Traveling with Family and how to Survive

Being part of a close, tight-knit family means you do almost EVERYTHING together! And while it’s great to spend so much time with your parents and siblings, free child care, it can also feel overwhelming as well, no privacy! Today we are going to talk about what it’s like to take a vacation with your family, the pros and cons, and everything in between.

Take it from someone who has traveled with family on numerous occasions both as a child and an adult, married with children. With family in Florida we would spend two weeks at the beach each summer visiting my aunt and my two cousins. Sometimes it was mom, dad, and all three kids while another summer it was mom, grandma and brother and sister who were crammed into the back of very tiny station wagon–separated by only a very tiny suitcase!

Let me start by saying that traveling, in itself, is stressful. It takes time to make plans, find a route, pack suitcases and get everyone in the car. Have we lost our mind yet?

Then there’s the stress of driving….anyone who has sat behind the wheel of a car for any length of time knows just how tired one can become in a very short amount of time. Add to that a back seat full of tired crabby children, road construction and an accident and you have a recipe for disaster.

One night while traveling with my grandmother we stopped at a motel for the night. Our room was on the top floor which meant we had to climb about three flights of stairs…carrying luggage. My grandmother pointed out to us that there was red blood splattered all over the stairs when in fact, it wasn’t red…it was orange paint…too this day I haven’t forgotten that night somewhere between Chattanooga and Atlanta! I have other stories to share but we might be here for a while. You get my point, traveling with family can get interesting!

As I mentioned above, it’s great to travel with family because they are built in childcare. In our family we have two teenagers and a six year old with Autism. It’s hard to take our youngest anywhere so it’s great when grandma and grandpa are able to help us out. It means we can spend quality time with our oldest children while our youngest gets excellent bonding time.

My brother lives in Chicago which means we don’t see him as often as we would like. It’s nice traveling with his wife and four children because we get to make memories as siblings and our children get to make memories with their cousins. Sometimes we have memories we’ll never forget…midnight trips to the ocean, late night card games, Disney World….

We are currently planning a trip to Alaska for 14 people. We are flying from St. Louis, to Chicago, to Seattle where all of us will spend seven days together on a cruise throughout the Gulf of Alaska. I keep telling myself to breathe.. So here it is… my advice on traveling with family.

When traveling with family you’re going to need to let things go, even more so if you’re traveling in close quarters. If someone says something and someone gets upset, it’s best to hold your tongue and walk away. Do this and you should still be speaking once you return home.

Stay calm..traveling by plane often means lost luggage so try not to stress yourself out when something goes wrong. It’s hard not to let things bother you but if you can’t do anything to change the situation, try to stay calm until the situation is resolved!

Do you have other trips that you’ve used while traveling with family? If so, please be sure to let us know. Most of all, when traveling with family, realize just how lucky you are. Not a whole lot of people get to go on such amazing adventures!



Lisa Hayes

Lisa is a mum of three from St.Louis and an expert on family travel. She is looking forward to her next trip in July,

a cruise in Alaska and Canada with 15 family members!

We can’t wait to hear about this trip!




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