How to avoid holiday tension

A recent letter featured in the Telegraph tackled the tricky topic of how to avoid tension whilst holidaying with another family.

The Telegraphs relationship expert Sarah Abell highlighted certain ways of ensuring everyone enjoys themselves.

  • Before you go make sure both families have had the opportunity to discuss their expectations. Everyone wants different things from their holiday and whereas some may like to lay in the sun reading a good thriller others may want to go hiking up a mountain. If you all know where you stand you can ether decide to compromise and try each others activities or have a couple of days where you all do your own thing or both.
  • If you decide to compromise and try out each other activities then be gracious. Yes, perhaps an 8 mile trek in the blistering heat to a monastery on a hillside isn’t your cup of tea but don’t complain and watse your time wishing you were doing something else because quite frankly, no one likes a whiner! Also remember that there will be days when you will definitely be doing what you want.
  • In terms of eating arrangements agree on whats happening before you go. Perhaps your family are on a budget holiday and would prefer to cook from the villa/cottage/apartment etc and your friends have saved up some spending money for a week of no cooking luxury. This is fine as long as you make each other aware of your intentions. If children are involved take shared responsibility. Perhaps one couple could make the children a nice home cooked meal whilst the other enjoys a romantic night out alone and vice versa.
  • If you are on a budget make this clear from the beginning to avoid embarrassment in the future. You certainly won’t look back fondly on the holiday which saw you splitting an expensive dinner bill 50/50 when you ordered the cheapest thing on the menu, or when you had to shell out for an expensive excursion. Perhaps make a small kitty for essentials such as toiletries and basics such as bread and milk.
  • Perhaps one family is very laid back in terms of clearing up, shopping and small jobs. If this is something you can envisage annoying you then set up a little rota to keep things fair and to get the children involved.
  • Be flexible, both parties will have a set of rules at home and for the sake of harmony both should relax them a little over the holidays. Decide before you go what your not prepared to compromise on, e.g. children’s bedtimes.
  • Finally, if children are involved then focus solely on disciplining your own. Giving your friends parenting tips will not go down well as nobody likes to be told how to bring up their children. If an awkward situation arises where yours friends child starts a spat with yours then instead of disciplining them or disapprovingly asking their own parents to step in, simply whisk your own child away.

Try and maintain a good sense of humour, letting things that would usually wind you up go over your head. After all this is only one-two weeks of your life.

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Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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