Think about your last family vacation. Hopefully it conjures up happy memories of bonding with your siblings or parents and exploring new things. It might also make you tense up and stressed out. How can you properly deal with the stress that comes with a 24/7 style family trip? By taking time to yourself doing something that you really want to do. Follow advice to find the right way to enjoy some solo time during your next family vacation.
- stay up late
- plan ahead
- take what you can get
- move your body
- close your door when you need a minute
- feel guilty about taking some time to yourself
- pick a side trip that everyone else would enjoy
- forget about your family
- be rude about it
- forget to do your research
If everyone in your family is tired from going to the beach all day, then you can sneak in an hour or two of late night TV or reading. You also won't get hassled when you get into the ice cream or leftover dinner for a midnight snack.
There are several benefits to planning your solo excursion in advance. You get to make concrete plans, and you also can let your family know, so they won't be offended (at least they'll have time to get over it). Planning ahead also means you give some real thought to your solo trip, so it will be enjoyable and rewarding.
If your itinerary is packed with family activities, then try to creatively carve out some time. Perhaps you can sneak breakfast back to your room to enjoy some quiet time, or take an extra-long shower with some lavender-scented soap to help you relax. Taking several mini-breaks is better than no escape at all.
You don't need to schedule a triathlon during a family outing; even a 30-minute brisk walk should do the trick. Walking is a great mood elevator and will help boost your tolerance for family arguments and your appetite for Aunt Wanda's famous pancakes.
You don't want to be passive-aggressive about needing a break. Don't bark at your cousin and then lie when you say nothing is wrong. If you have your own room, then simply say you need a quick nap or to read for a while in order to relax. Shutting the door can help you to psychologically move on from an argument or too much family chaos.
If you feel yourself getting agitated after your family's fifth game of Scrabble, then it's time for a break. You want to be pleasant during the trip, and a solo excursion could be just the ticket for helping to boost your mood. Remember that it's family time, but it's also your time, so take a reasonable break without guilt.
If your favorite uncle loves playing golf, then you maybe shouldn't book a solo tee time at a great nearby course. If you're with a lot of rugrats, you wouldn't go to the amazing water park to be by yourself and then tell them all about it. Pick an adventure that wouldn't necessarily be the first choice for the rest of your group. They'll be less likely to give you a hard time, and you can focus on something you really enjoy.
If you are on a longer trip with a large family, then your solo excursion can be a “scouting mission” on their behalf. Perhaps you tried out a hiking trail to a waterfall, or found a hidden beach with a great collection of shells. You get the benefits of being by yourself for a while and can come across as the hero when you get the rest of the family to visit your researched spots.
Taking time to yourself doesn't need to be an argument starter. Simply let your family know there was something you want to do on your own. Telling them they are driving you insane (even if they are) isn't the constructive way to handle a touchy situation.
You want to optimize your alone time, so do some research to make sure you are taking advantage of the time. Everything is reviewed online, so it's easy to perform fast research. If you want a few hours to take in some local art galleries, then check out the reviews to pick the best ones. You want some spontaneity, but also don't want your precious alone time to be a bust.
Maybe you're a single uncle that needs a break from your seven screaming nieces and nephews, or you're a mom of three who just needs some time to regroup and get back to having fun. In either case, taking some time for a solo outing can be the best way to get away and reset your brain. Carving out some “me time” during a family trip is essential for turning a good family vacation into a great trip.