Mom traveling with grown son-accomodations are expensive

Have any moms out there traveled with their grown adult sons? I am 60-ish, finding it difficult to find affordable hotels- two separate rooms every night for 2 weeks will eat up my travel budget. Renting apartments is also expensive. This will be our first vacation together, a birthday gift for him. Is it acceptable to get one room with an extra bed/sofa or do people think that is creepy? I'm not sure I want to sleep in the same room with him, and I am positive he will not want to listen to me snoring, but for the sake of a once in a lifetime trip to Europe, I am willing to put aside my squeamishness so we could save and have more $ to see places. Is there anyone else who has traveled with this situation who could give me some tips?

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1350 posts

Sandra,

where are you going?

Whats your budget per night?

Creepy is relative.

Just a personal note. I know i snore and i know if someone else is, that will keep me up. So i make it a point to get a separate room. Have you any of you tried earplugs? I always bring some with me on my travels, but havent needed them, yet.

Some hostels have singles and doubles rooms, but its something you will have to search for yourself since you know where you are going.

Ive seen Single parent/kid on trips but i havnet asked how the sleep arrangements were done.

happy trails

Posted by Sarah
Chicago (formerly St. Louis), IL, USA
1311 posts

Your son is very lucky to get such a great gift from his mom! I'm waiting for the day when my 70-ish parents will take me on vacation. :)

I don't think it's creepy if you share a room with 2 beds. If you slept in the same bed, well, that's a different story...

Anyway, when I was visiting grad schools 8 years ago I went on a road trip with my dad and we shared hotel rooms with 2 beds. He snored and I wore earplugs. No problem. I think putting up with snoring is worth it to save quite a bit of money on a trip.

Posted by Devon
Ballwin
818 posts

I don't think it's creepy - I've shared a room (separate beds) with parents and in-laws when traveling. It will save you a significant amount of money and will allow for more activities, meals, etc.

Posted by Valerie
Tacoma
142 posts

Sandra,

Having traveled in odd-configuration groups for years...ex-husband, teenage daughter and my mother...I make extensive use of apartments to make sure everyone has enough personal space and sleeping space. I have found reasonably priced apartments in all cities by doing a little research. Without knowing your travel stops, it's hard to point you in any one direction, but aside from London, Paris and Venice, I seldom have to spend more than $150 per night for what is usually a large apartment. In smaller cities, especially in eastern and central Europe, I can usually find a place for about $100. Last year, I rented an apartment in Venice that had two big bedrooms, a nice bath, and huge kitchen and a living room. Total square footage was about 800. That was $940 for four nights. In Colmar, France, we had an apartment with an upstairs loft bedroom, a second sleeping area right outside the bedroom, and then a third sleeping area downstairs near the kitchen and bathroom for $115 per night. In London, I paid $225 per night two years ago for a well-reviewed apartment with two full bedrooms and a bath. If you list your travel destinations, I can give you a little additional information.

Good luck!

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

Sandra, you don't mention where or when you're going. However, when I'm doing the type of travel you describe, I found good alternatives that allow private rooms--which also can provide useful, private down time. In Italy, convents and monasteries provide good options; I've paid €35-€50 per room including breakfast, with the €50 prices in the most expensive cities, like Venice. During the summer, many universities rent out dorm rooms and apartments at great prices; this is a good way to save money in major cities like London. And the simpler B&Bs are great budget option for when you need two rooms. I would suggest making the reservations as far ahead as you can; that's the best way to get single rooms at a reasonable price. I also often got good deals at the European budget chains, like Ibis.

When I don't know where to start looking, I've found the Rick Steves books to be useful, as are the websites Eurocheapo and booking.com.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

Lots of hostels have gender-specific dorms. Even the mixed dorms often have a forty-year age split - - everybody just sort of works around everybody else - - you never notice it.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

One other thought: I have not used them, but the Easyhotels chain might be another option. They are very minimalistic, so you may want to read the reviews on the TripAdvisor website before booking a specific hotel.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1350 posts

@ sherry & Sandra,

I second the EasyHotels.

but from my experience on here, most of the people are looking for something better. I travel solo so having a "dormroom" size place doesnt bother me. Others want more for their $$$. I continue to use them in all of my travels when and where they are available.

but i would recommend to give them a looksee. afterall, it doesnt cost anything to do so.

happy trails.

Posted by Sandra
North Carolina
4 posts

Thanks to all for some really great ideas that I hadn't considered! For our 2 week trip, we will be arriving in Frankfort and plan to see some of the medieval towns ( Heidelburg, Ulm) take a Rhein River cruise, Stuttgart for their spa and Porsche and Mercedes Benz museum, and the Black Forest. Maybe one day in each city or possibly find a centrally located "Base of Operations" for a week. I was hoping to find a room/rooms smack in the middle of the medieval towns close to a local pub for him to meet and talk with the locals, but want to steer clear of modern /contemporary towns. Can anyone who has been in that area recommend any places?

