How to Survive a Family Trip 0 192

How to Survive a Family Trip 0 193

So, the women want to go on a shopping spree, the kids are loitering about boisterously, grandma wants to go to the museum, the teenagers are rolling their eyes out of boredom and the newlyweds are all for romantic getaways.

Ah well, family trips are a handful and accommodating the needs of everyone from age 5 to 80 is certainly exhausting. But it’s a wonderfully enriching experience and what’s more, you’re going to be creating memories that you’ll look back and laugh someday.

However, we do know with an extended family vacation, you never know what to expect. One moment, Aunty A would be chatting to Aunty B about what Aunty X said to Aunty Y ten years ago and before you know it, there’s a fully fledged tongue-lashing cat-fight. As incredulous as it sounds, this can happen and I’m pretty sure a lot of you Lankans reading this can relate.  

So in order to survive a family trip, below are some quick tips that can make this rare and special family vacation all the more enjoyable for you and everyone.

First off, book a nice comfortable villa

While hotels are fancy, when you’re going on a family vacation, you want to live like a family in a homey bungalow or villa such as this that can accommodate a large crowd (plus, there’s a huge swimming pool and a large garden so the entire family can indulge in some games). Moreover, when you base yourself in a rented bungalow, you are going to stay in one place so there is no hassle or packing, moving and unpacking.

Do the money talk beforehand

Always, sort out the money matters way beforehand. You don’t want certain members of the family overburdened with paying more than they ought to so plan it all ahead of time and figure out who’s chipping in for what. This makes your entire family vacation all the more transparent and fair on everyone. You could even figure out the cost per head so everyone chips in with a fair amount. The last thing you want is a financial argument.

Create a social media family group

One of the greatest thrills of setting out on a vacation is the planning. So, in order to make sure that no one misses out on the fun and to keep everyone updated on the itinerary, games, activities and so on, you can create a WhatsApp/Instagram/Facebook chat group. Plus, you can update all your vacation photographs so you have a virtual album too.

Do not travel in a pack

Extended families are large so if everyone travels in a pack, it can be a really slow and messy business. So don’t be afraid of splitting into smaller groups and meeting at a rendezvous point. Not only does this make everything more organised but it can also make the entire family more relaxed because hey, we know how stressful travelling with a bunch of 20+ people (not to be mention boisterous kids) are. Simply put, it can be an utter nightmare which can potentially lead to high tempers which you want to avoid at all costs in a family vacation.

Say Yes more often than No

In daily life, saying no, setting rules, schedules and habits are the norm but when you’re on a vacation, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and relax. Try your best to be flexible during a vacation and setting too many conditions can be tiresome.

Accept that everything might not be as smooth as expected

Sunglasses get lost, flights get cancelled, food can be bad and hey, even wallets may get stolen. So it’s normal – things can go wrong when you go on a vacation. It’s not the disaster that matters but it’s how to react to it that does. So if you do have a bad experience, well bad luck but these stuff just happen. It’s important to accept it and move on and expressing too much of anger over it can dampen the vacation mood and set off everyone on a bad mood to reflect your own.

Watch out for the sparks… and put it off early

Things can get pretty hot during a family vacation and I don’t meet the outside temperatures here. It’s the family heat, you know, which can spark sometimes when all the kindling comes together and irritability or one wrong move can cause tempers to flare.

So always be on the watchout – if your kids are behaving too wild or if the teasing is getting a little out of hand, it’s time to re-direct the attention elsewhere. If you don’t deal with the conflict early, every other member of the family will feel entitled to give his/her own opinion which would undoubtedly cause the fire to spread. Somebody’s going to have to take the role of firefighter simply because it’s the best and only option available. You absolutely don’t want a disagreement to escalate to the point that it will spoil the entire vacation.

Don’t forget the gifts

Everyone loves surprises, don’t they? So whether it’s just a water balloon, take it along. They make everyone happy. And that’s what you want in the end, right?

In the end, it’s not the food you ate or the clothes that you wore or the attractions that you visited that matter. All that truly matters is the laughs you had and the moments you shared so if you’ve been lucky enough to be part of a family vacation, then cherish it with all your heart and if you feel that you simply cannot survive a family vacation, then we hope you’ve changed your mind after reading this article.

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Freelance writer by profession, travel and shopping aficionado, vintage stuff hoarder, absolute cricket fanatic and hopeless day dreamer, Afra is a 20-something obsessed with a multitude of things. When she's not writing, scrolling endlessly on Tumblr or obsessing with what to eat next, you'll find her nose buried in a novel or hands stained with water paints.

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