How to Survive Tag-a-long Travel

April 8, 2017
My family is always traveling. You see, my sister is very active in both dance and soccer, and when the weekend rolls around most of the time they will be packing up their suitcases, gearing up for another dance convention or soccer tournament.

As a result, before I went to college I always found myself being dragged along on these trips. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not ungrateful for the opportunities I’ve had to travel, but early morning sports games, sitting in the hot sun, or having to just go along with whatever your sibling/family member wants to do can be draining.

However, even if you do find yourself tagging along on a trip, there are ways to make the most of your little adventure. After all, you are traveling – because of dance & soccer, I’ve been able to visit Boston multiple times, see the Hollywood sign, eat ice cream under the LINQ in Las Vegas, and even visit Arizona, where I’m currently blogging from today!

Here are a few ways to survive “tag-a-long” travel and still make the most of a trip, even if it isn’t meant to be a vacation:

1. Come with a game plan

The minute you find out where you are going on your trip, I highly suggest you do your research! Scour Pinterest and travel blogs for the best places to hit, and make a list of the things you absolutely must do before you leave.
For example, when my family was planning a trip to California this past summer for my sister’s dance convention, I made a list of places I wanted to hit, including the Last Bookstore and the Alfred Tea Room. (If you’re from the LA area you might find these places silly, but I was so excited to be there!)
s/o to my dad for capturing this cool candid at The Last Bookstore


This non-candid was snapped at the Alfred Tea Room, simply because I loved the little saying on the wall
Or, it can even be super simple – for this weekend’s trip in Arizona, I really just wanted Mexican food, so we made it a point to stop at Habanero’s, an amazing Mexican restaurant here in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.
My positively delicious tacos from Habanero’s – I want to go back ASAP!
Because I was prepared with a game plan, my family and I were able to make it happen even within our tight schedule.

2. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!

You have a limited time in this brand-new place – though it isn’t your ideal, you can still make this a fun and exciting adventure. Once you’ve made a list of all the places that you want to go, take a look at them and evaluate just how feasible they are.
If your brother has a baseball game at 3pm, maybe going on a tour of that historic site at 12pm isn’t the best idea. OR if you know your sister HATES history, maybe opt to prioritize that theme park instead of the history museum you really wanted to see.
(I’m going to keep using LA as my example, because that trip was so much fun!) When we were in LA, I could have spent all my time browsing the different museums and the shops on Melrose, but I knew that wasn’t really my family’s speed. As a result, I prioritized going to Venice Beach during our time in California, and we were able to all have a lot of fun.
My sister and I at Venice Beach

3. Remember that it’s not about you.

Finally, the first thing to remember is that this trip is not designed to be a family vacation – you are here for a purpose, whether that be for your sibling’s conference/tournament or for a parent’s business trip. Sure, it would be fun to pack every minute of every day with fun-filled activities, but depending on the demands of your trip, sometimes you need to put your “wants” aside and give your family time to do what they need to do.
Even if you would much rather be exploring art museums instead of roasting on a soccer field for the whole day, I hate to break it to you, but that is really the purpose of your trip, and it’s important that you respect that. Be supportive of your family in what they have traveled for – they will be eternally grateful, and may be a little more inclined to respect your wishes, too.
My sister & I today at her tournament – so glad I came to support her!
This is going to be a tiny segue way into more travel posts (yay!) – please let me know if you like these kinds of posts in the comments below!

Have you ever had to tag-a-long on a trip? How did you handle it?

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