Vacations with extended family are usually great. They provide you with opportunities to bond with your cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, and everyone leaves closer and happier. Well, at least that is what the hope is. Inevitably, when you spend an extended amount of time with your family, people are bound to get into arguments. From someone having one too many glasses of wine, to someone else changing the television channel right when grandpa is about to watch Phil Mickelson sink a birdie, fights are bound to happen. Here are 14 topics and actions you should avoid if you want to try to keep the peace on your next family vacation.
1. The Drunk Duel
This one is usually the most explosive, and the most sloppy. The drunk fight usually happens mere hours before bed time, and is the result of a family member getting a little too happy at happy hour. They began their day with a mimosa at brunch, drank beers on the beach, and polished off half a bottle of vino at dinner. They are tired, irritable, and their kid/parent has said one too many things to annoy them. Bang. The fight starts. It will most likely end in one of two ways: 1. They will cry, puke, go to bed, and wake up the next morning full of regret and a killer migraine. 2. They will not back down, and the fight will end up with drunk vindication, and everyone else will secretly resent them the next morning.
2. The Shower Squabble
When you have eight to 10 people living in a tighter space than usual, there are things that have to happen differently than usual, and showering is definitely one of them. The shower fight will inevitably happen between sisters or cousins, and is a battle for hot water and the good pressure. There will be screaming, possibly splashing, and will no doubt result in a wet bathroom floor and cold showers for half of the family.
3. The Sunscreen Scrap
When on a tropical vacation sunscreen can be a sensitive topic. The kids don't want to wear it, but the parents can't seem to get enough of it, which is always grounds to begin a fight. As the kids lay in their lounges and take naps, the parents sneak up bearing dual bottles of Neutrogena S.P.F. 70, and spray it all over. Not only will people find this extremely annoying, but it usually results in a blotchy sun burn. This leads to an irritable teen, and an indignant parent, which no doubt will end in a slightly painful fight.
4. The Dinner Dispute
When it comes to making dinner reservations, nobody is ever on the same page. First, you agree on sea food, but realize your cousin is allergic to shell fish. Than you want to go to a Mexican restaurant, but that is vetoed because grandma does not like spicy food. This cycle is perpetuated for hours, and tempers begin to flare up. Eventually, your fam will end up at the same Greek diner you always go to, however the decision that got you there was not an easy one.
5. The Pool or Beach Brawl
The most important part of family vacations is that everyone spends time together right? So, we all have to go to either the pool or the beach. It can't be both, and the fam can't split up, so another important decision has to be made. Well, clearly decision making in these situations never ends up well, and there will surely be another fight.
6. The Selfie Sparring Match
Everyone has those cousins who need to take 100 pictures of themselves every time they order a piña colada, or take a dip in the hot tub (they know who they are). Grandma, and Grandpa definitely will never understand why kids nowadays need to constantly be on their iPhones, and will make an insensitive remark about how narcissism is running rampant in throughout our generation. This will not be taken the right way, and a fight will burst onto the scene faster than your cousins snap story can be uploaded.
7. The Designated Driver Debacle
When everyone is of a certain age imbibing in an alcoholic beverage time and time again is a great part of vacation. However, when you are out to dinner with the family, and someone has to be sober enough to drive home the kids, choosing a dd can lead to a tiff. No one really wants to hand over their night of fun, so either a mature individual will step up to the plate, or everyone will go on strike until someone is yelled into submission.
8. The Clothing Conflict
Clothes on family vacation can start fights in one of two ways: 1. You borrow your brother, sister, or cousins outfit without permission, and they are not happy about it. 2. Your new romper does not quite cover your entire derrière and your mom, aunt, grandma, or all three, are not pleased.
9. The Board Game Bout
Playing board games are one of the greatest parts of family vacations, however when your family airs on the side of competition, a fight is inevitable. Someone will accuse you of putting down more than one word choice in Scategories (which is totally NOT cheating btw), or your cousin will start pocketing five hundreds in Monopoly. Both lead to anger, confusion, accusations, and a game of fun cut short by the shedding of either blood or tears (or both, who knows?).
10. The Music Melee
Not everyone always likes the same music, but you have to admit: it does get annoying when your uncle refuses to change the radio station from country fm. This will lead to squabbles over control of the aux chord, and possible a broken finger or two.
11. The Television Tussle
Again, not everyone likes the same TV shows, but it can get annoying when the only thing ever on is "Blue Bloods" (sorry, Grandma). This will lead to anger, and brawls over the control of the remote.
So, there you have it. My advice to you for family vacations is to take it easy. Remember that although you can't pick your family, no one will ever have your back the way they always have. Keep in mind all of the good times, and remind yourself that you are lucky to be relaxing with so many of your favorite (most of the time) people.