Asking overprotective desi parents to let you travel internationally is one of the hardest things in life. Trust us, been there, done that, still doing it.
And if you're a woman, the struggle is real.
But travel blogger Anam Hakeem, who goes by the name Girl With Green Passport, has some advice on how you can convince your parents. These aren't just a couple of tips, there are a total of six, because Anam knows how difficult it is to get desi parents to budge.
Wish we wouldn't have to lobby for our right to travel as grown adults but it's unfortunately the way it is.
Here's how you can try your luck.
Tip #1: Pick the perfect timing to ask
This is a no-brainer. Don't choose a time when your parents aren't in a good mood, either because of you or other factors. Their mood will affect their decision and it's best to make sure they're happy with you before you approach them. Don't rush into asking them for permission. It's best to be on the safe side.
Tip #2: Pick a place you have relatives
Yes, we know what you're thinking, they're the reason you want to get away BUT think long-term; if this is the first time you're travelling alone, you'll have to make a little compromise. Pick a place where there are people you and your parents know and then towards the last few days you can go to a town or city nearby where you can get your alone-time. This way maybe next time your parents will be more comfortable sending you on your own.
Tip #3: Plan a trip around a conference or training
Use this as the last resort when parents absolutely cannot understand the logic behind why you'd want to travel. Convince your parents that the training/conference will benefit you as a professional or it is related to your field of study and will add to your skills. It may become a solid ground for your parents to understand. And then you can plan a trip around it; give yourself a couple of days for leisure or exploration.
Tip #4: Pick a shorter trip
Again, think long-term; it's your first trip and convincing your parents that you'll be gone for five days as opposed to 15 will be much easier for your parents to digest. A shorter trip like going to Dubai may fit the bill.
Tip #5: Pick a Muslim country
This may sound strange but it's psychological trick that works. Pick places like Istanbul, Dubai or Malaysia. You can convince your parents that it's a Muslim country offering a perfectly halal vacation as opposed to places like Europe or Thailand.
Tip #6: Stay persistent
If you do not get permission the first time and you do not get to travel when you planned, don't lose hope. Keep reminding your parents that you're financially independent and travel is one of the biggest motivators why you earn and save money and that travel will make you a happier person.
Though these are all solid advice, it's also important to know how to approach the topic with parents. Their argument will always be about your safety first, irrespective of the plans you have for yourself, so tip-toe around the subject, and see how they feel about it. For example, tell them your cousin from Dubai/USA/UK would like you to come visit, and see what their response is.
Also know that these tips may backfire initially so take your time, it's going to be a long process and needs to be done muuuuch in advance. By this we mean give your parents at least a six-month notice period before you dive into the process head-on (visa, ticket, etc.).