- Idiots Abroad: Taking Small Kids on a Whirlwind Tour of Europe
- I Flew Ryanair and I loved it!
- Challenges of Vacationing With a Large Family in Europe, and More!
- German Castles, Ausfahrt Jokes and the Sound of Music
- Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and Pizza Galore
- The Long Way Home to Belarus… Literally
- Searching for Bono and Licking Donuts in Ireland
When I first decided to give blogging a shot, my plan was to never use photos of my family. When I added credit card affiliate links, it became even more of a no-brainer. I think “mom” bloggers who do it for profit (like me) are in a precarious situation. I would be shocked if this isn’t a tricky area for most of us. After all, you don’t want the post to come across as: “Hey, look at my cute kid! Now, go ahead and click my affiliate link.”
As time went on, it became clear that it’s hard to write about my family without actually showing the family. It’s kind of a package deal. I told my husband about this dilemma and gave him an option to veto family (specifically kids’) photos in the blog. He didn’t. So, I started to include them here and there, obviously, where the content calls for it. I’ll be honest, it still feels a bit weird, but I made my peace with it.
There is another corny reason I include the photos: I like to show off my kids! Yes, I said it. I’m a mom and obviously, I think my children are the best-looking creatures on the planet. Don’t try to convince me otherwise. Also, it’s quite convenient since my family in Belarus can just look at the post when I have a trip report ready. This site is really more of a personal creative outlet than a business blog.
Anyway, the post isn’t actually about that. It’s about our recent family trip to Europe, and some challenges we encountered along the way. As you probably know by now, there were 9 of us, which made for 9 distinct personalities and unique ways of thinking. I was debating on whether to include this video (see my reasons above), but my brother-in-law has done such a good job of putting it all together. It starts in Madeira, continues in Germany and ends in Italy. I do look frumpy and dumpy, and at the end of the video even wipe my nose! Seriously, why did he have to include that part? What a jerkus maximus.
But what the hey! Here is the condensed version (only 4 minutes long) of our trip on You Tube
Looks nice, doesn’t it? Now, here is what really happened. There were countless meltdowns (from adults and kids), arguments over sightseeing plans, and some saying they will never vacation with this many people again. I was one of them. And yet, we are all going to Alaska next year. Why? Because we are family. We love each other and most of the time, we like being together. Emphasis on “most.”
That said, it definitely requires work and willingness to put aside your own preferences for the sake of the common good. I admit, I’m not the best example in this respect. I have very strong ideas and logical way of thinking. But sometimes, you just have to shove logic aside and go with the flow. If you are like me, and contemplating doing a similar trip, I suggest you have a little talk with yourself. It goes something like this: If I see something that doesn’t make sense, I will make a suggestion ONCE, and then I will let it go. When my advice is disregarded and things don’t work out perfectly (just like I said they wouldn’t), I will not make a big deal about it.
Honestly, is it worth spoiling a (relatively) good time for 9 individuals just to make a point? Is that really logical? Vacationing with other people can be challenging, especially if there is jet leg involved. When I don’t get sleep, I turn into a passive-agressive monster. I’m sure I’m not alone.
Money, money, money
Of course, there is also a subject of money. I think this can get out of hand easily if you let it. When you have several families staying in the same place, you will most likely have to buy lots of groceries. Obviously, the expense can add up, especially if it falls on the same individual for one reason or another. That individual might be you. How should you ask others to contribute if no one is volunteering? What if some have a lot less money than you do, and they know it?
Also, you may be eating out in a restaurant and the server brings only one check and gives it…to you. Others say they will pay you back later, but then everyone is busy sightseeing and the payback never materializes. Did they forget? Should you give them a gentle reminder?
My suggestion for you is to wait till you get home and then approach this subject. Or not. Consider letting it go, that is if you can afford the extra bill. Whatever you do, don’t make a big fuss about it while you are on vacation. It’s not worth it to ruin everyone’s trip over money. Yes, you may get shafted as far as expenses go, but try not to let it spoil your memories. Money can be replaced, family can not. Don’t attribute bad motives because it’s very possible your relatives intended to pay you back and just forgot.
That’s not what happened in our case (please, read comments), I’m just pointing out some potential issues to watch out for and ways to work around them. Also, see my post Trading Miles and Points With Family and Friends
Overall, this was an incredible trip, and I have zero regrets. Still, keep in mind, what you saw is an edited version. In real life, there will be no cheerful music playing in the background, and people won’t always be smiling. Still, I admit, I kind of like the edited version. This is how I want to remember our 9-people Grand Tour of Europe.
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Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.