Think of a vacation you’ve taken with your family. What do you remember most? Hopefully, it’s not a big fight between siblings or parents. However, with the stress some individuals feel while traveling, it might not be surprising to hear about an awkward dinner or night in the hotel room because someone ruined the day.
Vacations are supposed to be an enjoyable time together free from family drama. Take precaution before a vacation and create a peaceful space in your mind dedicated to having a wholesome time. Here are some ways to make sure your next family vacation stays as peaceful and drama-free as possible.
Understand and Respect Boundaries
Are there specific topics that you prefer not to discuss? Do you know of a few buttons that if pushed will cause a catastrophic explosion? Maybe you have a few emotional buttons yourself that can be poked and prodded.
Set expectations and boundaries for each family member so everyone understands what might negatively affect someone else. Sometimes you just have to dance around the sensitive subjects in order to maintain neutrality. Also, empowering someone to say “I don’t want to talk about that right now” will mean a lot if the time comes up to use it.
Discuss Spending Ahead of Time
Money can be a heated topic for any family vacation. It’s best to discuss as much money related items as you can before setting sail to your breathtaking island resort. This can be anything from how much each person should save for meals if everyone is covering their dining expenses to souvenir allowances for children.
If everyone is covering their own cost, have conversations that include everyone when it comes to planning activities and where you’ll be eating out. This is an excellent opportunity for the group to have options if there’s a more expensive and less expensive option on the table.
Whenever everyone has an understanding of money matters on vacation, it will help limit most discussions around the topic. It is important to respect when someone chooses not to participate in any particular part of the trip if money is an issue. Ask if they’re alright if the rest of the group moves forward with that portion of the vacation or find a way that will accommodate them financially.
Plan Activities for Everyone
Everyone going on the vacation should have some input in activities to ensure all parties have something to enjoy and look forward to. This doesn’t mean that everybody has to participate in each event, but it should be encouraged for everyone to try it out.
It’s probably a good idea to check out some all-inclusive family package that have offerings for everyone to enjoy together and separately. All-inclusive resorts are some of the best options for finding fun time for mom and dad while the kids are enjoying supervised fun with activities put on by resort staff. There are even activities separated for younger children and teenage children, so there’s something that is appealing to everyone.
Avoid Compromising Situations
Whether it’s another family member or yourself, it’s good to be aware of certain situations that bring along a high chance of drama starting. For example, if someone’s hearing is sensitive to loud sounds, it’s probably not best to go to a rock concert altogether. Or maybe a particular member gets a bit belligerent if they’ve had too much of grandpa’s medicine.
Agree amongst each other to avoid these situations. Make sure there’s another option for the family member who doesn’t tolerate loud noise. Have a conversation about how many drinks is appropriate or avoid locations with alcohol altogether.
Know How to De-stress
If you have a routine that keeps you stress-free, do your best to continue the routine while on vacation. Reducing or eliminating stress is an excellent way to keep the drama level low. Let’s say working out is how you keep a level head. When picking where you’ll stay, see if there’s a gym on the property or nearby that you can use.
There might be a situation that is unexpected and can potentially cause some family drama. There are several methods to de-stress on a whim if needed, like taking a quick walk by yourself to think about a solution instead of blowing up in someone’s face. Being prepared to employ one or more of these methods may help keep family drama at bay because you have a plan for dealing with the unexpected if needed.
End the Day on a Positive Note
Does it make you feel good when someone shares a positive part of their day with you? Why not make it part of each day you’re on vacation. Before bedtime, gather together and share at least one positive thing from the day. What each person found positive about that day is personal, so it shouldn’t be compared to someone else’s answer.
This might be easier for some and more difficult for others, but it will help each family member see that even a mostly cruddy day can have a bright spot. A positive part of the day can be as simple as having a delicious meal or being able to call someone you miss back home.