To be very worried about going on a joint family holiday?

(40 Posts)
GiveMumABreak Wed 10-Jul-13 17:07:44

Us and two other families, 6 adults, 6 kids (different ages and personalities), sunny location, shared villa. We have spent a huge amount of money on this holiday (the costs have just kept rolling in!) please tell me IABU to be worried, that we are all going to get on and its all going to be great fun! Tell me your shared holiday stories.....

babyhmummy01 Wed 10-Jul-13 17:20:23

We always used to go away with friends and loved it as kids, as far as I know parents etc all got on fine! Never done as an adult though but would assume as long as ground rules re food or shared time or babysitting Rota if ur kids are young are all agreed in advance I am sure you will have s great time

CloudsAndTrees Wed 10-Jul-13 17:26:22

You will all get on if you can agree ground rules before you go. That way, there is no room for confusion or misunderstanding, and everyone knows what is expected of them.

If you can, have an adult only get together to discuss rules for the dc, even little things like whether ice cream will be allowed every day has potential to cause problems if two families disagree. Then when you have got everything clear with the adults, get all the children together and get them to agree before you go, including anything that is important to them, like sharing toys or not,

HappyDoll Wed 10-Jul-13 17:29:57

Very brave, I've never dared but I know plenty that have...including the families that discovered on day 2 that the 'organising family' had not actually paid a penny towards the fortnight in Portugal, they had just told everyone else it was that bit more expensive shock ! The following 12 days were a right laugh!

But I'm sure you'll all be fine wink

eurozammo Wed 10-Jul-13 17:31:20

What are you worried about?

HappyDoll Wed 10-Jul-13 17:31:39

Yes to the ice cream thing...on day one it's a little tiff but by day 7...

CaptainSweatPants Wed 10-Jul-13 17:33:17

You must have thought it was a good idea when it was booked!

Adults can sit around drinking wine
Kids will have a ball playing together

AtAmber Wed 10-Jul-13 17:34:22

We went on holiday with our close friends and their ds 10 years ago. We stayed in a villa. We have no contact at all now due to that holiday.

Helpyourself Wed 10-Jul-13 17:34:44

Are you all quite similar?
We go on holiday with 4 other families and its wonderful. However everyone is bringing up their dcs quite similarly and are prepared to live and let live over differences. We're also quite similar age wise- I reckon it would only take one chirpy new wife with a designer bikini and it'd implode.
Everyone is well off enough to not fret too much over costs and everything's pooled, so although we don't all use nappies or drink, or eat meat, we all pay the same.
I'm sure if you all like each other and are prepared to not sweat the small stuff you'll have a super time.

CaptainSweatPants Wed 10-Jul-13 17:35:50

And decide on food budget
Will you all take it in turns to cook each night?
Eat out one night
Are you all similar finacially wise
Cos if someone is loaded & wants to eat caviar & drink champers each night then you're screwed wink

CaptainSweatPants Wed 10-Jul-13 17:36:56

AtAmber expand please! What happened?!

neunundneunzigluftballons Wed 10-Jul-13 17:37:59

We always have joint holidays and really enjoy them. Recently we had a break away with just our own family as the other family was not available we were metaphorically ready to kill the children after 3 days of whining, fighting and constant misbehaviour we definitely won't be having a family holiday alone again for a few years. Our older 2 do not get along and forcing them to play together is a recipe for disaster which is where the other family step in. Hope you have a blast.

WipsGlitter Wed 10-Jul-13 17:39:09

Agree how bills will be split before you go.
Make it clear its ok to do things apart.
Kids treats and bedtimes could be tricky
Food prep and clearing up - rota?
Supervision of kids, if on day one you're lifeguard then you don't want to still be stuck with that on day 13.

GiveMumABreak Wed 10-Jul-13 17:41:55

Oh happydoll that Portugal story made be smile smile

eurozammo I guess I'm concerned that I will regret spending all that money and not just going on a family holiday (just us) grumpy husbands, squabbling kids, tired mums etc.

I think as babyhmummy and cloudsandtrees have suggested, ground rules are the key, I think possibly the first one is mummy's glass must be topped up at all times!

