Traveling With Your In Laws - A Survival Guide
Let's be honest, traveling with family can be.. ahem.. challenging. But, when that family is not your own, it can be down-right awkward. Specifically, I'm referring to traveling with your in-laws, or boyfriend/girlfriend's family. Having to be 'on' may even start to feel like it's not a vacation for you anymore.
While I have a great relationship with my in-laws and travel with them on the reg, that's really come from years of practice and picking up a few tips from others along the way. Below is a pic from our most recent trip with Mike's fam!
Here's some pieces of advice for traveling with your in-laws:
Plan Some Alone Time
Seems obvious, right? But you'd be surprised how easy it is to get caught up in the family agenda if you don't speak up and set aside some time for yourselves. It's perfectly kosher (and necessary for your sanity) to have a fraction of time to yourselves especially if you're all staying under the same roof. For a 2-3 day trip, consider having at least an evening and/or morning to yourself. For a longer trip, it's perfectly acceptable to ask for a full day or two alone. His/her fam may actually appreciate the time apart too.
Pick Up The Check
Woaaa! Before you have a cow, I'm not recommending you pay for the whole trip - that's just cray. BUT, if you're looking to stay/get on the parentals good side, pick up the tab for dinner, breakfast, or even just ice cream or something. It's a gesture that really goes a long way, and will make asking for time alone go much more smoothly.
Clean Up After Yourself
You would think this would go without saying, but it's easy to lose sight of our usually organized selves and go hog wild with dirty dishes and clothes lying around everywhere when you're on vacation. I totally get it. Pull your big girl panties up and pick up after yourself. Help his (or her) mom with the dishes or cooking breakfast in the morning. Trust me, it'll help you from getting on anyone's hairy side!
Speak Up On Your Non-Negotiables
If there's something that is really important to you, and you don't want to miss it, be sure to let the family know that ahead of time. You don't want to seem like a high-maintenance traveler when you're pulling everyone away from the chocolate factory tour to go see a photography exhibit. If it's important to you, you should definitely do it, but speak up before the trip so that the others can plan accordingly!
Consider Staying Separately
Sure, it is much more convenient and budget-friendly to stay together as one big happy family. It's also much more challenging. That spacious 7 bedroom cottage can feel like the size of an outhouse once you've been stuck together for a few days, even if you and your honey do have your own room. Staying in a separate house or hotel will allow you some space if you need it. Plus, you'll have a much easier time dodging things you don't want to attend if you're in a different area.
There will be those times where it will take longer to get somewhere because you're traveling in a group. Just be prepared ahead of time that this is inevitable and go with the flow! Having an attitude about it, or worse yet, taking it out on your significant other will only heighten an already tense situation, so slow your role and remember
Have a tip for traveling with your in-laws? Please share it with us below!