Can Your Parents Stop You From Traveling?


The thought of touring the world and discovering new places can be tempting, especially if you’re a first-timer looking to kickstart your wanderlust adventures. However, if you’re relatively new to the world of travel, you might be wondering whether your parents can stop you from experiencing diverse cultures and enjoying historic attractions across the globe. 

Your parents can stop you from traveling if you’re under 18, on conservatorship, or are still dependent on them for financial support. However, if you’re above 18 and can independently pay for your tickets, accommodation, and daily bills, then your parents can’t legally stop you from traveling. 

If you’re still reading, chances are you want to know a thing or two about parental consent for travel. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Read on as we look at some do’s and don’ts of planned travel and how to get your parents to support your adventure. 

Situations Where Your Parents Can Stop You From Traveling

Your parents can still stop you from traveling if you are still dependent on them for your living expenses or if you haven’t reached the age of majority. If you’re still a minor, you won’t have a choice if they tell you no to traveling.

Let’s talk more about these situations.

If You’re Underage 

As indicated on the official US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website, minors under 18 can travel without their parents. However, a notarized consent letter from both parents will be required for the minor to travel. 

Traveling to foreign countries as a minor can be challenging as you’ll need consent from both parents to get a passport in the first place. 

Therefore, if you’re underage and looking to travel alone, notarized consent from both parents or sole custodian is deemed mandatory for you to leave the country. 

If You’re Financially Dependent on Your Parents

While your parents won’t be legally able to prevent you from traveling as a fully grown adult, they might bring your plans to a sudden halt if they aren’t willing to fund your trip. 

Of course, the story is completely different if you intend to fund your trip. But if you plan to receive most or at least part of your funding from your folks, chances are they might opt out of funding if unconvinced by your travel plans. 

Conservatorship

If you’re an adult and deemed legally incapable of making financial decisions and handling your personal affairs, then the court can make one of your parents a conservator. When under conservatorship, you won’t have the final say in potentially sensitive decisions, meaning your parent(s) can stop you from traveling if they don’t deem it a wise move. 

However, such situations are rare and mostly apply to financially stable but mentally unstable people and celebrities, such as with the infamous Britney Spears’ conservatorship saga with her father, James Spears. 

The bottom line remains that if under conservatorship, your parent/conservator will have the final say on whether or not you get to travel. 

Ways To Convince Your Parents To Support Your Travel Plans

If you really want to travel and you must depend on your parents to allow it to happen, how can you convince them to support your plans? While you’ll want to communicate with them in advance, you’ll also need to listen to their concerns and objections. You might not like to hear what they have to say, but most of the time, they do have your best interest at heart.

Your parents want you safe and need assurances from you that you’ll do everything you can to stay safe.

Let’s discuss more in detail how to convince your parents to let you travel.

Communicate in Advance

All parents, whether strict or not, value communication and will appreciate being in the loop at the earliest possible time, especially if you still live at home. Therefore, to boost the chances of getting your parents on board, it’s best to inform them as you start planning your trip. 

Notifying your parents before booking a flight or hotel room is highly advisable as they’ll feel like part of the decision-making process and might even offer to provide financial support or chip in any other areas you might need help with. 

Provide Details 

If you’re serious about travel and have laid out most (if not all) of your plans, the next step is to furnish your parents with as much information as possible. 

Some of the crucial details that your parents will be desperate to know include: 

  • Travel destination
  • Whether you’re traveling solo 
  • If traveling as a group, who you are traveling with.
  • Travel duration 
  • Accommodation plans 
  • Financial planning, such as your budget and whether you have it sorted.

The trick is to involve your parents in some decision-making, at least if you want them to feel like you consulted and not just “notified” them of your intentions to travel. 

Be sure to inform them about the destination and why you plan to head there. It’s also wise to reassure your parents that you’ll be staying in a safe neighborhood and have details about your travel buddies on standby. 

Additionally, you can inform your parents about your accommodation plans and how long you plan to stay to get their feedback on the matter. 

Providing details well in advance will allow your parents to digest the information over time and ask any questions that may pop up as you near your planned travel date. Remember to provide as many details as possible to have them convinced about your will and eagerness to travel.

Prepare Them Gradually

It’s normal for parents to be skeptical about long-distance travel, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. As a result, you should start preparing them mentally by embarking on activities like local road trips, weekend hikes, camping, and any other outdoor activities that you fancy. 

Over time, your parents will understand your preference for travel and the outdoors, making it a lot easier to convince them once you start planning for long-distance travel. 

Plan To Travel With Your Own Money

You’re a lot more likely to have parental consent if you make your own money. But if you don’t come off as responsible to your parents, chances are they’ll dismiss the idea even before you pursue it further. 

The idea is to show your parents that you’re capable and responsible enough to take care of your expenditures, more so when globetrotting. 

Don’t Travel Solo

Your parents will almost certainly support your travel plans if you travel with someone they know and trust, especially if it’s your first time. 

Traveling solo isn’t the best idea for first-timers, more specifically if you plan to travel long distances. It’s always best to travel as a group and provide most, if not all, contacts of your friends or colleagues you’ll be traveling with. 

Giving your parents a roommate’s number or contact person’s number will go a long way in making them comfortable with your traveling plans. 

Wrapping Up

Your parents can stop you from traveling if you’re underage or under conservatorship. However, they can also cut short your travel plans if you’re not financially independent and they don’t fund your trip. 

The good news is you can get them on board by informing them early, providing several details, and traveling with a group of trusted friends or family members. 

They will be comfortable and supportive if you provide the contact details of your group of traveling friends. It would also help if they knew where you plan to stay and who to contact in case of emergencies.

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