19 Embarrassing Things You Thought Only Your Family Did On Vacation

Not to get all “summer reading” on you guys, but, considering that we are nearly halfway through the summer and I am a snob, I feel that the time is right to pull out a quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

William Shakespeare was, without a doubt, referring to family vacations when he wrote this. (This analysis was brought to you by a very expensive piece of paper that I own known as an “English Degree.”)


While there are many positive attributes to family vacations (you get to get away AND your parents are footing the bill), there are many ways in which the trip can quickly turn disastrous. At best, you all fail to blend in to wherever you are vacationing and everyone knows that you are a tourist. At worst, things turn so dire that you feel that the only solution is to desert your entire family.Either way, it’s impossible to avoid feeling at least a little embarrassed at every moment. Check out these 19 embarrassing things you thought only your family did on vacation:

1. Plan every moment of the trip.


Planning starts weeks in advance. A beach weekend is treated with as much care as an African safari, and, according to your spreadsheet-happy mom, an actual African safari probably takes a lifetime to prepare for.

2. Argue over luggage allowances.


Your dad thinks you can only bring a carry-on for a two-week trip. Nice try, sucker.

3. Resort to fisticuffs over the driving playlist.


Whether you’re just driving to the airport or embarking on a cross-country journey, this always gets ugly. Don’t take it personally that your dad doesn’t love the Rent soundtrack as much as you do, although IT IS HARD NOT TO TAKE IT VERY PERSONALLY.

4. Take roughly 19034085 pit stops to accommodate your family’s asynchronous peeing/eating schedules. 


Which makes the journey much longer than it needs to be. Fun!!

5. Get carsick, planesick, seasick, or just plain…sick.


In my family, there’s a fun quote we like to say: “It’s not really a vacation unless somebody’s used at least one barf bag!”

6. Fight over the good beds whenever you get to where you’re staying.


Someone’s got to sleep on the couch and you’ll do whatever it takes for it not to be you.

7. Bring food that suits your very particular tastes.


My mom always brings an “emergency avocado” wherever she goes. I don’t question it anymore.

8. Break down when tensions get high.


One time my sister threatened to drink her own blood because she got a little thirsty.

9. Make sure everyone knows you’re a tourist.

Via awkwardfamilyphotos.com

Via awkwardfamilyphotos.com

The best way to do this is to wear cargo shorts, bucket hats, and read guide books on public transportation.

10. Play nice for the cameras so your mom can get all of the Facebook likes she feels she deserves.


Moms and their friends are so passionate about Facebook. Don’t you dare get in the way of that.

11. Break out the Dad Jorts for the entire fam.



12. Take awkward pics with any wild creatures you can find. 



13. Witness your dad unwittingly cause an international incident by imitating the way the locals speak by accident.


All dads do this, right?

14. Go slightly insane due to isolation and take an inappropriate Instagram picture, just because you miss the rest of society and you need the internet attention.


Via teen.com

I mean, I assume this is what was going through the Biebs’ head when he took this fire pic.

15. Slog along on all of the educational day trips that your mom wants to take. 


“They didn’t put 70,000 pieces of art in the Louvre for you just to see the Mona Lisa,” your mom cackles over her shoulder as you hobble behind her, weeping softly but too afraid to show that you are the family’s weakest link.

16. Endure terrible injuries. 


Here’s another one of my family’s platitudes: “It’s not really a family vacation unless somebody’s visited at least one non-English speaking emergency room!”

17. Threaten at least once to disown your entire family.


It happens. They won’t take it personally.

18.  Fantasize different ways in which you can be the one in charge of deciding activities.


Mom has been drinking the Fodor’s Travel Kool-Aid for far too long and it’s making her unstable. She must be stopped.

19. Realize that you actually kind of like these jerks you are related to.


It could be Stockholm Syndrome, sure. But by the end of the vacation, you feel a new, pleasant bond with the rest of your family. This usually lasts until the next family vacation.

Has any of this happened to you on a family vacation? What did I forget? Let us know in the comments below!

You can follow the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter or Instagram.

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