At some point in almost every marriage there will come a day when the family decides to vacation together. Whether with one set of parents or two, this can be both a fun and a stressful undertaking. Taking the right steps before leaving your home can make a big difference in how the vacation proceeds and how well everyone gets along.
Planning is Essential While this is the case, planning in the wrong way can lead to frustrations and hurt feelings. Don’t try to create the vacation agenda completely on your own and don’t dump the project on just one other person. This should be a shared task and each member of the group should have some input. Keep in mind that not all activities have to be done by the whole group. Allow for this in the planning. That also means understanding if not all members of the group want to participate in the things that most excite you.
Expect Some Financial Tension One of the most common occurrences in large family vacations is awkwardness over money. It is rare that all involved participants will have the same financial status at the time of the trip. This makes it easier for some to go off agenda than others. Be prepared for and discuss what the protocol will be when these awkward financial matters arise. It might be an uncomfortable conversation now, but it will avoid similarly stressful situations surrounding “who pays for what” while you’re on your group getaway.
Let History be Your Guide Are you unsure of what to expect while vacationing with the in-laws? Then, ask. Look at old photo albums together or ask your spouse to tell you stories of past excursions. These little insights will likely provide you a better understanding of what is being expected by the other members of your extended family. For instance, if all the best memories from your husband’s family trips are centered around adventures, you might want to plan something like white water rafting or deep sea fishing to ensure that they’ll all be satisfied with the trip.
Plan for Personal Time Even while on vacation, you will more than likely need an escape when traveling with others. It’s a good idea to pack a book, some of your favorite music, magazines, or some other form of personal entertainment, which can be enjoyed when you need to get away from the group. Also consider scheduling time on your itinerary for couples to go off on their own and enjoy some private time. After all, this is your time to be away from the stresses of life and you will likely want to spend a few of those special moments alone with your spouse.
Have you been on a vacation with your in-laws? How did it go? Are there any tips you’d share with our readers to help them avoid potential pitfalls?