Unless you belong to an unconventional clan such as the Addams/Sopranos, I doubt you’re super excited about that impending family holiday. It is possible to enjoy it, though! You just need some coping strategies. Here is our ultimate survival guide…
Take A Trip Within The Trip
It’s easy to feel smothered on a family holiday, especially when you’re accustomed to cooking your own meals, cleaning your own apartment and generally being a badass adult.
If you’re keen to avoid an onset of Stockholm Syndrome/your parents’ passive aggressive marital tensions, taking a mini trip of your own, outside the holiday compound, is a great way to grab a little breathing space.
Research the area you’re going to before you get there, so you can pre-plan your independent jaunt. Pick some sights you really want to see and make travel arrangements so you can hit the ground running. Having time set aside to do things that interest you, under your own steam, can help you re-centre and diffuse stress.
Bring Good Company
We know how it goes during family rows. People take sides, there’s shouting and crying and no one’s particularly happy. Kind of like a nightclub at closing time. Bringing a friend/living buffer is a smart way to ensure a relatively smooth family holiday.
It’s the classic scenario: a bunch of baddies are up to no good, then suddenly an outsider walks past. The baddies quickly stop what they’re doing, hands behind their backs, feigning nonchalance. See where we’re going with this?
Everyone will be on their best behaviour if your friend’s in tow. Oh, and you’ll have one of your favourite humans to go out and have fun with. Genius.
Download A Load Of Netflix/Bring Books
Never, never assume there’ll be WiFi. The hotel/villa website may say there’ll be WiFi, your parents may promise WiFi, the stars may spell out the word WiFi in the night sky, but never assume. Things can go wrong. Donald Trump is Leader of the Free World…shudder.
Enter your ole pal, the download button. If you’ve downloaded hours of entertainment gold on Netflix/iPlayer/etc, the WiFi gods can’t stop your Rick and Morty + mojito drinking marathon. And books! Trashy holiday reads, greasy with tanning oil, the pages baked in the heat, the plot as predictable as the sun rising over the resort palms…holiday heaven.
Netflix binging/reading = family holiday sanity generators.
Connect To Life Outside
Unless you’re staying on a farm in rural Southern Italy, it’s hard to avoid connecting with the outside world via the web. Whilst it’s healthy to take a break from internet buzz, intermittently checking in can be a lifesaver when marooned on a family holiday.
Why do you think cults end up becoming so freaky? Because people spending every waking moment together can lead to seriously weird shit going down! That’s why it’s good to stay in contact with your friends and life back home.
Whether it’s posting some pics of your trip on Instagram or checking out the latest inflammatory tweet, having contact with other voices and minds can help maintain your sanity.
Treasure Time With Loved Ones
As much as your family can drive you insane, going on holiday with them once you hit adulthood can be a really special experience. You’re now old enough to know your parents are just people, like you, making it up as they go along. You can joke about the cost of petrol, politics – all those banal things grown-ups like to talk about. You can relate to each other a little!
Obviously, you need to respect one another’s boundaries. But a few weeks somewhere beautiful, spending time with your loved ones, becomes more and more of a precious thing as the years roll by.
Make some new memories. Fun meals out, lilo racing, hire car fiascos…this is what life’s all about.