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Given the success of the hugely popular post How To Travel as a Couple: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, I thought I’d address how to travel with your family, without actually wanting to strangle them!
Travelling with your family is like downing a week-long cocktail of opinions, personalities and historic sibling angst. Someone’s bound to come along and set that rocket-fuel alight. So take three deeps breaths, pop the Valium and channel your best mediation skills, because your gonna have to suck it up.
I recently went on a holiday to Croatia and Austria with my Father and Brother and I’m here to tell you that, in the words of OK Go, all is not lost in the elusive family VS travel saga. It is possible to enjoy a trip with your fam-bam, just as long as you know how to manage it all when things go awry!
How To Travel With Your Family
1. Pack Light To Minimise The Whining
Remember the time you took 30kg and two carry-ons for a Fiji weekender? Yeah…no, now is not the time to pack your entire closet! When it comes to family holidays and baggage handling, it’s every (wo)man for themselves. There’s no special treatment. There’s no special person pushing the trolley with five bags piled on top. And if everyone packs light, transit time will be a blissfully quiet experience.
2. Stay in Central Apartments or Houses
Avoiding hotels is a must when you’re a large family travelling together. Squabbles occur when you’re living on top of each other, and fully self-contained apartments or houses give everyone breathing space (not to mention their own rooms) where hotels do not. Plus you’ve got the added bonus of staying on a centrally located street, a place where family members can meander home whenever they feel like a nap. Because nap-time is important.
3. Get Multiple Keys For Said Central Apartments or Houses
Following on the from the above, nobody wants to be walking the streets of Paris with a tired, shitty sibling who just wants to go home to nap but can’t because your other sibling took the only, solitary key with her to check-out the Louvre. Get multiple keys. Seriously. Your ears will thank you for it.
4. Red Wine Is A Good Mediator
Um, when is it not? It’s also good for lunch, afternoon-tea, dinner, drowning out the incessant noise of others and de-stressing after a long day walking the streets. Wine is pretty much the backbone of a good family holiday. And besides, it’s a health food, so it’s okay to drink every day.
5. Compromise, Compromise, Compromise
At the risk of sounding all Modern Family on your asses, a good old family pre-trip strategy sesh can go a long way in keeping the peace on the road. Try to get everyone’s buy-in when in comes to planning activities, or at the very least, get each member to choose something they want the family to experience as a group and do one of these activities each day.
6. When In Doubt, Jenga
Along with wine, the game of Jenga is a good stress-reliever. But when you’ve got red wine and Jenga happening at the same time, well, the clichéd family-bonding is unstoppable. And that’s what you’re all on holiday for, right? It sure as hell isn’t the all-you-can-eat-buffets!