How Do You Survive Family Holidays As An Adult?

It’s that time of year; when everyone has an annual leave response set on their emails, our Instagram feeds are full of hot dog legs and inflatable unicorns, Ryanair is crammed with groups of lads chanting about Malaga and families go abroad.

Family holidays as children are wonderful things. Full of ice cream, burnt noses, factor 50 suncream and sand castles. When you hit almost-but-not-fully-fledged adulthood, before you have a family of your own, there’s an awkward interim where it’s still acceptable to go away with the ‘rents. As a broke millennial I can’t afford a holiday on my own/with friends (first world problems, I know), therefore invites to family excursions seem tempting. I’ve seen many of my colleagues, friends and acquaintances struggle with the same dilemma- we all really want some sun and time off work on the cheap, but a family hol is daunting.

Just like the coming home from uni power struggle that ensued for many, a family trip in your twenties is a tricky thing to navigate. So, dear FGRLS CLUB readers, here’s a little survival guide for ya:


Easier said than done, but biting your tongue is the most important survival trick. For every potential petty argument over who lost the guide book, who booked the wrong luggage allowance, what’s an acceptable amount of vino to drink over dinner or who left the hotel windows open for all the mosquitoes to come a visiting, there’s a question to ask ones self- “Is it worth the agg?”. Be rational, pick your battles. It’s a week in a beautiful place with an exciting culture that you’re getting to visit for a fraction of the price. Smile and wave boys, smile and wave.


As almost adults it’s a hard transition period for both parents and children. My tip, controversially, is to regress a little. Not back to your rebellious teenage self of drinking cider in parks and stealing fags from older siblings, but to the ‘what they don’t know won’t hurt them’ stage.

Granted, it’s very annoying to pretend like you wouldn’t have drunk a jug of sangria to yourself, or that you didn’t want to go on a date with the fit waiter, but it’s all about compromise. Just as we all once did as teenagers, it’s easier to act like butter wouldn’t melt. At the end of the day, they still want to see you as their wee baba.


Use this as a chance to introduce your family to ‘holiday you’, catch up on time missed and get reacquainted. It’s one of the only times, as adult-children, that families return to living in each others space 24/7. Breathe, don’t freak out about the fact someone used all your suncream, and try to enjoy it.


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