In theory, a family vacation sounds magical.  A week away from the daily stressors of life, quality time with the ones you love, long days, warm sun, lots of laughs and memories to last a life-time.

Reality check…while your vacation may include some of these dream-like scenarios, there may also be a few minor setbacks along the way.  Togetherness is great, but too much together time can also bring conflict.  Staying mindful and self-aware of what drives and motivates you can help you take steps to avoid the sources of stress and tension and allow you to make the most of your vacation.

So, what could possibly cause stress in paradise?  A lot, so it’s very important to remember that each family member is different and based on these differences, what seems like a perfect day to one member, could feel overwhelming to another.  Understanding your triggers and taking steps to avoid them when possible, can make a world of difference.

Here are a few simple tips:

  1. Slow Down and Don’t Over Schedule – If you are like me, a good day is a productive day, but productivity isn’t what vacations are all about. If you tend to feel the need to over schedule, try to be more spontaneous and let the day unfold organically.  It may seem difficult at first, but you’ll most likely be surprised by how relaxing and enjoyable this can be.
  2. Let Your Co-Workers Help – You may like things done a certain way, but when on vacation let your need to control go and allow your co-workers to step in and assist. Before you leave, set clear expectations on how often you plan to check-in (once per day, every other day, only if needed) and stick to it.
  3. Be presentInstead of getting wrapped up in the details of how to spend each day and worrying about if everyone is having a good time, try to be present in each moment and happiness should follow.
  4. Alone Time is a Must – No matter how much of a people person you are, everyone needs alone time to recharge. Plan small breaks throughout the day to offer family members a break from each other.
  5. Don’t Forget What You Need from Vacation – Whether you are a harmony seeking, people pleaser or the cruise director type, don’t abandon your ideas of fun in favor of what makes others happy all the time. No matter how difficult it may be, find time each day to do something that you enjoy (exercise, read, listen to music, color, crossword puzzles…)
  6. Reconnect with your Inner Child —No matter how formal or informal you may be, it’s sometimes hard to break free from our role as responsible adults and just let loose. Vacation is your time to let the stresses of daily life go and be silly and carefree.  This opportunity doesn’t come often, so live it up and enjoy each day to the fullest.

While no vacation will ever be 100% perfect, being self-aware and recognizing each other’s needs and differences can help get you one step closer to the vacation of your dreams.  If you are interested in learning more about the power of self-awareness and how tools like Predictive Index® (PI®) can help you better understand what drives and motivates you, what may trigger stress and how others around you may be motivated differently, visit or contact me directly at

About the Author: Erinne Tripp

About MCG Partners

MCG Partners a woman-owned, Greater Boston-based consultancy specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, talent management, and organizational development solutions. We help businesses optimize success through the entire management life-cycle. MCG Partners is also a Predictive Index® (PI®) certified partner.

To learn more about MCG Partners’ services or The Predictive Index®, contact John Griffith at or visit