2 December 2012

Family Travel: A Weekend In Madrid

The Three Musketeers
This post has been prompted by an up coming trip I have with my sisters and nieces in toll. Also as of late I have been reading a lot about people doing solo trips because they cannot get their friends or families to come along or avoiding people tagging along because of disagreements during holidays. In a way this is something I could relate to but over time I have gained a lot of experience in terms of what works for all us. I tend to plan my trips to a 'T' and with travelling with my sisters great to always have someone who is laid back and just throw away the map and just explore the cities without any plans. Like the saying goes, you can choose your friends, but you cant choose your family.
Having had a few family holiday bust-ups, it doesn't last very long and I am extremely lucky to have a ridiculously funny family so in a matter of minutes from a disagreement we can be cracking up as we get awkward looks from locals.

As much as I love doing family travels I also appreciate my solo trips away from it all. Living in London, a fashion capital of the world, next to Paris, we have pretty much most of the stores you will find around the world. With this, shopping is never really a big part of my travels but I know that if I am traveling with my sisters I will have to make sure that we at least have enough time to hit the shops. So in order to increase the odds of holiday success here are some tips I try to leave by(family survival tips so to speak!):

Planning a trip to suit everyone: Consider everyone's budget on the trip as well as considering individual time tables on when people are off work or school. There is nothing worse that booking a hotel that someone in the group cannot avoid or a hotel that's not up to standard with another to limit any tension. Also if visiting a family abroad, making sure you agree dated to avoid conflict in work/school schedule.

Spend some time apart: Just because you are on holiday together doesn't mean you have to be together 24/7.  Yes you might be in a foreign country but there is nothing wrong with doing certain activities on your own. This gives you something to talk about when you meet up again for dinner and discuss what each of your saw.

Allowing for growth: When you haven seen family members for a long time, bear in mind that people change and grow. So keeping in mind that travelling with a family member after not seeing them for a while may mean that things wont be the same. The experience may be different but just considering the last two points may help in dealing with family holiday challenges.

Share responsibilities: Sharing the responsibilities when planing the trip so that one person is planning everything. My older sister is great at shopping around for hotels deals as she travels a bit for work. So normally its left to her to get us 5 stars for half the price! I tend to plan all the spots we wont want to miss out and in charge of the photography off course! My young sister will but watching budgets as she tends to think in dollars(living in the US has that effect on you) whilst my older sister and I think in pounds.

I find that keeping good relationships with your family is important and going on trips together and sharing those experience allows for more bonding that one can do just sitting at home together.

Below are some shots from our trip in Madrid. 

My older and younger sister
Madrid Capital
Across the road
Beautiful parks by the Palace.
Say cheese!
I got your back!



How about you? Have you been to Madrid, or traveled with family? Any tips you can add to my list?

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Madrid city Break

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