Teens... if you are a parent of one, you get it. Some days they just grunt at you. Some days they don’t even want to be in the same room with you. And ask for a pic of them... OH MOM NOOOOOOO!
Well, I talked my 18 year old son into a mom and son trip recently and it was the best thing ever for our relationship. Yes - even during a pandemic. In some ways, the pandemic actually helped!
My son turned 18 in March, one of those months when EVERYTHING was closed. I felt bad, so I asked him what he wanted for his birthday. The response surprised me. He said Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. My 18 year old teenager said he wanted to go to WALT DISNEY WORLD?!? I was shocked! I asked why, and he responded that he's had some great memories there - and HE NEEDED TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.
Every month I asked if he still wanted to go, and every time he said yes, so in August we went. He had done the research about COVID 19, he knew the risks and he was okay with traveling. We brought extra masks and sanitizer to be safe.
What were the benefits of traveling during the pandemic?
First off the only reason I was allowed to take pics was because of the masks.... and the characters, in my opinion, are more visible. Hotel and park capacity was limited. The physical distancing made waiting in line more comfortable. A number of restaurants were also closed, but there were more than enough open so we never went hungry.
With the limited operational hours when we went it made us slow down and enjoy. I know that sounds counter intuitive since technically had less time in the parks, but it’s true. At Walt Disney World, the updated procedures also meant no park hopping. That made us stay at one park per day and just enjoy that park, something we would have never done if we had the choice. Plus with the staggered hours it made me relax in bed longer. Epcot didn’t open until 11 so on those days we relaxed at the resort until 10. My son, who is not a morning person like I am, LOVED that part.
The parks are doing a fantastic job with cleaning, sanitizing and making sure everyone stays safe. My son felt safe, and after spending over five months at home it really helped his mental health too. Plus, spending a week just the two of us help us bond more.
Traveling with a teen during a pandemic? It can be just what you both need, and we would both do it again!