Family Fighting on Vacation: 5 Easy Tips to Reduce Conflict

Family fighting on vacation can be a real problem. It’s more common than you might think.

But there are some simple tips you can try for a better family vacation.

Keep reading to find out more.

no family fighting on vacation

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn how easy tips to keep your family fighting on vacation to a minimum, including:

  • How to Reduce the Likelihood of Arguments
  • Think About Schedule
  • Have/Share Perspective
  • Manage Your Own Stress
  • Rent Larger Spaces
  • Avoid Blaming and Shaming
  • Final Thoughts on Family Fighting on Vacation
  • Next Steps

How To Reduce The Likelihood Of Family Fighting On Vacation

Family vacations are a perfect time to make some memories with the people who matter to you most.

However, under certain circumstances, they can also be a time when the expense and expectations cause people to act out. As a result, your family relationships can become strained.  

Moreover, family vacations often involve group activities with a short itinerary.

With various ages making up the group, there can always be a chance that interests and personalities do not quite align.

This can present complications too. 

Nevertheless, enjoying a vacation that is mostly free of bickering is still possible.

While it can be challenging, you can make everything more agreeable for all parties. The goal is that everyone enjoys a memorable, stress-free time.

Here is how to reduce the likelihood of family fighting on vacation.

1. Value Good Service in Your Travel Experiences

A good vacation is dependent on many plans and logistics coming together.

Different service providers will play instrumental roles throughout your trip. The airport, car rental agency, hotel and dining staff will all be a factor in the success of your vacation.

When you chose work with with the best organizations, it will elevate your vacation and help keep you on schedule.

This can preventing many potential family disputes. 

Let’s take airport parking, for instance.

Difficulty finding a parking space at the airport can test your patience and cast an unpleasant cloud over the start of your vacation.

If you live in the area, consider reading up on San Jose International Airport parking information available from Parkway Parking to secure a parking space before your vacation.

If you park at any one of the locations on their site, you will have access to shuttles that operate on-demand 24 hours. This will help your family get around the airport faster and with less effort.

You can look to their friendly staff to help you navigate things. The nearby off-site hotel and private parking services they recommend are also fully secure and convenient. 

This is just one example of a simple measure you can take to pre-empt family fighting on vacation.

The point is, you want to look for a high level of service wherever possible when you plan your trip. This will help diffuse unexpected problems that lead to family stress.

Most often, stressful situations arise during transitions, like:

  • Airport connections
  • Rail & Bus Transfers
  • Car Rental Pick-up
  • Scheduled Tours
  • Hotel changes

Remember, your schedule is critical on vacation.

Try to foresee all the areas of potential stress and irritation during your vacation. Then, research highly rated services to make your family’s experience more positive. 

They don’t need to be expensive, but you want to make sure their reviews are good.

Whether you are catching flights, making restaurant reservations, or visiting highly sought-after tourist attractions, plan head of time to make the most of your time.

Otherwise, arguments will inevitably ensue as expectations are dashed. 

2. Share Perspectives & Vacation Expectations

Vacations do not just arrive out of the blue.

They are often planned for months, and most everyone is looking forward to it. (The exception is usually teenagers.)

Having reasonable expectations goes beyond an itinerary.

It should also involve everyone buying into the trip’s overall purpose: spending quality time together.

Everyone must be willing to put their best foot forward and willing to put as much into the trip as they are hoping to get out of it.

It should not be about mom and dad dragging the kids on a long list of activities only the parents want to do. Nor should it be totally child-focused.

The main benefit of holding onto a shared vision for the trip is that if disputes do arise, they can be resolved quickly.

After family fighting on vacation, try to quickly remember why you are there, patch up your differences, and continue making the best of the vacation.

Once that healthy kind of energy is present, informing every aspect of the vacation, nothing can stop its success! 

Remember, it’s an opportunity as an adult to model how conflict resolution can work well between people who love each other.

So, ensure that you all collaborate on the fun side of the vacation.

Consider:

  • What are you each hoping to achieve?
  • Are there certain things to do that appeal to different age groups?
  • Is there room to go off on your own and reconvene somewhere else later?

Setting boundaries and respecting differences can put a more positive spin on everything. 

That way, you can limit or eliminate your family fighting on vacation.

3. Manage Your Own Stress

peaceful moment at beach

Families can be complicated.

Though many good times are ahead during your vacation, it is almost inevitable that disputes will arise.

When arguments do occur, you must not escalate things in response.

After all, this can be quite common, especially when you feel like your rare vacation time is being ruined.

Add to that being stressed in other areas of your life and the expense of a family vacation, and tempers can flare. 

So, it may be worth attempting to practice mindful techniques and learning to maintain a sense of composure before and during your trip.

Remember, you don’t need to spend every moment of your family vacation together.

Here are some ideas to reset your outlook:

  • Take a solo bike trip
  • Visit a spa
  • Go for a walk along the water
  • Call a friend
  • Do any number of other things that help you find solace and cool down
  • Be mindful of how you and others feel about matters

It is important to give people the benefit of the doubt on a family vacation so that the experience is not spoiled for others around you too. 

4. Make Sure There’s Enough Space 

The stereotypical family vacation arguments often occur in smaller spaces.

Kids can sit nearby each other for too long in the car, for example, and soon start getting on each other’s nerves.  

Depending on the nature of your vacation, you may spend a lot of time in a vehicle.

If that is the case, purchasing or renting a larger vehicle may be a better choice, if possible.

That way, each family member has their own personal space.

Then, when you are touring around and heading to attractions, you’re less likely to hear noisy background noises of disputes and name-calling. 

While it is common to have young children share belongings and space, they must have some space to themselves to feel comfortable.

Try to provide that for them, especially if they are frequently around their siblings. 

It is not just about the kids either.

The desire for personal space is a common need for most people.

If you have the means, think beyond vehicles and consider staying in larger accommodations. Ideally, everyone gets their own spacious room. Look for properties with outdoor living space, as well.

When people are not tripping over each other, your family will get along better during the vacation. 

5. Avoid Blaming

Finally, expect a little bit of family fighting on vacation. Those perfect families you see in movies or on TV are fiction.

Real families have occasional disagreements.

When that happens, it’s important not to blame or shame anyone. Be sure to treat each person with respect.

Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bigger family conflict than necessary.

Worse, blaming and shaming will create longer term family problems.

Just take it all in stride.

It may have nothing to do with the trip and more to do with stage of life.

With any luck, it won’t be long until it blows over and you’re having a great time together as a family again.

Final Thoughts on Family Fighting on Vacation

Family arguments will probably occur on your vacations. But their severity and frequency can be minimized with these tips.

If you do everything you can to schedule the trip, offer empathy, manage your stress and give each other space, it might be that arguments can be prevented from worsening–or even occurring at all in some instances. 

Then, you can focus on having a great time together.

Next Steps

Now that you understand the fundamental tips for keeping the peace on vacation, read these family trip planning articles next:

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.