This past summer my little family (husband and daughter) traveled to New Orleans to join my extended family for a few days in the city before embarking on a 7-day cruise. Now before continuing let me say I love my family and miss them dearly being that I live in a different state and see them only a few times a year. But, vacationing with them can be a little hard. We were a family of 16 navigating New Orleans first before the cruise. The ages ran from 16 to 75 and included both genders. Now as you can imagine the wants/needs of everyone varied yet they wanted everyone to move at the same time. We were expected to eat together, be entertained together, go to bed and wake up at the same time...in other words move as one unit for the entire duration. Let me tell you this is impossible for 10 days together for a large group heck it’s impossible for my little family to move as a unit for 2 days. We have different priorities, interests and commitments. So let me tell you how did I survived.
I didn't tell them which hotel I was staying in New Orleans. I always made plans to meet them in a central location and changed the subject when asked where I was staying.
I continued this on the cruise and withheld my cabin number. No early morning wake up calls for me.
I made dinner reservations on the cruise and didn't reveal until it was too late for others to attend. Side note: I would highly recommend the steak restaurant on Carnival cruise. The service and food is exceptional.
I reserved excursions for my little family that didn't include the extended family. I just innocently stated well I didn’t think anyone else wanted to snorkel but if so its available at the next port.
I drank a lot of alcohol when needed. Believe me sometimes it was needed and did its job to alter my mood and bring me to chill mode.
I hid in my room anytime I needed a breather away from the fighting over what to do next, where to go to eat, bickering over past family disputes or just to recharge.
I might sound mean but I didn't tell them what hotel I was staying or the room number of my cabin on the cruise. I don't feel bad because I need some time away from my family. It was my only means of keeping the family relationship intact. But listen to me it's your vacation also not just a family vacation. Take some time for you to recharge and relax. Sometimes with a large group of people that becomes impossible. Don't feel guilty I do it with my own family. I need time to just sit and be with me. Remember that on your next family vacation.
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