How to Get Out of a Family Vacation

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Four people running during sunset - How to Get Out of a Family Vacation?

Picture a disaster situation. Think National Lampoon’s vacation, and if this describes your family trips, staying at home could be better and avoiding any crippling embarrassment.

The classic will be right out of the film Ferris Bueler’s Day Off, in which faking an illness buys the main character the day.

Then again, you could take the high road and confront the spouse or parents about the idea. Just having the conversation might change the dynamic of the planned vacation. You might even be able to negotiate an activity of your choice.

Then again, breaking a bone might be the only sure way beyond death to escape any Hollywood movie vacation, like that in the film RV starring Robin Williams.


How do you Tell the Family You don’t Want to Go on Vacation?

This can take many forms. All joking aside, a simple conversation can go a long way in preventing any harmful feelings or complications within the family unit.

The best thing you can do is to approach them during a family engagement, like dinner at home, giving the parents a chance to speak about their plans.

In regards to a spouse, you might want to consider speaking to them about this before any family vacations are planned.

Now, surprises happen, especially when vacation plans are made without your consultation or knowledge, which you might want to approach like this. Hear out the plans and learn the destination. What if it’s a trip to the Caribbean for a good price?


How do you Say No to a Family Vacation?

Mention that the destination was built upon an Indian burial ground or that you are needed at the office, presuming you work at an office.

Joking aside, this is going to be a serious matter in some situations, and the longer you wait, the harsher the conversation is going to be; or then you might have a parent (or spouse) that understands, cancels the plans and uses some of the money for pizza.

Then again, how can you say no? Why not if the trip is affordable and the time off is due?


How Do you Start?

The first steps are usually the hardest and most awkward. But, most of the time, vacations are planned to provide a place for the family to have a good time together, bond, and develop good feelings toward each other.

Keeping this in mind, an ice breaker that will work could just be to talk about the trip and gauge the interest of the other family members.

For a Spouse, you might want to act fast and have the conversation within a few days of the trip being booked.

The resulting “talk” will be your chance to work out a way to cancel the trip or convince them to go with a platonic friend.


Which Phrases Do You Need to Avoid?

Basically, this article covers three perspectives: the spouse, the child, and the parent. For children, you will want to avoid slang or classic teenage emotional outbursts and concentrate on why you are opposed to going on the trip.

This can lead to a good conversation about the situation and even a resolution that benefits both sides.

Parents, listen to your children, sometimes the issues are not the destination or the vacation at all, and this could be a fantastic opportunity to create channels of communication with your kid; it might even bolster their confidence when negotiating or making deals.


Tips and Tricks for a Better Discussion

There is no clear-cut algorithm, recipe, or equation, but when it comes to having a real discussion, the importance of the environment comes into play.

So first, think about where you want to have the talk, a calm park, or during the game (when your team is winning).

Then picture what you will be doing, something where both parties will be comfortable, and then ease into the conversation by talking about the topic from another angle.

Another tip will be to participate in an activity of their choosing. For example, take your father golfing or the mother to a spa day, and be sure to save the conversation for near the end of the activity, think 15th hole, or when having dinner after a spa day.


Final Thoughts on Getting out of a Family Vacation

The Hollywood finish, where the family comes together after everything has gone awry and ends with a happy ending, can happen sometimes. It just takes planning and understanding your family.

Vacations are meant to be enjoyed. If you are not feeling up to it, talking with your family members about it might be the solution to changing your mind or theirs.

The solution could be as simple as changing the destination or dates on the calendar or negotiating the itinerary to include a certain activity.