Travel with the family – what you need to know

Holiday with the family

family summer vacation on a beachWhen it comes to the family, we all have stories that we tell of past experiences together and none are more memorable than that of the holiday. It may be that they are forever captured in holiday photographs, or it may be that holidays are rare opportunities to spend extended periods of time with relatives. But, what is the family in the twenty first century anyway? Familial discourses, presented by the media, in schools and through government policies, shape the parameters in society of what a ‘good family’ is and deionise certain types of families – single or teenage mothers for example. It is in this way that obedience is obtained and members of society are governed; as individuals feel guilt, anxiety or disappointment if they do not match what is perceived to be ‘the right way’ of doing things and thus strive to conform in order to obtain pleasure. As would be expected, many families are unable to match the discourse of what family ‘ought to be’

Family trips

Overall, holidays with the family can be stressful, and it is not always necessary to go away with them. In fact, it may be beneficial to all concerned if they go on separate trips! Rather that than arguments and falling out over petty things, arguments that are magnified due to them occurring in a foreign context. Be honest about your objectives and the differing personalities that will be present, it may be great to have grand-parents around to look after children, but having to care for the old and the young may take a fair amount of energy and destroy any allusions of a relaxing holiday.

Don’t worry about being ‘normal’

But would is a normal family anyway? Travelling with uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents was once standard behaviour, but is less so these days. A major source of contention is what happens to children of divorced parents when the summer holidays come rolling around. Both genders claim the law is inherently biased against their sex and both claim to be acting in the interests of their children, whether it is the mother wishing to conform to the discourse of ‘good mother’ by claiming that the father should not have access to the child because because she needs to move on ‘for my child’s sake’, or a father wishing to avoid the discourse of ‘bad father’ by spending as much time with his child in their time off as they can, it’s a tricky scenario – but one which must be considered for everyone’s benefit.

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