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Vacationing With Family: Dos and Don’ts

- Alex

Traveling with extended family is not always easy. Somebody always disagrees, and people usually have separate agendas. However, “me and my cousin [Lindsay]” (to quote that catchy Vampire Weekend song) have spent many summers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts learning how to get along and actually have fun with up to thirteen other family members. How do we accomplish this yearly task? Here are a few dos and don’ts for making family time tolerable and enjoyable.


  • Separate once in a while, but make sure there is time for family activities.  For example, the group might want to split up during the day, but all regroup for dinner.
  • Know your limits. Don’t let your squirrely little cousin get under your skin.  Avoid these parasitic creatures to prevent emotional explosions.
  • Do give in once in a while.  Variety is the spice of life, and after all…it’s everybody’s vacation.


  • Forgive and forget.  Families are notorious busters, but to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable time, don’t hold any grudges.
  • Don’t assume that parents are the same people they are at home.  Adults can be orbs of stress at home, but when relaxing and rejuvenating they can be surprisingly laid back.
  • Don’t have a teenage attitude. Suck it up and have fun.

This is our tenth year vacationing as a group of 8-13 people in Cape Cod. All in all, be flexible to your family members and open up to their idiosyncrasies.  In doing so, you’ll establish bonds and memories that last a lifetime.




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