5 Tips for traveling with family; how to keep them from getting under your skin
Have you ever traveled with family and after the experience, you never wanted to again? Well, I have definitely experienced wanting to rip my hair out when roadtripping with my sisters or vacationing to the bahamas with my mom. It's funny how easily we can get sick of those people we love the most. However, after many years of grueling and complaining, I finally figured out some key tips that helped me not only endure my family, but made traveling with them enjoyable.
1. Go With The Flow
As basic as this old saying sounds, it actually works. Instead of trying to control the situation, I have found it much easier to kick back, relax, and go with the flow. Even if you know what is best in a certain situation, hold back from taking charge of the situation.
Have any of you experienced a time when you're with your family on the road, and they're all fighting about where to eat dinner? I used to give them my input, but over the years I realized it's much easier if you can simply go with the flow. In the end, eating at a restaurant that you may not prefer is way more worth it than bickering with the family. Simplify your options by downloading apps like yelp, that way you can recommend places to your family and can avoid waiting for their technology deprived decisions.
2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Have any of you ever read the book The Four Agreements? In this book, they discuss four agreements you can implement into your life for success and happiness, my favorite agreement being "Don't take anything personally".
Again, this sounds simple, but it's so effective. On your trip with your family, try to remember not to take anything personally, as everyone has their own unique opinions, emotions, and thoughts depending on the state they are in. Nothing others do or say is because of you, and when you can remain immune to the opinions and sometimes rude actions of your family, you won't be a victim to needless suffering. Once we are aware that everyone has their own position they are coming from, it is much easier to stay in a non-reactive state.
3. Share Photos on the Cloud to Avoid Fights
I don't know about you, but suddenly in this generation, taking pictures and sharing them can be a nightmare. Everybody wants their picture taken, with the right lighting, and the right angle. Sometimes I feel like people take vacations just for the sake of getting a good facebook picture. As sad as this might be, it is the reality, and in order to accommodate and satisfy everyone's needs, take my advice, and simplify.
Using the Cloud is easy to do, and it makes sharing photos easier for the family. Instead of taking a million pictures on 4 iphones, 2 androids, and the expensive Nikon camera, resort to taking one photo and then sharing them all later through the cloud.
4. Nominate Yourself As Direction Finder
I don't know about you, but my parents aren't exactly "tech-savvy". To put it more bluntly, they don't know what they're doing when it comes to their cell-phones. In the past, trying to find a destination resulted in a lot of fighting over who was "right" when it came to reading a map.
I know earlier I recommended to 'go with the flow', but if you approach this situation in the right way, you can still avoid drama. To solve this issue, I very sweetly request to be put in charge of finding directions. If you word this in the right way, ("I don't want to make you guys stress about directions, so I can do it if you want") usually they easily comply. Then, simply put in the next destination in your Maps, and voila, major arguments avoided!
5. Find Time to Separate
This last tip is absolutely essential. It's impossible to be with anybody for an extended period of time without getting sick of them. Find time throughout your trip to separate yourself, even if that means going on a short walk around the campground, or exploring by yourself through the city. These moments alone will let you collect your thoughts and sync back to your own rhythm. Even better, is that when you do see your family again, you will appreciate their presence more.