As winter vacations get closer, we are finally nearing a few days off to relax, catch up, and sleep. For some of you, it means attempting to do all of that on a family vacation. Everyone in your family wanted a getaway this holiday season, but now that you are all settled in a cozy beach house or cabin in the mountains, the walls are closing in. The bickering begins and stress levels are high. All you wanted was a peaceful break and you’re stuck in a wave of irritability. Your family is just a little too close for comfort, and you’re not sure how much longer you can share a room with your sibling.

You are not alone in this. Everyone’s family is a little dysfunctional, but just over the horizon will be memories, late night laughs, bonding with your cousins, and painfully awkward family vacation photos that will last a lifetime. This family is having a blast on their trip:

awkward family vacation photos

Photo via The Chive

Okay, one more for good measure.

awkward family vacation photo 2

Photo via Chron

These are some ways you can find the silver lining in a crazy family vacation.

Find something to do alone

Everyone needs alone time throughout their day, and it is perfectly okay to not spend every waking moment with your family just because you are on a vacation with them. It’s important to give yourself time to breathe and do what makes you happy. Whether that is going for a run each morning or reading in the late afternoons by yourself, do something that you enjoy to do in your free time regularly.

Cook or pay for a meal

Give your family a break from cooking or pick up the bill one night. Your family will appreciate the small gesture. If you are cooking while away, it will give you something to do and make whoever normally cooks way less stressed out. Also, it helps you avoid those overwhelming conversations with the family member you see once a year about your grades, career, future, how scary it is that you want to travel the world all alone. Yes, so what?

Plan something the family can do together

Go out of your way to find something your family can do nearby where you’re staying. If you choose what to do, you are guaranteed to enjoy it more because you got to choose the ‘family activity.’ Planning the trip yourself can also ease the stress of everybody else because someone else is planning everything for them. And besides, you don’t get stressed from planning activities while traveling because you’re practically a pro at this!

If none of these things work, put on a movie or head to the movie theater to watch one of these hilarious movies about disastrous family vacations. Then at least you can laugh and bond about other crazy families while appreciating yours a little more.

What is your craziest family vacation story?

Sydney Pereira is a student at New York University trying to change the world while simultaneously making enough money to travel when she's not studying or writing. She's also an athlete, music-lover, and avid news reader. When she's not exploring NYC, fresh flowers from the farmer's market and a cup of hot tea on a lazy Saturday are equally fulfilling.

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