Ahh, the family holiday; a time to road trip, reconnoitre and relax.... YEAH RIGHT! We've all been there, and as much as we love the life long memories of adventure these trips will undoubtedly leave us with, they are not the easiest of experiences. You can forget personal space and you may want to reevaluate your threshold on 'family banter' because believe me, you've got to have some serious strength to withstand the 7am rises on top of jet lag on top of arguments on top of rude waiters without at least 12 nervous breakdowns. Minimum. But never fear because where there's a will, there's a way and where there is a case study of a highly eclectic group of road trippin' Brits, I can pass down a few top tips on how to survive the family holiday. (WARNING: results may vary.)
So, here we go...
Keep up with the Zzz's
Yeah, so you might miss a once in a lifetime view of the Great Wall of China or a rare breed of whale sighting, but the freshly rested you that is less argumentative, more pleasant and significantly more cognitively alert will be worth it right? After all, it is called beauty sleep for a reason!
Keep fresh and active
All those lazy people out there that means you too! Holidays are for relaxing but whether it's a stroll in the park or a full on family Kayla style work-out, those crazy endorphins can do wonders to both your physical and mental well being, especially if you've been cooped up and strapped into a stifling minibus for the past 8 hours! Breathe in that foreign air and move that body.
Keep your cool
Speaking of stifling minibuses, a key component of maintaining the homeostasis of a family holiday is being able to keep cool, in both senses of the word...
Deep fried tarantula, kiwi on a stick, Clamato juice (yes that is drink made from tomato and clam broth) . Sampling the local cuisine is all part of the holiday experience but be careful because it's the fine balance between low blood sugar and practically rolling around from restaurant to restaurant that can make or break a holiday, so perhaps a bit of forward planning and discussion can help keep everyone's tastes and tummies happy. However I appreciate how difficult it is to please everybody all the time, especially when deciding upon a dining location. In my opinion, taking it in turns to chose is the best way around this but doesn't always bode well...
...which brings me onto my next point....
Sure restaurants are great and often a nice easy option, but it seems every restaurant has stress hidden on their menu somewhere, not to mention eating out is expensive! So it's time to grab the lunch boxes (and half the free breakfast buffet), and pack them full, Lunch Money Lewis style! Not only will this save you money and the stress of choosing where to eat, but it's a quick fix that gives you loads more time to see those sights!
..and that doesn't just mean to yourself.
"The wise old owl sat in a tree, the less he spoke, the more he could see. The less he spoke, the more he heard. We should all be more like that wise old bird."
I bet the owl had great family holidays.
Don't get bossy
It's a vacation, not a dictatorship. Look, no one likes a holiday Hitler, so simmer down bossy Barbara-It's not like anyone is following your orders anyway.
Keep the team spirit
"We're all in this together" -and no better lesson was ever learned from High School Musical. (matching t-shirts optional, but advised).
...leading us nicely to tip number 9...
As much as you hate your entire family, beware of stranger danger. In unfamiliar territory, that little wonder off could get you more lost than Orson Hodge in Primark, or worse you might end up being the feature of the latest 'based on a true story' horror film, (or like ceej who experienced an unfortunate encounter with a bearded stranger outside Walmart...)
Find less conflicting ways to vent your anger
It's all too easy to vent out that angry jet lag vibe on your poor (not so innocent) family members, but unless you want bad blood and grudgy retaliation, I suggest you find ways that work for you to vent those stresses, such as 'statue wrestling' (as shown above).
Yoga is ALWAYS a good idea
From simple breathing exercises, to complex scissored crows don't be afraid to whack out the moves at any opportunity so you can utilise the wisdom of your third eye and set your affirmations for the day. Get the vinyassa flow and let the stresses go.
And finally, if all else fails.......
Dress to impress!
Even if you feel ugly on the inside, at least you look FABULOUS!
The world is your catwalk, so STRUT YOUR STUFF!