cards, also bring a rule book: turns out not every family plays Crazy Eights the same way!
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Firstly, I highly advise you skip the harmonica!!!! or then I really would need the dramamine.

Second, what works for my family (adults 40's to 70's) is to build in a LOT of time apart. Breaking into smaller groups by interest, letting those sleep in who want to, etc.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 11:25 AM
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Oh, and we play cards are a "gift" to my Mom now & then, to thank her for her mellowness about other things (none of the rest of us are big game players).
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 11:40 AM
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Years ago my wife and I took a trip to Europe with her parents. I'd be willing to bet that, if this is a first-time trip to Ireland for all of you, your sons and fiance are just as concerned about keeping you occupied as you are about them.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 12:21 PM
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I second the need for patience, time apart, etc. SeaUrchin mentions (and others after her) about music in the car. I highly recommend it. Our kids were not adults (17, 16 and 14) but while in England they brought some of their CD's, we had our "old folks" rock 'n roll and we took turns. But it was very interesting how often the kids would put on the Beatles or Pink Floyd or Aerosmith and we'd all rock out together. (Of course, make sure you "old fogeys" only rock out in the car when no one else is looking!!). Also, remember cars (and vans) can be smaller than here in the US. We had a four door Mercedes but it was still quite close quarters. Most of all, maintain your sense of humor and go with the flow. You sound like great parents to do a trip like this so go for it!
 
Old Apr 21st, 2005, 12:33 PM
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I have traveled with my boyfriends family (father & girlfriend, sister & husband, 2 brothers & girlfriends) in a van in South America more days than I maybe care to mention.

That being said... for the "quiet" times everyone has mentioned - a book is great. Anyone can escape to themselves easily - even in a packed car.

Also, especially if they have not helped to plan much, give them travel books on the area so they can see where they are going & what the options are (if you have open days/times, etc). My BF & I planned most of both trips and knew where we wanted to go, where we were staying, and what there was to see & do. The others didn't. They enjoyed reading the books as we told them what was planned for the upcoming days.

Oh yeah... and we were visiting wineries along most of the route, so that didn't hurt at all!
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 12:50 PM
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"Once a mom, always a mom" is true but at the same time, mom has to adjust to changes. I have a young adult son and while I love cooking for him when he is home or with us, I don't look for ways for him to be entertained anymore- he does that on his own.
We were just in Paris and our son met us there, we stayed in an apt.
He got up in the am with us, had breakfast with us then went on to do his own sightseeing. There were days we did things together, and there were days we did not see him until dinner.
I seriously doubt you will need to bring anything along, cards etc are for boring days spent with parents when one is small. Now they can do whatever they want, go to a pub, etc. The best books would be guide books to bring along..and maps.
I wish you good luck on your holiday, it is very special to have that time with your children, those times are quite rare as they get older.
If you want them to want to travel with you again, let them be on their own as much as possible.
They will appreciate it, trust me, this is the Voice of Experience talking
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 01:13 PM
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I'd like to second the suggestion for giving everyone some time apart from each other. I have done several long weekends with my inlaws (5 of them). I love 'em dearly, but it's difficult to be "on" all the time (my husband shares this sentiment and they're his family!) Downtime from each other is essential and it will make everyone less cranky.

Anyway, enjoy your trip! I did a one week driving tour of Ireland with my mom when I was 28 and we had a great time. And part of the reason we got along so well was that she let me do my own thing from time to time.
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