Traveling With Your Significant Other's Family For the First Time

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+ Tips To Survive It

In case you missed it in my latest posts, I spent the first two weeks of July wandering around Alaska with M and his sweet family. To anyone that asked me prior to boarding our red eye if I was excited, you were probably met with some fears and hesitations versus the expected enthusiasm. And if you are reading this confused, believe me most of the people I chatted were as well. 

You see, I have been with M for a little over 6.5 years and I have grown to see this family as an extension of my own. It is actually shocking that after all this time, this is the first trip where we have all traveled out of state together and that might be due to how demanding (in the best way possible) my family can be. But you read that right, this was the first time I was loading up with M’s side of the family and spending two weeks in close quarters while popping around the different towns of Alaska. 

So why was I nervous if I have known these people for the majority part of a decade? Plain and simple, I am not an easy person to travel or live with (love you M!). As part of my faults and shortcomings, I like things to go a certain way. And since I start dreaming up a bunch of creative opportunities once flights are booked, this is especially true while traveling. The childish tendencies in me that I have yet to outgrow have lead to adult tantrums in the past and I was rightly nervous that I would impulsively create a scene if we didn’t do something that was on my agenda. In addition to that, I am irritable and grouchy when I am tired, so the potential of not getting the appropriate amount of sleep had me a little anxious that I would bring down the overall mood of the trip. 

I obviously made it through this beautiful trip alive and I believe unscathed, so it obviously went better than expected. And while I was a little disappointed that I did not get to experience some of the things on my bucket list, Alaska thankfully is not going anywhere and I definitely plan on making it a point to travel back there at some point in the near future.

So how did I get through it? Whether you are finding yourself in a similar situation or are simply traveling with a large group and are nervous about everyone getting along, here are some travel tips that helped me get the most out of our adventure. 

Breathe And Let Go Of What You Cannot Control

Traveling with a large group of people typically means that a lot of needs and desires will have to be accommodated. I translated that as to majority rules and sometimes it isn’t always in your favor. The first week of this past trip was dedicated towards wedding prep since the reason we were in Alaska to begin with was for M’s sister. I had originally expected to have some downtime to explore the Anchorage but some things took a lot longer than anticipated and that ended with my plans being put on the back-burner. None of us could control the situation and while I was initially pretty disappointed, my FOMO calmed down after I accepted the fact that this trip wasn’t just about me and things happen. 

You Don’t Have To Do Everything Together

While creating memories is one of the best parts of taking a trip together, remembering that you don’t need to do everything together is an important part of traveling with a large party. If the majority wants to do something that you aren’t necessarily about, it is totally ok to hang back and do your own thing. I personally enjoy having time to myself from time to time, so there were points where I opted to either hang out at the place we were staying or even in the car to recuperate versus participating in an activity that I wasn’t interested in. As long as you share why you are parting off in a positive manner, I can’t see anyone having a problem with it.

Voice Your Wishlist Early

If there is something that you really want to do, it is important to share it with your party early on so that you can figure out how to fit it in to the travel itinerary. I see it as a successful trip if each person gets to check one thing off their wishlist and it is an easy way to keep everyone happy. 

Stay Open Minded

When traveling with a large number of people, it is crucial to stay as open minded as possible. Sure things may not go exactly how you imagined but there are still a lot of opportunities to have a good time if you maintain as much of a positive mindset as you can. Be understanding that plans never truly go as planned and that you are experiencing a new place with people that hold a significance in your day to day life. 

Overall I really enjoyed my time with M’s family and I am looking forward to spending even more vacations with them in the future. While traveling with your significant other and their family can be a little nerve wracking at first, if you go in with a go with the flow attitude you are sure to have an enjoyable time!

We finally checked Alaska off my United States Travel Wishlist and I am already planning the next destination. Where are you headed this summer?

Until next time, tah.

I made a video that sums up the trip, give it a watch!