You have been planning a trip with your friends since forever and it is only now that everyone has managed to coordinate leaves from work and agreed to a common destination. With kids and your spouses around, there will be more than one situation that can ruin your vacation.
We bring you some expert advice from Sonia Prades, a psychologist specialising in family relationships, on how to ensure that even with husband and kids tagging along, your holiday with friends is nothing but a lot of fun and good laughs.
Opt for old friends
It’s better to know each other well to avoid any unpleasant surprises, particularly if you’re travelling with children. By definition, living with others exacerbates differences and encourages comparisons. Prades advises that you accept rules, such as bedtime and sleeping rituals, are different from one family to another.
In terms of each couple, this type of vacation is only advisable when the relationship is in reasonably good shape, so that outbursts can be avoided.
Choose a location which respects everyone’s privacy
Waking up with a sleepy head, breakfast in your pajamas, sauntering around the pool in your swimsuit — the concept of privacy changes when you’re with a group on vacation. “It’s important to make sure there are enough rooms to respect everyone’s private time and avoid embarrassment,” notes Prades.
Return to your childhood
Having fun is the golden rule for a successful vacation with friends. “Being in a group has a regressive effect. Shared vacations are an opportunity to let your hair down and play. Parents can temporarily abandon their educational role and return to childhood,” explains Sonia Prades.
When the children are around, “responsibility can be handed over to the other adults.” Each of the adults can take their turn in this way, thus avoiding annoyance and frustration.
Let followers and leaders express their personalities
Everyone should find their natural place in the group to feel comfortable. A leader will remain a leader. They should be allowed to make suggestions, for example, and to lead the group, without being allowed to take over completely.
Others are more naturally “followers” who can be responsible for other tasks and take other initiatives. “You shouldn’t hesitate to split the group to make everyone happy,” advises Sonia Prades.
Split the bills as fairly as possible
Talking about money before you leave can prevent a whole lot of problems. “The best solution is to work out a fair split of major expenditure such as accommodation, transport and food.” Once you arrive, a joint fund could be set up for shopping and drinks, to which everyone contributes equally. Anything else is down to your own budget.
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