The ultimate guide to surviving your parents’ annual visit to Bournemouth

I’m here to make it that little bit easier!


It’s that dreaded time of the university year. Your parents are visiting. You rush to the kitchen sink to tidy up the mountain of two week old Dominos and Noodle Bar, not forgetting the old bottles of vodka mixed with a strange yellow substance. The mess could give your mum a heart attack and it’s not worth trying to remember when the bins were last emptied. Let’s not even get started on the state of your room. When all is sorted, you then wonder to yourself: “What the f*ck am I going to do with my parents?”

Thankfully, I have come out the other end, and feel fairly well-equipped to offer advice on how to make the experience run as smoothly as possible. Here is a carefully curated itinerary that will break any ice and have your parents wanting to come back for more – actually, is that a good thing?

1. Go to the beach

It’s a given, but what better way to start the day off than paying a visit to Bournemouth’s staple: The beach. If you’re lucky, then there won’t be any torrential rain (I do not recommend). If your parents are the walking sort, then a walk from Bournemouth beach to Boscombe beach is also a shout. If you have a sibling tagging along, then definitely take them to the arcades. Remember to get that cash ready!

2. Noodle Bar

If you don’t want to be cliched and have a Harry Ramsden’s, then Noodle Bar is your go-to! With an A-List card, food is an outstanding 50 per cent off (not that you’ll be paying anyway, let’s be real) and there are also various offers throughout the week. Book in advance to avoid any disappointment.

3. Meet your flat/housemates

If you were blessed by the uni Gods with nice flatmates, then bring your parents along to your flat. I know, this probably sounds like your idea of hell. You’d be surprised though by how much it will mean for your parents to see just how much you’re thriving at uni – or seemingly thriving. Just make sure they visit at a time when it doesn’t seem like they’ve been transported into a zombie apocalypse with the amount of hungover people. Oh, and be prepared for your mum to act like a counsellor as she chats with your mates…

4. Go into town (via the Lower Gardens route)

If you were blessed by the uni Gods with nice flatmates, then bring your parents along to your flat. I know, this probably sounds like your idea of hell. You’d be surprised though by how much it will mean for your parents to see just how much you’re thriving at uni – or seemingly thriving. Just make sure they visit at a time when it doesn’t seem like they’ve been transported into a zombie apocalypse with the amount of hungover people. Oh, and be prepared for your mum to act like a counsellor as she chats with your mates…

4. Go into town (via the Lower Gardens route)

5. Drinks

What better way to end the day than to have drinks? From Slug & Lettuce to The Mary Shelley, take your pick. However, if your parents are of the sociable type then I highly recommend that you skip this part out. My Mum befriended the staff at my go-to Spoons and I’ve never felt more embarrassed.

6. Dinner

If your parents are staying for the evening too (poor you), then pick a nice restaurant to take them to. There’s no better feeling than knowing that a meal isn’t spiralling you into an extra £20 in debt.

7. RELAX

You did it! You survived your parents visit! If you’re lucky, maybe your parents even shed a tear as they left you. At least the endless meals out and clubbing made for an entertaining visit, if not a pass in that previous essay…

And there it is, your survival guide for when your parents visit. Trust me, it’s not that bad!

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