Holidaying with your parents – a free ride or horrible nightmare?

I have been on a great many free holidays with my family. The ‘free’ is highlighted because I firmly believe that nothing is free.

I have been on a great many free holidays with my family. The ‘free’ is highlighted because I firmly believe that nothing is free. The real problem is this – when someone else is paying for you to do something, there are certain expectations.

For me, these expectations mainly extends to babysitting and frankly in exchange for seeing Thailand, New York and Sri Lanka, this exchange seems fair enough. Plus I like my siblings, so that’s not a problem.

But sadly there are other worse expectations, these include mad relatives who you have to pretend to pleased to see, forced trips to places and family friends who don’t know your name, and lastly the expectation that you should do what everyone else is doing.

Should you go on holiday with your parents

One of the joys of reaching a certain age (over 18 in Europe, over 21 in America) is the ability to make a few choices for yourself. Simplistically this is sex and alcohol, but I like to see it as more than. When you reach this age – you can choose what you see, what you want to do and where you go. At your call. The real problem with family holidays is that this idea goes out the window while holidaying with your families. 

I, for example, wanted to go and watch New York’s Gay Pride Parade last summer. I am twenty-two. I have lived in New York for a bit, and I know my way around it (on the whole). Therefore the desire to go and see this parade didn’t seem too extraordinary.

But when I stated my desire to go, I was met with confusion and asked why would I do that, when I could sit with some insane relative instead? (The woman I refer to is actually nuts.)

That is one of the key reasons why family holidays aren’t all they are cracked up to be. There is also a limit to what you can go out and do. No parties for you. No late nights. No flirting. Which is fine really, as who’d want to have a romance played out in from of their siblings… but it does somewhat reduce the amount of fun you can have when you are watched as if you were sixteen. 

I am not for a moment saying that family holidays aren’t fun – and I would have missed out on seeing some incredible things if I hadn’t go along. But my message is, go prepared because the luxury of freedom to choose what you want is something that you might have to compromise on whilst holidaying with your folks.