For the past week or so, my family has finally come to Europe to visit me after the end of my semester abroad. I have missed them more than I ever imagined, and being homesick was a complete shock to me, as I'm used to being away from home during the school year.
Although I have enjoyed our time together, I can't help but feel overwhelmed with the constant questions and family bonding. I have compiled the following list to help others survive family vacations.
1. Bring headphones
I always have my headphones with me just to be prepared. Music always helps me when I'm stressed out to the max or needing space from the inescapable four-hour car ride across Ireland. Obviously, don't be rude and listen to music the whole time you're with your family, but when you have downtime in between activities, taking some time to yourself is always nice.
2. Have snacks
Everyone knows that when traveling with a group, at least one individual ends up getting "hangry" at some point. Having some backup snacks is always a life saver, especially when you're trapped with people for long periods of time.
3. Play card games
Well, don't play cards while someone is driving, but maybe during some of the downtime. Playing cards or other games can help the time go by and be a distraction.
4. Book tourist attractions in advance
Planning most of your activities in advance helps decrease the amount of stress. With excursions and events already booked, you will already have an idea of what to do without so much waiting time in between. It can also lead to less confusion.
Taking naps during a family trip is something to definitely consider. It gives you a break from all the commotion and allows you to gain the much-needed rest to avoid crankiness.
6. Learn to go with the flow
After traveling around Europe with my family, I've learned most of the time things do not go as originally planned. Though planning in advance is nice and can avoid confusion, there are moments where events don't always fall into place. In this case, being easy going and open to what is to come is the best attitude to have.
7. Offer to help out
What tends to happen on my family vacations is my parents end up planning and organizing the whole time. Now that I'm older and have had my own experience in planning trips while abroad, I now have more of an appreciation of the amount of work it takes to get a family trip to happen. Offering to help out can help lighten stressful times and decrease the pressure put on your parents.
Just seven helpful suggestions for those about to venture off with their families. Though your trip may be stressful or overwhelming, remember to appreciate the time you have left with those crazy blood relatives.