Ever really lost it on a family getaway? Us too. This Real Simple editor has some post-mortem advice.

By Sarah Collins
September 24, 2015

The schedule was obscene and I knew it from the start. Over the course of my family’s seven-day vacation, we managed to plan 6.5 days and nights of activity: an overnight hike, a field day extravaganza, time with two sets of grandparents, a birthday party, a cookout for 40+, breakfast for 20, 16 overall overnight guests, and a boat ride. On the .5 day, when we “rested,” I dropped our tin of takeout dinner on the grass in my haste to remove it from the car. The adrenaline didn’t stop, nor did the washing machine. Until the 6th day, that is, when I found myself on my bed, in the fetal position, crying and reading Little House in the Big Woods. It was completely, utterly, un-relaxing. After some time to recover and reflect, what did I learn? That people, no matter how lovely or low-maintenance or related to you they are, can start to grate when they’re always around. That I am truly an introvert. And that if I’m ever to do a family vacation again (ha, like it’s an option), I need to remember these Five Lessons. Perhaps they can help you, too?

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