Hi, I am an Indian girl in her 20s, and I travel with my family once every year. Not just my mom or my sibling, but my entire family. And contrary to what Sooraj Barjatya painted on the screens in 1990s, it’s not hum saath saath hain affair. Family vacations are amazing when you are a pre-teen or a teenager. You meet your cousins, you get pampered by all family elders and you have two-three days of freedom to eat what you want and do what you want. We cousins used to climb trees, swim in ponds and mud pools and everyone used to laugh out loud at our expense. Ah, good times! However, I have grown up and so have my cousins. And now, a family vacation is like a tradition we can’t shake off.
If you come from a similar sentiment, and if you dread family vacations too, read on to know how you can end up not only surviving them, but also enjoying them. Because, let’s face it, we may hate them, but we do love our families. We may not be hum saath saath hain but we definitely are a family!
Book separate rooms
The urge to spend a family vacation in a villa where everyone can chat up whenever they want maybe strong, but it also comes with a serious lack of privacy. Booking hotel rooms is your way to escape the madness, even if for only an hour or so. But look for a hotel that has a common hangout spot, a poolside or a nearby park, where the family members who do want to hang out together 24/7 can chill easily.
Yes, this may seem like a weird way to survive a family vacation but trust me, pictures are the best way to keep everyone smiling and happy. Clicking pictures is a great way to document your vacation and it keeps people occupied. From your 70 year old grandma to your seven year old cousin, everyone is involved and nobody feels left out.
Don’t ban TV/Wi-Fi
The best way to enjoy a family vacation is to actually consider everyone’s needs and try to cater to them. These days, our parents are more on WhatsApp and Facebook than us and our teenager cousins are constantly posting to maintain their Snapchat streaks! It’s okay. It’s not that bad. It is actually a blessing in disguise. By letting people be on social media helps them keep occupied and frees you up from constant entertaining. Also, toddlers and pre-teens these days need their TV. Dedicate a few hours a day when no body is allowed to use WiFi or watch TV but don’t completely ban it.
Take responsibility and adjust your expectations
It’s necessary to contribute towards the vacation with more than just your existence. We are the internet generation, we know how to navigate Google so our parents assume that we are the perfect travel planners! It’s okay. Take that responsibility and own it. Do whatever you can to ensure that the trip is as flawless as possible. But on the other hand, be prepared to be disappointed. Yes, you wanted to go hike in the nearby hills but you know your 12 year old cousin can’t do it. So it’s okay, adjust, and think up of something else that involves everyone. Don’t let roadblocks be deal breakers.
Give time to yourself
You can be a mother, a daughter-in-law, an overworked uncle, or whoever, vacation means the same thing for almost everyone - time-off! Take that into consideration, and outline that at the beginning of the vacation only. You might offend a phuphaji or a mamaji, but it’s okay. If you don’t devote a few hours a day to yourself, you will end up hating your entire family. So try and explain this to everyone, encourage others to do the same and just go chill for a few minutes (if possible even a couple of hours) each day and come back with a renewed sense of tackling this mammoth experience called a ‘family vacation’.
These pointers may look very generic or something you already ‘know’ but trust me, if you actually sit down, plan and apply these small tactics, your family vacation will actually be a vacation and not an undocumented torture.
Have you ever taken a family vacation? Share your thoughts on the same at Tripoto today!