How to (just about) survive a family holiday with your in-laws 5 years ago

How to (just about) survive a family holiday with your in-laws

A wise person once said "family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper."

family holiday with in-laws

You know how annoying your own lot can be when when you spend too much time with them? Yup. So how exactly do you survive a family holiday with your other half's side of the gene pool?

1. Lower your expectations

Sharing a small space and suddenly spending a significant amount of time with your in-laws, can be stressful and leave you desperately scanning for the nearest emergency exit. Accept that family holidays are unlikely to be perfect. Instead, strive for a few golden moments and good laughs, interspersed with the odd bumpy moment. Before you go, do a quick 'reality-audit' on your expectations; if you expect less, you’ll gain more.

2. Lay the ground rules

Consider discussing certain topics in advance - at least with your partner. They're his parents, not yours, meaning that you will both inevitably have different feelings about what's acceptable and what's not. Money can become a bit of a sore point on shared holidays so figure out who is paying for what BEFORE you get there instead of repeating the "noooo no no no we'll get this one" routine night after night. Also, if you're going on a sun holiday and normally fling the bikini top straight off you might want to think about potential awkwardness in the in-law camp...


3. Don't rise to it

People can get narky when they travel or say something after a few drinks that they wouldn't come out with otherwise. Shared holidays are an infamous danger zone for family fallouts. Try not to let sensitivities and tension build-up, if you need to go for a walk (or even hide in the loo) to calm down do but don't expect himself to automatically follow you or 'take sides'.

4. Reclaim your personal space

Make your routine or plans known a little in advance. If you want to go out separately or plan a day-trip away from your in-laws, don't beat around the proverbial bush about it. Likewise, if you want to spend the day lying on a sun lounger when everyone else is keen on a guided tour of some goat farm don't get all worked up about it. Nine times out of ten people won't be offended if you simply state your preference. Don't overthink it.

5. Enjoy the perks

If you're bringing kids along, let your in-laws help out when it comes to babysitting and treats! The kids will love spending time with their grandparents and if they 'bend' your parenting rules a bit let them - it's a holiday. Your in-laws get to be the good guys and the two of you can mull in to the sangria. It's win-win.