17 reasons I love traveling with my dad

Jun 20, 2020

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Some of my greatest travel memories have been from trips I’ve taken with my dad. He and I have shared a special bond since I was born: I was named after him and he was the third son out of three boys and a girl — just like me.

I credit my dad with sparking my love of points, miles and travel. He was a frequent traveler when I was a kid, and it was his request for me to figure out how to use his stash of airline miles to get our family to the Caribbean that changed the course of my life. To this day, I call him the Original Points Guy for pushing me to get deeply involved with something I had a knack for — and love.

The last trip we went on as a duo was back in 2017 when we visited Egypt and Jordan — two countries that neither of us had been to before. It was an amazing trip: We explored Cairo, Amman, Petra and Wadi Rum. But, the best thing about that trip was the unimpeded access to my dad — it reinforced how similar we are, and caused me to think about why, exactly, I love traveling with him so much

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It’s fun to see what I’ll be like in 30 years

While we are starkly different in many ways, at the core we are the same person. Even though I’m taking the lead with the reservations these days, it’s fun to see him always keeping his cool and notice his fun quirks, like always falling asleep before takeoff and in the lounge.

Related: TPG readers’ favorite airport lounges around the world

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He makes waiting in lines so much more fun

When we were flying to Cairo a couple of years ago, we got hit with a truly enormous TSA line. (Sadly Egypt Air still doesn’t participate in PreCheck!) Had I been alone, I probably would have been mean-tweeting the TSA (OK, I did once) and mad that every minute in line meant one less minute I’d spend in the lounge. But with my Dad there, we were both so excited and made the best of it. Dare I say he even made it a fun experience?

Related: Guide to all the airlines participating in TSA PreCheck

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He’s a fantastic wingman

Before flying Egypt Air — a dry airline — we wanted to buy cans of beer from an airport bar since we didn’t have enough time to buy anything in the duty-free shop. The bartender quickly rebuffed my request, but my old man charmed her with his toothy smile and dad humor. Lo and behold, we soon had four brewskis to-go, which certainly helped improve our experience on board a dry airline!

Related: 9 great spots to grab a drink in the airport

He puts things in perspective for me

If it had just been me, I probably would have torn EgyptAir apart for having a dated product and apathetic service, but he was blown away by the legroom and reminded me that it was actually comfortable enough. (Now, of course, EgyptAir has Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with reverse-herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, though the jury’s still out on the overall quality of its business-class offering.)

Related: The best sites for searching Star Alliance award availability

Instead of being a full-blown snob, he helped me realize that the trip was more about the destination and less-so about the journey — something us AvGeeks can sometimes lose sight of.

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He helps me hone my dad jokes

Seriously, my dad’s jokes are epic and they even translate internationally — well, most of the time. One of our tour guides on the Middle East trip joked with us about drinking camels’ milk and my dad ran with that for the two days we were in Cairo. Don’t worry, I’m not rude and still laugh at them. Well, some of them…

Related: 5 lessons I learned about travel from my dad

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Role reversal is fun

He sacrificed so much for us growing up — he traveled a ton and thus missed out on ball games and birthday parties, but he did it all to put us through college. Now, it’s awesome to be able to pay him back in a way that’s meaningful since he would never accept cash from me.

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Quality time with loved ones is healing

The world can feel like it’s out of control and upside-down. It did when my dad and I set off on this journey a few years ago and it does again today in 2020. But, what you really need to focus on is what you can control — spending time with those you love and those who love you.

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He’s an amazing photographer

I mean, just look at this!

Related: How to take amazing travel photos with your phone

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He’s the least-needy person I know

My dad hates crowds (like father, like son) and if a tour is hot or boring, he’s always down to go back to the hotel for some downtime or to take a lazy afternoon nap.

Related: Trips you should book well in advance

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He’s a great tourist

Sometimes, I get tired of tours and zone out. But, my dad’s always interested in what the tour guides are saying and has an arsenal of questions at the ready.

Related: How to feel less like a tourist when you travel

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He’s a great seatmate

My dad sleeps most of the time and wants to talk only when you want to. What could be better?

Related: How to talk to your seatmate

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He’s disciplined about keeping records of our trips

I caught him filming a video report of his bubble room at Wadi Rum — he’s a natural!

Related: What it’s like to go glamping at Wadi Rum

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He appreciates a surprise

My dad is a native New Yorker, and when I surprised him with a helicopter ride above the city, it was so heart-warming to see his face light up while looking at his city from that vantage point for the first time.

Related: A full review of Blade’s helicopter service from Manhattan to JFK

He’s 6’3″ and mean-looking — no one messes with us!

No, that’s not my bodyguard leaving the helicopter — that’s my Dad!

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He goes with the flow

Not every dad would jump at the thought of crawling through tunnels under the Pyramids — but my dad never complained!

Related: Mistakes travelers make when traveling to Egypt

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He reminds me of Joe Biden and Conan O’Brien

And that’s just an awesome mix.

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(Center image by Cindy Ord/Getty Images. Right image by Bobby Bank/Getty Images)

He is a constant reminder of the man I want to be

I value every single second I get to spend with him.

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All images courtesy of Brian Kelly

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