Then to Barga Italy where I was able to find a reasonably priced villa in Tuscany for the week, close to Cinque Terre, Florence, and the hill towns. The villa owner's wife gives cooking lessons and since my son loves to cook, this will be really great.

I saw much of Europe durig the early '60s as a child ( Air Force brat) and remember a lot of it but I never had to make travel arrangements so I am starting from scratch. My son has never been out of the States so this will be a new experience for him.

Your ideas have given me many ideas, Thanks again to everyone!

Posted by Eric
Dana Point
101 posts

Hi Sandra.
How comfortable you are sleeping in the same room as your son is, of course, a personal decision--I can only share my own experience. My mom traveled extensively with my dad, but after he passed away I took several trips to Europe with her (I'm no longer married, either, so I was the "kid" who could most easily travel with her) and we have always stayed in the same room, and didn't find it creepy. Just make sure whatever places you are looking at have twin beds available (some places don't have them at all), and then make sure to tell them that's what you need when you make your reservations. As far as snoring goes, earplugs can help. But, hey, you'll be in Europe, so I think a little snoring is worth it to see more places! I hope you have a great trip!

Posted by Kerry
Lakewood, CO, US
88 posts

I don't think its creepy at all, and I think it's really considerate of you to think of his feelings. I've traveled extensively with my 69 year old mother and 14 year old son (my husband isn't interested in travel but she is, so it works out great). In most places we've rented a suite (you can find deals, especially if you're staying in one location for a week or longer), but in others we've stayed at B and B type accommodations which often have family or connecting rooms at very reasonable prices. A few times we've had a regular room with two beds when we couldn't find something more charming (Marriott at least provides a good sized room). We've managed to avoid uncomfortable moments by just being clear about expectations. We don't undress, for example, in front of my son and we have agreements about how late lights and tv are on, etc. Earplugs can be good for snoring.... I think if you just talk about things first, that will alleviate any worries either of you may have. Have a great trip!

P.s. I totally agree that it is key for you to tell the hotel or inn that you are a mom traveling with her adult son and need twin beds that are not right next to each other. I always emphasize that we need separate beds and want to have space between them. I learned that one the hard way.

Posted by Mark
Houston, TX
22 posts

Speaking as a son who shared a room with my mom on a trip when I was single in my 20s - not creepy at all. No big deal, really.

Posted by Kathleen
Camano Island, WA, usa
331 posts

Once I had to share a room with an opposite sex platonic friend because there was no other room available and as it turned out I got food poisoning and if he hadn't been in the room to go get medicine and take care of me I would have been in big mess. I think for safety's sake it's not a bad idea to have an "escort".

Posted by jpl
10 posts

Sandra

It don't think it is creepy at all. Have you looked at the Vacation Rentals by Owners website for inexpensive accommodation. I've used this site many times with great success. The website is vrbo.com and you can find studio, as well as 1 or 2 bedroom apartments/condos at various price points. Enjoy your trip.
JoAnn
Vernon, British Columbia

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2604 posts

Sometimes if is the only thing that makes sense... for both the logistics and the budget.... (What may seem creepy when you are at home will become perfectly normal when traveling:))

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9130 posts

Considering that all 6 of us often crammed into one motel room when we were growing up, I don't even blink about the idea of sharing a hotel room with my mom when she visits me in Europe (although my dog is often in the room too).

Also, where are you planning to stay and what is your budget?

Posted by Ryan L
Seattle, WA
2 posts

I'm 30 and I've travelled extensively with my 50 year old mother over the last couple of years and have really enjoyed it. Most of my friends can't get the time off work to travel for a month every year and/or don't have the funds. So, a couple years back I asked my mom if she wanted to go to China for a month and since then, we have been all over the world.

Sleeping in the same room is not creepy at all. In my own opinion, it would be more strange to pay for 2 separate rooms. :)

We prefer private rooms in hostels because they provide all of the amenities you would expect from a mid range hotel room but come at half the price and even if they may not be quite as clean, all you need is a safe place to store your luggage and get a good nights sleep. You're in Europe, you should not be in your hotel room if you're not sleeping. Also, hostels are almost always centrally located and will have other solo travelers for your son to meet up with if he wants to go out for a pint or two. I've come to depend on hostelworld.com because the ratings are very dependable and if I don't like the location/room when I arrive, I only lose a 10% deposit.

Granted, if I was in cheap country I would pay a few extra dollars for a mid range hotel but since you are going to Europe and you are budget minded I would definitely consider the hostel route.

Good Luck and happy travels!

