What Can You Learn from a Trip Without Your Parents?


Cynthia Lan

Students in FBLA are getting on the plane to Sacramento; many of the students are going on a trip without their parents for the first time.

Cynthia Lan, Photojournalist

Going on a journey without your parents can feel like an exciting and transformative experience. As a participant in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) state conference, I had the opportunity to take this unique adventure that taught me valuable life lessons, and independence, and helped me grow personally and professionally. In this article, I will share my personal experience and highlight the main takeaways from traveling without parental guidance. 


First of all, without parents, you have to care more about the basics, such as your travel plans, how to get a plane ticket, what you need to pack with you, how to get along with roommates, how to be safe in an unfamiliar environment, and more. You need to do it all on your own. This is one of the most important things I learned using this opportunity—independence. When a person is removed from parental supervision, they are forced to make decisions and take responsibility for themselves. Through this experience, I have learned to rely on my own judgment, adapt to different situations, and overcome challenges with resilience. “I didn’t realize what was considered essential until I was halfway in the trip such as my water bottle, room key, and a hat.” Megan Wang (9)

I didn’t realize what was considered essential until I was halfway in the trip such as my water bottle, room key, and a hat.

— Megan Wang (9)

Furthermore, traveling without parents can build self-confidence and a platform for honing basic people skills. There are many travelers, locals, and professionals you might meet on the road. You can learn about their cultures and opinions (which may be a whole different perspective than what you are used to, practice your foreign language, or just practice how to have a conversation with people. This exposure fosters personal growth by encouraging individuals to confront their fears, try new things, and embrace unfamiliar experiences. As I navigated the FBLA journey, I discovered new courage within myself to network with people during the workshops. After gaining more experience, I felt so much confidence in the journey itself. 


These connections can go beyond the trip itself. These people skills are invaluable in both personal and professional settings. Experiencing a new culture first-hand is a transformative aspect of any travel, especially without parental guidance. Without preconceived notions or prejudices, individuals are more open to accepting and appreciating the diversity and richness of different cultures. Also there are many opportunities for networking: if you are a journalist, you can interview during conversations, if you are an athlete and you meet a sports coach, you can talk to the coach about the challenges in the sport and your opinion about the sport. Not to mention, if you need to write your college resume, you can add those unique experiences to your resume. 


In conclusion, traveling without a parent can have many beneficial experiences and can bring numerous personal and professional benefits to students. Through my FBLA journey, I discovered the strength of independence, built self-confidence, developed interpersonal skills, and developed a strong understanding of multiculturalism. Such trips provide a transformative platform for self-discovery, growth, and lifelong memories. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to embark on a journey without their parents as it offers a unique path for personal development and a wider understanding of the world. If you ever get this kind of opportunity, I wish you to have a safe and meaningful journey.