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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

I have a treasure chest of memories from family vacations that go from horrific to the magnificent. I have a rather rambunctious family of two brothers and two somewhat normal parents, but when we are all together for an inordinate amount of time trouble always stirs.

We get sick of each other if we have to be in contained spaces for too long, sit and chat through long car rides or sit next to each other on airplanes. Everyone needs their space and I found this especially true when travelling with my parents over the last few summer vacations as a young adult.

We are millennials, we seek adventure and freedom in every corner of our lives. We gladly take the opportunity of a trip funded by our parents, but feel slightly guilty about it once we start feeling the tinges of annoyance that start coming into play about three days into the journey.

If you are like me, you will need time to explore by yourself, but you want to find a nice way to tell your parents “I just need to be alone and explore” without sounding like a hormonal teenager. Finding a way to not sound ungrateful for the experiences that your parents are providing can sometimes prove to be difficult.

Over the years I have found that there are a few ways to find solace in my travels while putting some space between my parents and me as we travel to new places and old.

Typically, my parents don’t plan days ahead of time, but simply make a list of things to accomplish over the course of the vacation. Day by day we pick what to conquer on the list and the list tends to include museums, parks to walk through and a must see restaurant.

With all the walking and going from here to there with your parents tension can rise and inevitably it does. The best way to avoid the stress that builds through these activities is to find a new sort of activity that puts you all out of your element.

A wine tasting or a surfing lesson could be ideal opportunities to add excitement into the journey so that you aren’t bored. By trying new things as a family you can bond more than you can by staring at the fourth Monet that graces a museum wall.

Another idea to ease tensions when traveling with your parents could be simply to slip away for an afternoon. Spend the morning with your parents; eat breakfast and visit the local park with them, but tell them you want to pick up some souvenirs for your friends and you will be back in a couple hours.

You can refresh yourself and walk around the city you are visiting. Maybe pick up some souvenirs along the way, but really take the opportunity to explore and enjoy the local atmosphere. You will return to your parents refreshed and ready to face the next family dinner with your parents and family.

Adding some spice to what can sometimes turn into a bland family vacation can help you a lot along the way. By adding some wine to dinner you can also alleviate the tensions that built up along the days travels.

Go out and go to a local restaurant and pick one of the local wines to try with your parents. If your parents are like mine there will be a few more laughs at the dinner table after a glass of wine. Who doesn’t enjoy the rosy cheeks from red wine after a long adventurous day with your family?

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I have had to endure many nights sharing beds in hotel rooms with my family and fighting with them because tensions ran high.

Learning what I have over the years of traveling I think my family adventures have improved 5x fold. My treasure chest of memories holds no regrets, does yours? 

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