My Mom And I Are Presently On A Flight To…!

Filed Under: Travel

Let me start by saying that the purpose of this trip isn’t necessarily to write a great review. In other words, I’m not taking my mom to the Park Hyatt Jeddah on Saudia, and connecting on Kuwait Airways to Bandar Seri Begawan, so I can take the Royal Brunei 787.

Instead, the goal of this trip is to make my mom smile.

For some quick background, I was actually supposed to fly to Australia via Europe and the Middle East today, and was going to spend three weeks in Australia.


Then last week I started having second thoughts about the trip, as I was a bit burned out with travel after an absolutely crazy flying schedule for a couple of months. And I was enjoying spending time with my parents, and didn’t want to leave them for a long time.

So what did I decide to do? I ended up canceling my award ticket to Australia, and instead asked my mom if she wanted to go somewhere.

Now I know many of you will disapprove, but I decided to book a trip in Emirates first class with my mom.



So while I’ll of course enjoy the trip, it won’t be that novel for me. But most of the joy I derive out of it will (hopefully) be out of seeing my mom enjoying the experience!

I’ve certainly learned a lot since I took my mom on her “round” birthday trip in June of 2013:

  • I need to keep the trip “simple” and avoid too many connections, especially tight ones
  • We need to move at a slower pace, so we’ll be spending more time in one place (and that means I’ll be spending several weeks with my mom… wish me luck!) 😉
  • I need to get her to pack light — it’s something I’ve always done, but the amount of luggage on the last trip proved to be a huge hindrance

Anyway, we’re presently flying from Dallas to Dubai, a flight on which Emirates operates an A380 simply because they can, and not because the demand is actually there. Let’s just say there are as many crew as passengers on the entire upper deck.

I’m still finalizing some aspects of this trip, but we’ll be visiting Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Muscat. I’ve wanted to go to Oman for eons, and I’m so thrilled I’ll finally be able to visit.

From there we’ll be connecting onwards on Emirates to Barcelona, where we’ll be spending some time as well.


Stay tuned, this should get fun! Or if you’re my mom, then she’s already losing her freaking mind out of excitement. 😉

And be sure you’re following along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for all the latest updates!

  1. I’m a barcelona local so if you need any advice on what to see or where to stay please let me know! 🙂

  2. Ben, I love your blog, and I read almost daily. I rarely feel the need to express disagreement with you or correct your posts in any way, but the grammar faux pas of “My Mom and Me are Presently…” is just too much for me to resist. I’m sure you meant “My Mom and I are Presently…” but you were in a hurry, so it can be forgiven. 🙂

  3. Hopefully you give a review of Muscat. I am seriously considering a visit there on my mistake fare trip to Abu Dhabi.

  4. So exciting. Your parents are lucky to have such a wonderful son. I’ll be following along closely.

  5. Enjoy! From my personal experience, moms and packing light do not go together. But then, what’s the point of going first class if you can’t bring all your stuff?

  6. Kudos to you Ben for treating your Mum – I’ve recently started reading your blog – which are insightful and laced with a cheeky charm of wit…I shall be following this trip with glee! 🙂

  7. Yes, I second that. Review of MUSCAT please!

    And I hope you’re flying Oman Air (WY) from DXB to MCT and back!! (cough, trip report)

  8. You are so kind to your mother ; there’s a special place in Heaven for you Ben… 🙂

  9. You are the best son! ….I just returned from Oman Sunday evening. It’s a beautiful country; I’m sure you’ll enjoy Muscat.

  10. Ben, awesome trip reports! Especially enjoyed your round-the-world trip with your dad. Have you thought about reviewing Mandarin Oriental properties? I heard the new suites at the MO in BCN are fantastic – perfect place to stay with your mom 😉 Was there before they opened the expansion but itching to go back.

  11. ThStop scamming people with trick titles. Sometimes you’re worse than the other bloggers you gripe about.

  12. Would love to visit Oman. If your mom is like my mom, the idea of traveling light is near impossible. Maybe a bribe? For me it makes a tremendous difference how much I enjoy the trip to travel as light as possible. So much easier with less stuff. Hope you can convince her.

    Glad you went with this option, seemed like that was what you really wanted to do and you are so lucky to have such a great relationship with your family, enjoy them as much as possible. Happy Travels!

  13. Have you ever done the math on how much money you actually save on hotels and food by flying so often? Overnight flights, meals on the plane and lounges….would be an interesting exercise. In any case, safe travels!

  14. Can’t wait to hear about the trip – but the English teacher in me can’t help but cringe at the post title (“My mom and me…”) and your last sentence (“Or if you’re my mom, then she’s already losing her freaking mind…”)

  15. You’re so awesome for doing this for your parents. I should surprise my mom with a trip, she would be freakin’ thrilled!

  16. have a *lovely* time with your mother and enjoy the time together. I hope she loves her first taste of the Middle East. I’m dying to go to Oman, so look forward to hearing your thoughts (or reading, rather!)

    Get her to do some videos – for the ‘parents corner’ 😉

  17. How fortunate you are to get to share these adventures with your parents!

    I feel compelled to comment, however, on your headline. I’ve been reading your blog for over 2 years now, and this is the first (and egregious) grammatical mistake that I have ever seen here. You are obviously an incredibly intelligent and well-educated person, so this MUST be a mistake?!?! Pleasepleaseplease correct it!

    Happy travels.

  18. Send your Mom some links for “traveling light” blogs by women. I celebrated the same round birthday about the time your mom did and I rarely travel with anything larger than a carry-on. The secret is packing only enough clothes for about a week, bringing items that coordinate (and layer), doing laundry every week or so, and maximizing every inch of the suitcase. Once your mom experiences the freedom of mobility that comes with luggage that she can easily manage by herself, she’ll never go back.

  19. For someone who writes for a living, this is a cringe worthy title. I didn’t read the article, I just came here to post this comment.

  20. What a fantastic idea, have a wonderful time. Thank you for posting these reports; they always make me smile.

  21. Hmm, I’m currently visiting the UAE and about to drive to Dubai for a couple days. apologies in advance if I happen to spot you walking down the street and tell “Lucky!” out of my car window.

  22. @ Jon — Have visited the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona and agree it was gorgeous. As far as a suite there goes… which points can I redeem for that? 😀

  23. I think you will love Muscat. If you have time, go out to the Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa which is sitting next to the Sea of Oman. It was the most pristine beach I have ever seen in my life. I like to also suggest the Chedi Muscat. It is a gorgeous property and you can have a meal next to the private beach and see planes fly overhead. I love trips with mum! 😀

  24. @ Lucky

    You can consider using AMEX points combined with the FHR program plus a MO promotion they have on now for suites (four nights for the price of three). This may require a competent AMEX travel agent but I am sure you are familiar with the scenario.

    The complementary use of hotel bikes is perfect for riding along the beach. Not to mention Acqua Di Parma amenities and butler (which I know you don’t care for). Considering its the low season, the rates should be at its lowest and the upgrades even better.

    IMO, I find the MO to be much more attentive than the W or even the Ritz in BCN. It has that residential feel and staff who are pros in anticipating your needs. The concierge can literally move mountains, even for a table at Tickets.

    Worst case scenario, bite the bullet and it will still be worth it – no better occasion to spend it on your mom 😉

  25. Sounds like a great and timely trip! 😀

    Look forward to seeing more of your reports on the Middle East, especially Muscat/Oman.

    ~ The Original Ivan Y.

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