As a child, the all-American family vacation to Disney World is the highlight of your summer. But after a year on your own at college, the idea of family vacation loses its luster against so many other things you’d rather do. While at first excited to experience a new destination, the illusion of familial harmony and great adventure fades into something eerily similar to a National Lampoon’s movie. Here are 12 of the things you’ll probably experience on your next family vacation:
1. Something will happen to delay you from getting there.
Invariably your flight will get delayed, or a storm rolls through, or you got “randomly selected” at security. Or, in my case, the powers that be at the airport switch your flight, then have to switch you back when the other flight gets cancelled, and then, after a delay forces you to have to sprint through the entire Charlotte airport, they close the door right in front of you after they let all the standbys on.
The next flight isn’t until 6pm the next day, and you’re stranded in an airport with nowhere to go. Miraculously, they let you on, only to sit next to a stranger for a 5-hour overnight flight.
2. Sleeping arrangements are…tense.
To save a little cash, the fam decides to spend the entire vacation sleeping in the same room. That means you’re sleeping with your brother. Who farts. A lot.
3. The First Morning
The first morning you strike out, ready, albeit tired, for a new day in a new place. Armed with a Hot Mess Bitch from Biscuit Bitch, you feel you can conquer anything this new world throws at you.
4. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
A long day of hiking is an essential part of every family vacation. I mean, what is family vacation without a little sweaty bonding, right? Well while you’re sweating profusely and contemplating your life choices about not joining a gym, you might just make some animal friends that make it all better.
5. You eat at some less than savory places.
After that long day of strenuous hiking, you’re starving and will literally kill one of those marmots if you don’t eat soon. You stop at the National Park Inn, and despite warnings from your mother (they were way to eager to see us), you decide to spare yourself the awkwardness and sit down. Dinner is complete with a spider in a menu, a creepy waitress who waits outside the bathroom for your dad, and “Summer Caprese Pasta” for $17.50 (the cheapest item on the menu), which tastes neither like summer, nor caprese, and could barely be called pasta.
6. There’s always that one guy…
Whale watching is the next item on the agenda. Sounds great, right? Except on the 3-hour ferry ride, you’re seated next to some guy from Texas who yaks loudly about how awesome their family vacation is going to be on the way to see his son, stationed in Alaska (can’t imagine why…).
7. The whales are totally worth it though.
How can something be so majestic and magical as killer whales? Even though you now look like Simba from standing on the top deck and you didn’t get a single picture, something about them frolicking in the wake behind the boat makes it feel like this was meant to be.
8. Location allowing, you have your first legal alcoholic beverage.
And, since it’s on your Mom’s tab, you can have as many $5 bellinis as you want.
9. You go clubbin’
In conjunction with #8, you and your brother decide to go clubbing since you’re technically legal now. Against your better judgment, you get attached to the first guy you see and cry 12 blocks home when you can’t bring him with you. Maybe you should just get a puppy.
10. So. Many. Pictures.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when the beholder is your mom with a camera, it gets to be a little bit too much. Even models need their space. That’s when the poses start to get a little bit…weird.
11. If she says “regroup” one more time…
It is the nature of young’uns to move a little bit quicker than their parents. When you’re ready to go, you’re ready and if you don’t move within the next 30 seconds you think you might just die. Problem is, we have to regroup for the thousandth time before we do.
When you reflect on the trip, you loved the scenery and the things you did and the beautiful people that live there. Just next time, maybe you’ll leave the family at home.