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Avoiding conflict on a family vacation would seem easy. You’re at the beach or on a beautiful trip, everybody should be happy. But unfortunately, family vacations can sometimes bring out the worst in everyone. You’re often cooped up in a smaller area than usual, and if you have small children, it can be more stressful than being at home. However, it’s important to try and make the most of it so you can enjoy yourself and make special memories. Anticipate that there will be problems. Take breaks when you can and when you need to. Try to let everybody have a say in something. And finally, bring along secret weapons to help you get through the inevitable arguments. Hopefully, you’ll have a great trip and create some beautiful memories together as a family.

Avoiding Conflict on Family Vacation: Having Fun Despite the Chaos

Expect Problems

Avoiding conflict on family vacation starts with anticipating that there will be issues. Things will go wrong. It is simply inevitable that a few things might go off-plan. Your car could break down, the weather could be terrible, the kids might get sick. Going into it with the expectation that things won’t always go to plan can help you stay calmer at the moment. If you need to arrive at a certain time, give yourself plenty of time to get there.

Take Breaks

Another way of avoiding conflict on a family vacation is to take breaks. It can be difficult to find time for yourself on vacation. Especially if you have young children. They often don’t want to take naps or enjoy downtime the way that adults do. Try to switch off child-care with your partner and give each other a break of a half-hour or so at least once a day. The time that you can have all to yourself to relax.

Let Everybody Have a Say

Avoiding conflict on a family vacation is easier when you let everybody have a say in something. Before you leave for the vacation, ask each family member to pick one thing that is important to them on the trip, and try to accommodate. For example, one child might really want to play a round of put-put while you’re at the beach. Or have a favorite restaurant that they want to eat at. Letting your children make a few decisions here and there lets them know that you value their opinion.

Bring Secret Weapons

Finally, it’s always best to bring secret weapons when avoiding conflict on a family vacation. There might be a rainy day where the beach just isn’t a possibility. Or the kids could all catch a stomach bug that keeps them in bed all day. It can often be helpful if you bring along a special toy for each to use in case of an emergency. For a long flight, consider a hand-held electronic game. Or a lego set they can work together to build. Even just a new book can help a long car ride go a little smoother.

Avoiding conflict on a family vacation is sometimes easier said than done. Although you will have tons of fun on your vacation, it can often lead to tantrums and blowups. Being out of your comfort zone of being home, having highly excited kids, and being cramped in a smaller space can bring out the worst in everybody. Try to anticipate that things will not always go as planned. Take small breaks when you need them. Try to let everybody pick at least one fun thing to do on vacation. And finally, as a last resort, pack a few new toys or activities in case you need a rainy-day boredom buster. And of course, try to find the silver lining. Your worst day on vacation is still better than being at the office, right? Try to enjoy the vacation and create some special lasting memories with your family.