"Personally, I find extended-family vacations -- and traveling with friends and their families -- very stressful. We always end up in a big house with everyone getting on each others' nerves. The kids fight, and the adults usually need a 'real' vacation by the end of the trip. But, you know what? Somehow, we all get together and do it all over again the next year -- because in between all the stress, there are always great memories made and wonderful pictures to remember them by ... and each trip starts with high expectations." -- Betty
"I would rather opt for a vasectomy without anesthesia over vacationing with family members." -- John
If those comments made you wince, there's hope. Check out the suggestions offered by the author for more smooth sailing:
Tips for a Stress-Free Trip with Extended Family
Goal: To enjoy intergenerational and extended-family trips, while avoiding irritations and conflicts
Strategies: Plan ahead on how to handle the following:
Different expectations -- bicycling, beach time, hiking, tennis, water park, movies, rocking on the porch, naps, outlet shopping or just whatever the group is doing
Different tastes -- eating out or cooking in? Eating early or later? Different eating shifts?
Bed times -- kids and adults
Same condo/house/hotel -- or separate living spaces
Group activities/individual activities
And I would add some alone time -- whatever that looks like for you -- to that list. Solitude is a wonderful soul balm. And it doesn't take a lot to restore peace.
Linda Arnold, MBA, is a certified wellness instructor and chairwoman/CEO of The Arnold Agency, a marketing communications firm specializing in advertising, public relations, government relations and interactive media. Reader comments are welcome and may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or emailed to livelifefu...@arnoldagency.com.