Family Vacations: Memories in the Making or Blood Bath?

Is including your entire family a dream or a nightmare?  For my family, it’s been a dream and we just had our fifth multi-generational family vacation.  This seems to be a trend that many others are starting to adopt.  My family started taking family vacations together 5 years ago when my parents asked that we all go on an Alaskan cruise for their 45th wedding anniversary. I was skeptical at first as some in the family had not been getting along and I feared someone would either jump overboard to escape or be pushed by a pissed off family member.  As it turned out everyone had a blast and before it was over we were planning our next family adventure.

We hadn’t been spending much time together for various reasons including geography.  We all have busy lives and were pretty much going our own way even during holidays but we totally reconnected during the Alaska trip.    We actually found that we had a lot of fun and even liked each other!

When you’re older, sometimes the only time family gets together is when someone dies or gets married which are usually very demanding and leave little time for really catching up. But on a vacation, everyone is relaxed and jovial, ready to get along.  For 10 days this summer we went to Colorado – this time for my parent’s 50th.  We included not only Grandma, but also several great friends.

The whole gang !

I got to spend quality time with my parents, grandmother, siblings, nieces and friends.  It was a perfect vacation. When we weren’t lazing about visiting, playing games, and eating (A LOT!), we were four-wheeling and white water rafting.  There is nothing better to get your mind off of the every day.  For one, the scenery is amazing.  For another, if you take your eyes or focus off of the path in front of you you’ll end up in the ditch, off the side of the mountain or high-centered on a rock.

My neices and I taking a break from 4-wheeling.

We have a pretty cool set up now too.  After the Alaska trip we decided we were going to try to do more family vacations.  To help finance it, several of us went in together to buy Grandma a new house a few years ago.  She pays us rent which goes directly to our family travel fund.  We add to the fund each year at Christmas instead of buying gifts for each other.    Now when we get together at Christmas we eat, drink, pow-wow about where we are going next and start making reservations.

For some, spending even one day with family members is hell on earth.  But for my family it’s not.   We appreciate our yearly vacation reconnection and are grateful that we enjoy each other’s company.  We’ve had some great trips – cruises to Alaska, the British Isles, the Mediterranean, and now a road trip to Colorado.  I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Susan

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2 responses to “Family Vacations: Memories in the Making or Blood Bath?

  1. I can’t spend 10 hours with my family, let alone 10 days!

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