We left for our 3 hour drive to the Colombo Airport from Bentota at 3:00 pm, for a flight scheduled for 3:00 am. We reached the airport at 6:00 pm and sat there flipping magazines for 5 hours before the check-in counter finally opened at 11:00 pm. 12 hours later when the boarding finally began, we were nowhere to be found and only made it to the gate, with our Duty Free bags in tow, a few minutes after we heard the distant final call. We sat there waiting because everyone else would simply have to be seated before we stepped into that claustrophobia-causing metal tube fondly called an airplane. When the pilot walked past us with a quizzical smile, we figured that was our cue (and possibly our last chance) to board that plane.
This is our airport ritual; one we follow to the tee every time we travel. Such are the joys and perils of traveling with my mama.
While the disadvantages are heavily outweighed by the advantages of traveling with mom, there are a few lethal weapons that mothers secretly carry with them on vacations that, once whipped out, could leave us tapping our feet in impatience.
- Planning (and planning and planning) and some more planning: I suspect we spend more time planning our holiday during our holiday than actually holidaying. Instructions are tossed out expertly along the lines of, “I’ll see you at the door (of the hotel room we’re sharing!) at 10:34 and 45 seconds and the cab will arrive at 10:36. Then we’ll stop at the beach for 47 minutes and break for a short 21 minute lunch.”
- Lazy holidays: This might work for most people, because who doesn’t love a lazy vacation comprising of pool side cocktails and sunbathing? I would plead guilty to that one. I’m a restless traveller with a long list of things to check out in and around the city I’m visiting; and mum on the hand is one who books a 6-day holiday in one city, leisurely taking in the pace and feel of the place instead of rushing through them all. So naturally, there’s always a debate on which side the itinerary is going to swing.
There’s a massive upside to traveling on exclusive mother-daughter trips though. From high teas to a load of shopping bags and things most guys would cringe at, mother-daughter vacations are the best kind of girlfriend getaways!
- It’s usually a luxury getaway: For someone who’s always traveling on a shoestring, luxury getaways are welcome breaks from a life of counting pennies on the go. It’s refreshing to have Sleep Inducing Sprays by the beside, welcome brownies and steal-worth toiletries in hotels; cabs as opposed to shuffling between different public transport options and fine-dining instead of street food carts.
- Time to truly “connect”: With the hectic lives we’re all leading, schedules usually run in different directions and our interaction is limited to several minutes of casual conversation before we call it a day. Vacays are the best time to connect with the one person you can always share laughs with!
- Great conversations! One of the things most travellers say they love about travelling are the conversations they have with people from different backgrounds. Sometimes being able to have meaningful conversations with the person who understands you best is more comforting and magical than small-talk with a stranger.
- Social media worthy holiday pictures: Travel pictures are a thing now, and mothers know exactly the kind of pictures we need. Some of my favourite travel pictures have been shots she has captured.
- Shopping: This is always a plus to every mother-daughter trip! Why? Because have you ever shopped with dad? I’ve tried, and his patience lasts for no more than 30 seconds, beyond which point he ambiguously points at two items in the store, disinterestedly says they would look great on me and encourages me to run to the counter like it’s the finish line.
If you’re traveling with your mom for the first time, I would recommend setting the right expectations before the trip (snoring habits included) about the things you both want to do and blending them together into an itinerary that accommodates the interests of both people. Additionally- always try to get the emergency exit seats. Nothing please mama like extra leg space!
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Author: Nikita Butalia
Nikita Butalia is the founder/editor of Stumbling Around Delhi. A 20-something travel blogger who shows off her experiences in witty and informal blog posts based on luxury weekend getaways around Delhi, short trips around the country and solo travel experiences abroad. She dreams of checking the entire world off her bucket list, Antarctica being at the top of that list!