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

I took my son to Munich when he was 23 or so...we shared a room. The beds were pushed together as normal in Europe, so we separated them as much as possible, and shared the room. I can't see going to the expense of 2 rooms. You are family. Take turns in the bathroom, and close the door (smile)

My son and I are going to Italy in September, and it will be the same situation, except now he will be 31 and I'm 60. I don't see a problem sharing a room at all. If he snores, I'll tell him to roll over, if I snore, I'm sure he'll do the same for me.

The journey and adventure are totally worth it. he is so excited to be taking another trip with mom -- even at his age!

last trip was for him...I let him pick where to go. we did Munich so he could see the BMW factory. Guess where we are going in Italy? To see Ferrari and Lamborghini...I enjoy just being with him and sharing Europe through his eyes. We really do enjoy each other's company. I take these special trips knowing that I want my kids to choose what to do- these trips are just for them, but I get to share the adventure and learning.

I took my daughter to Rome the year before I traveled with my son, and in 2013 my daughter and I took another trip...this year, 2014, it's my son's turn. Only fair for both of them to get a trip with mom.

I don't see any difference in traveling and sharing a room with my daughter than I do with my son. We don't undress in front of each other, and manage to have privacy when needed. My kids have seen me in my pj's. Not a big deal.

I am widowed in my mid-fifties with a son who has lived in France on and off for the past 6 years. We have always stayed in the same room when I have traveled there and are touring around in France, Italy and Spain - it's never raised an eyebrow, maybe because we never thought it was unusual! I couldn't afford to pay for two separate rooms and do the things we wanted to do! We have stayed in small hotels, chain hotels, and rented apartments! Snoring - I have that problem too and here is a great solution. Your dentist can make an anti-snoring mouth piece called "Silent Nite". It works! It is an appliance that fits on your upper and lower teeth while you sleep at night. It's a little uncomfortable at first but use it before you go for a few nights and you should be all set by the time you get there! These trips and the experiences that we have had have been one of the absolute highlights of my life and I will always treasure the memories and think that he will too! Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by Jaye
Dallas, OR, USA
99 posts

Hi Sandra!
I am currently planning a trip this fall for my husband, myself and our adult son (so happy he loves traveling with us!). You are right, it is super expensive for two rooms and also for "family" rooms if they even allow three adults; many placesdo not. I could not find reasonably priced hotels and have ended up booking two apartments (Berlin and Barcelona) and a B & B in Prague. All three of these accommodations are far cheaper than a hotel and offer much more space and comfort. I wanted our son to have a real bed and not just a roll-away. Of course the down-side (slight to me) is that there is no maid service and you are on your own pretty much in the apartments. The up-side is the great space and comfort, a kitchen for snacks and any meals you may want to make, a washer and dryer if needed and of course the great price savings. As others have said, we don't give sharing a room a second thought and we always take ear plugs both for snoring issues and street/city noise. I use booking.com, trivago.com, tripadvisor.com and airbnb.com mostly. Have a wonderful time with your son, memories that will last a life-time! :0) Happy Travels!

Posted by Terri Lynn
Nashville, TN, USA
23 posts

Hi, Sandra. I have personally traveled with male relatives, friends, and co-workers (none of those were sexual relationships) and it is not creepy to share a room. That is your child even if he is grown up and sharing a room isn't a sexual thing, just a practical one. Most accommodations I have ever used had two queen beds in the room. You can always find a place to stay with two beds in the room. This is such a nice birthday gift you are giving him! Both of you will always treasures these memories. You can buy very good earplugs at Wal-Mart and Walgreens. I can't sleep with noise so for years (I will be 55 in a few weeks) I have used these inexpensive purple ear plugs and they work great. If you want any suggestions for places to stay, feel free to send me a private message. I hope this is a magical vacation for both of you.

Posted by Sarah
United States
162 posts

Sandra, maybe I missed it, but did you ask him? Also, you might find a spot for a one-night break, when you get two rooms and reboot. I get that you don't want to raise odd thoughts, but it's nothing. It sounds logical and practical. You'll have a great time!

Posted by Tizzette
Cyberspace
2 posts

I did three weeks in India with my 35 year old son, and I did a number of shorter trips with him before he married. After making hotel reservations online, I would email or fax direct to the hotel that two separate beds were an absolute necessity because it was mother and son. In Europe, the most usual bedding set up I have seen is two skinny twin beds pushed together. While you can pull them apart if you have to, it is better to research hotel room photos online and find hotels with two beds that are truly separated. Personally I preferred sharing one room in a very nice hotel to two rooms in a lesser place, but in a smaller town two single rooms were sometimes affordable. Rather than relaxing in the room at night, one or both of us would get some space by taking our laptop or book to the comfortable chairs in the hotel lobby or bar. We also allowed each other some space by not doing every single thing together during the day, as well. Those trips with my son were great. We were just great travel companions.