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Surviving the relatives  
Go ahead. Admit it! You love your extended family, but you’re not sure how you’re going to survive an entire vacation with them. These simple tips will help you enjoy your reunion trip as you keep your cool! Here’s how:  
  • Take a break. Everyone doesn't need to be together every minute. Separate cars for each family helps. Arrange for a responsible babysitter (or an older niece) to watch the kids while the adults enjoy some time on their own. Schedule a morning for each family to go off to explore. Take the little kids one place while another adult chaperones the older ones. Come together at dinner and share your adventures.
  • Keep it light. Your reunion vacation is not the time to criticize your daughter’s parenting skills or your brother-in-law’s career choice. Give the youngsters a little leeway and let them work out their own squabbles whenever possible.
  • Get ready to compromise. Everyone in your group will have to adjust their vacation styles and expectations to make your reunion a success. Maybe you’d rather camp than stay in the hotel. Perhaps you’d prefer a beach rather than a five-star mountain resort. Be prepared to abide by group consensus, and remember that you’re here to celebrate family!
  • Communicate clearly when it comes to how much babysitting Grandma is willing to do, how many treats the kids may have, and who’s allowed to discipline the children. Nothing can derail a reunion faster than hurt feelings.
  • Focus on what you love about one another, and stay positive.  Before you know it, your reunion will be just a pleasant memory.