Family vacations can be fantastic bonding experiences. Traveling to exciting locales, seeing interesting sights, and trying new things with your tribe can bring everyone closer together and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Unfortunately though, as is often the case when families spend a substantial amount of time together, vacations can quickly become hindered by passive-aggressiveness, crankiness and hurt feelings. The stresses of travel get taken out on each other!
Luckily, nipping these issues in the bud doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Families who want their next big trip to be free of conflict would be wise to heed the following pointers.
Keeping Family Vacations Conflict-Free
Make Sure Everyone is Happy with the Destination
If a member of your family is less than pleased with your choice of destination, they’re likely to spend a good portion of the trip making their displeasure known. This is particularly true in the case of children, who are seldom shy about voicing their opinions.
Even if the party in question isn’t outwardly hostile towards a destination with which they’re unhappy, they may show their disdain through sulking or passive-aggressiveness. Needless to say, this can put a damper on the entire trip.
One thoroughly displeased family member has the power to make a vacation unbearable for everyone else, so make sure the entire travel party is happy with the destination before proceeding to make bookings or arrangements
This means sitting everyone down well in advance of the trip and discussing prospective destinations. When deciding where to go, take care to stress the importance of compromise.
While you’re unlikely to find a destination with which everyone is 100% satisfied, the locale you select should be one that every member of your family is moderately enthusiastic about.
Book Comfortable Lodgings
During vacation, most families live in much closer quarters than they’re accustomed to. Unsurprisingly, cramming your entire crew into a single hotel room is a surefire recipe for conflict.
In an effort to minimize such issues, seek out lodgings that are spacious enough to comfortably accommodate your whole family. If your family isn’t constantly tripping over one another and has ample room to put their legs up, irritation is likely to remain at manageable levels.
Alternatively, if you’re traveling with older children, you may want to consider getting them their own room. After a certain age, sharing a room with one’s parents becomes awkward, and teens are sure to appreciate the additional level of freedom having their own room affords.
Fortunately for Niagara Falls-bound families, comfortable lodgings are abundant at virtually any Fallsview hotel.
Spend Time Apart
The adage “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is particularly applicable to family vacations. Even among close-knit families, familiarity can breed contempt, and since vacations require many families to spend a great deal of time together, there’s little wonder as to why trips are often hotbeds of conflict.
While spending time with loved ones is among the primary goals of most family vacations, this isn’t to say there aren’t limits. Temporarily breaking up into separate units and spending time apart is an effective way to stave off a wide assortment of disagreements among family members.
If you have older children (and they’re sufficiently trustworthy), consider letting them engage in certain activities on their own. Conversely, if your children are too young for this to be feasible, you and your partner should consider taking the kids on separate outings at various points throughout the trip.
Spending time apart can be particularly beneficial if your family members can’t agree on an itinerary. This way, everyone can be doing exactly what they want to be doing and no one has to feel as if they’re simply along for the ride.
A good family vacation is a truly fulfilling experience, however, for every successful family vacation, there are several less-than-ideal ones.
As anyone who’s embarked on enough trips with their family can attest, there’s no such thing as the perfect vacation. Still, this isn’t to say that you should throw in the towel and resign yourself to tension-fraught travel excursions.
If minimizing conflict and keeping your crew happy is among your foremost vacation priorities, put the measures discussed above to good use.