Spending extra time with the family is pretty much a given over the summer. Whether that’s babysitting your younger sibling, family birthdays and barbeques or a big trip away, you are almost definitely going to be spending more time with them over the next few weeks than you do when you are in school or uni. We know this isn’t always easy, and spending so much time with the fam can be a recipe for disaster. That’s why we came up with a bunch of helpful tips and tricks to making it to the other side of your family holiday in one piece, and without a huge bust-up.
1) Have a travel plan
Have a bit of an idea of what you are gonna do for the journey. It’s a good idea to have a rough idea of how long it will take beforehand, how many bathroom stops there will be etc. That way you can plan for snacks, the toilet, how many movies and TV shows you might need to download and what music to take. There is nothing worse than boredom for starting arguments so make sure you have plenty to keep you entertained.
2) Take headphones for when you need them…
Sometimes, you just need to block out the world, and sometimes the world is your younger brother who won’t shut up about needing to pee. In the event that you think you might snap back, get your favourite playlist on and grab a book. Have a few chill playlists ready to go, and soon you’ll be feeling like the world’s best sibling for keeping a lid on it.
3) …but be present when you don’t
There probably isn’t anything that will make your parents mad quicker than you using your headphones all the time. When you’ve had your moment of chill time with the musical revelation that is ‘Panini’, get back to having a bit of fun with everyone else.
4) Take a list of food ideas with you if you can
This is especially a great idea if you are all heading to a villa where you will probably have to find a few local restaurants to keep you fed and watered. Try TripAdvisor for recommendations and places that will cater to any dietary needs for the trip. That way, there is no last-minute panic over the fact that there is no vegetarian option for your sister or whatever.
5) When you get there, find somewhere you can have a bit of alone time
No matter if you are going camping in Cornwall, a cottage in Scotland or a villa in Spain, find a little space you can chill out by yourself or where you and your siblings can spend a bit of time away from the parents.
6) And if things get snappy, go there for a bit
A little bit of space can work wonders in the event of an oncoming argument. If you feel like you might say something you regret, take yourself out of the situation and head to your own space for a bit. Hopefully, the distance between you and whoever you aren’t agreeing with will mean when you see each other again, all is forgotten.
7) Try not to take things too seriously
On holiday, everyone is having a relaxed and fun time. This means usually that everyone might make fun of each other a bit more, or have a bit more of a joke around than usual. If this is the case, try not to take anything too seriously. If there is anything that you don’t want being joked about, explain before you go. That way, everyone knows what might upset you.
8) Have some excursion ideas at the ready
Do a little research before you go, and have a few possible plans for days out that will please the whole family. Or why not suggest a planning evening before you head off so everyone can say what they want to do and when they want to go? That way, everyone gets a fair say before you jet off and, trust us, it will save a lot of arguments.
9) Let your parents have a bit of time alone
Whilst it is easy to feel like the holiday is all about giving you a break, remember that this your parents holiday for the year as well. Make sure to give them a bit of time to chill out and have fun together, and try not to feel like it’s leaving you out. They deserve to have a holiday as much as you do, and for them that probably means having a few more moments to themselves than usual.
10) Try and budget for yourself
Money is a tricky thing, especially in families. Try and budget for yourself and take a bit of your own money to spend on souvenirs and snacks. Try and manage your own money over the break and encourage your siblings to do it too. Not only is it great practice for life in general, but your parents will probably be pretty happy about it. It might also be a good idea to let them know you are doing this, and if they are wanting to give you and your siblings money, that you want to same amount each.
11) Try not to care what everyone else thinks
We all have families that can be a bit embarrassing every once in a while. But by being present in the moment with them, and just having fun, you might find you notice it a lot less and instead it’s all just a good time. The thing with feeling embarrassed is that we think everyone is looking at us. Well, plot twist, chances are no one is! Plus, the odds are that you will never see any of the people that you meet on holiday ever again, so does it really matter that they saw your Dad go flying off the back of a banana boat or your Mum’s karaoke extravaganza? Not really.
If you have a question about dealing with your family, or need someone to talk to, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.