Friday

Avoiding family conflict in (mobile) closed quarters: 7 things to keep in mind on your next trip



By Katie Hogge

You all know you love each other. 

     Whether it's just you and your partner on your first trip or your 35th vacay with your squad of seven, it's no secret that vacations and road trips are a much-needed way to escape, relax, and recharge. Yet, the obvious can't be avoided - you are a group of human beings, just as capable of banter and arguments as you are of love and laughter. But such is completely normal, and should never be something to discourage you from enjoying your next big adventure to the fullest. Thriving in close quarters for extensive periods of time can feel incredibly frustrating and crowded at times, but with a dash of patience and these helpful tips, you can be sure your trip will be an experience full of nothing but memories of family bonding - not of tension or irritability!

holiday, car, travel


1. Avoid all that excess "stuff." While you obviously need to pack clothes, toiletries, cameras, etc., try to leave things that you're not positive you'll actually use on the trip at home. That being said, of the things you do bring, try as hard as humanly possible not to over-pack. Perhaps bring a board game or two, some DVDs, and a deck of cards to keep you occupied or in case it storms one night; other than that, though, try to keep the objects simple that you're going to have living in your RV.



2. Speaking of stuff...don't worry so much about your outfits or physical appearance for each specific day, other than what you'll need to enjoy the activities you have planned on your vacation. Always try to plan out a set of outfits you know you'll wear, and try to overlap items whenever possible. It's more than likely you could wear those jeans 2 or 3 times instead of once, and you could probably get away with reusing your t-shirt from your first day on the road as a beach/pool/goofing-around-by-the-campfire cover-up, instead of bringing a bunch of extra gear.



3. Make sure each person has his or her space, however small, that is theirs and only theirs for the duration of the trip. No matter where you go or who you're with, it can't be refuted that personal space is a necessity when it comes to ensuring all personalities are cooperating and meshing together well in a tightly enclosed, mobile environment like an RV. Perhaps your spouse would prefer some time to read and lounge in a certain spot; maybe your teenage daughter feels like she needs one drawer to herself rather than sharing a chaotic storage system with her younger brothers. Whatever the case, each traveler should make a conscious effort to give others in the group their space - while also remembering that such personal space is just as important for their own sanity as well.



4. Remember, furry friends and family members should never be excluded from the above conditions. As lovable as your pets may be, they need their own space too, just like any other creature living in a tightly packed home with other living beings! Whether you bring a dog bed or designate a comfy pile of blankets just for them, just make sure they have something - that way, they can recharge just like you do, and will be ready for another fun-filled day once the sun rises again!



5. While we're on the topic of space, organization is key. That's not to say that your RV needs to be in tip-top, feng-shui condition the entire time; you're on vacation, and the occasional mess or disarray of sand-ridden clothes and muddied sneakers can't really be avoided, especially for the sake of a good time outdoors! However, pre-departure preparatory steps to keep your RV storage, kitchen, etc. nice and clutter-free can keep your mind focused on the more important aspects of the trip - getting outside and having some fun with your clan, and not cooping up inside just to clean and rearrange like you might back at home!

Gone with the Wynn's video RV Organizing: Don't be a hot mess!

6. Try your best to plan each day's meals ahead of time, regardless of how much of a success or disaster it might end up being. The truth of the matter is that things can and will come up, and you won't always follow the schedule you make for yourself each and every day. However, budgeting for which nights you plan to eat out and remembering to bring whatever ingredients are required for the meals you do choose to cook can save your endless amounts of money...not to mention time, which you could be spending adventuring outdoors or telling stories around the campfire!



And last, but definitely not least...

7. Remember, we're all human. We're all going to get into fights every now and then, and we're all going to make mistakes at times. We're going to say things we don't mean in the heat of a moment of frustration, and we're all going to drive each other nuts sometimes. While crucial, this one's pretty simple. Just be kind. The folks over at Roadtreking.com hit the nail right on the head with their advice on conflict resolution in mobile environments:

"Apologize when you're wrong, and don't hesitate to forgive when you've been wronged."



Just like any family or group conflict, these things will happen. But these trips are meant for fun, togetherness, and an escape from the everyday environments that cause us unnecessary or materialistic stresses. Let the bumps happen when they will, keep the environment positive, and enjoy the ride. After all, it's RV season.

And we all know
 #RVingIsGood!






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