When you think of family holidays, small children bickering and exhausted parents probably come to mind.
And to be honest, my experience wasn’t that much different.
Except for the fact that my trip consisted of my retired dad, 50 something mum, me (I’m 25) and my two adventurous 23 and 21-year-old sisters.
What could possibly go wrong? Oh, I don’t know. Five strong-minded, stubborn people stuck on a ship in the middle of the Hawaiian oceans for two whole weeks.
Sounds kind of like the plot of a really cheesy horror movie, right? But there were some inspirational plot lines.
Like the time my mum refused to put the camera away (queue the dozens of absolutely hideous photos of me posted to her very active Facebook page).
Or when one of my sisters had an "episode" after we all bailed on the cruise’s highly anticipated dance competition. According to my sister, she’d been “lying on her bed in a certain position for hours so that her “hair wouldn’t get messed up” before we left.
Aside from a brutal door slam, a dramatic dive into bed and ignoring us for the rest of the night, things were pretty smooth sailing.
Ha ha. Get it? We were on a ship. Okay, I’ll stop now.
Anyway, we got to spend two weeks exploring the beautiful Hawaiian islands, and we did it as a family. An adult family.
Here are some of the things that I think contributed to our (surprisingly) successful holiday.
Have your children pay for themselves
Listen up, this one’s important.
While I believe it’s okay for parents to chip in for certain things, I strongly stand by the notion that adult children should pay their own way.
This means they won’t take the trip for granted because they’ll want to make the most of every hard earned dollar they spent. Trust me.
Most of the restaurants on our ship were included in the original price, but when we had to pay for meals, we usually split the bill equally or paid for what we ordered.
Souvenirs, day trips and all the extras were our individual choices and therefore were purchased individually.
Stay in separate rooms
I can’t stress this enough.
Five people sharing one room with one bathroom equals bad times.
Especially when everyone has to get ready at the same time because they need to leave at the same time.