Different parenting styles could be one area for concern (one of the other mums is obsessively strict about early bedtimes - this could cause an issue!)

One of the mums is very controlling (she also knows the local area) and has started a bit of an itinerary already, has even made a restaurant booking (from the UK!) <warning bells>

I'm sure it'll be ok and I won't regret booking it (at the time of booking we were all so excited)

WipsGlitter Wed 10-Jul-13 17:48:16

A restaurant reservation you say? Itinerary?

Run, run like the wind.

This won't end well...

GiveMumABreak Wed 10-Jul-13 17:48:44

atAmber oh wow! Please elaborate?!

Yes, splitting bills, household chores, kids treats and bedtimes seem to be the biggest areas for concern (potential areas or conflict I will look out for --while topping up my glass--)

Yes, captainsweatpants those are the exact reasons we were looking forward to holiday (kids playing together and adults chatting and drinking wine) and that's what I'm going to focus on,

GiveMumABreak Wed 10-Jul-13 17:50:57

wipsGlitter and matching outfits for all the children (like a holiday uniform) the vontrapp family! grin the outfits have been ordered (I kid you not!)

HappyDoll Wed 10-Jul-13 17:52:37

Matching outfits????? WTF???

Run girl RUN!!

HappyDoll Wed 10-Jul-13 17:53:57

Seriously, how old are the kids? Mine would rather die than have to traipse around on holiday in some kind of uniform?!

We've been on a few. Have a kitty and top up as necessary. One sticking point was one family blowing the kitty in the supermarket on the first day (loads of treats that no-one ate. FAR too much food). The other family were far more frugal and were a bit shock at how much was spent. We took it in turns to go to the supermarket so the balance was redressed somewhat. We made rough meal plans so we could plan ahead a tiny bit (not too much though as it's a holiday after all). On the last day we just ate everything that was left over in the fridge (apart from all the ice creams that had been bought on day 1).

Also you could split the holiday up into days so each family decides what to do a few times. As long as everyone is roughly in agreement.

Compromise and go with the flow. You'll probably have the best ever holiday and I'm quite jealous!

TenToWine Wed 10-Jul-13 17:57:22

We go on holidays with other familiies (all very close friends) most years. However, the children are all pretty close in age. It can be anywhere between 2 and 5 families (each family having 2 or 3 children). We find it works really well. Kids amuse each other, adults have company after kids go to bed and we share the cooking etc, and we also eat out or get catering in from time to time.

We are though all very similar in our approach, and tend to be quite relaxed about routine etc on hols. We also have similar budgets.
One year another family came with us and did not enjoy it so much - they are a bit less laid back (eg wanting to do washing up immediately after dinner so probably ended up doing more of it, and wanting their DC to eat at particular times). It was fine and did not lead to any fall outs but they have chosen not to do it again which is not a problem. Some years we do a kitty and some years keep track of our own spending and even it up at the end.

Also went away with my DH's 2 siblings and their families. I expected to enjoy it as I do enjoy group holidays. I didn't, even though I get on with them. We just had different ideas about how we wanted to spend our days and we felt obliged to go along with DH's brother's suggestions as he used to live in the area when younger - bit of a nostalgic trip for him. Don't know what we will do if they suggest holidaying together again.

OK I missed the bit about matching outfits. That is seriously scary.

DorisIsWaiting Wed 10-Jul-13 18:00:13

Oh dear.... I feel for you. shock

<and I want update on this one>

Used to go on huge camping holidays with friends 5/6/7 families, I would love to do that now but then again...

GiveMumABreak Wed 10-Jul-13 18:00:20

Hee hee! It's not so bad, matching t shirts were bought (the little ones have been wearing theirs all week they are so excited!) my 12 year old DS gave me a shock [hmmmm] look, he said "I'll wear it once for a photo, but you must promise not to put it on FB!"

Yes, the itinerary is worrying....

culturemulcher Wed 10-Jul-13 18:01:12

We've done it with one family and are about to do it again this summer. It worked last time, even though we all had v. young kids and were sleep addled.

We didn't sort out any ground rules at all before we went, and just went with the flow. I guess the other family have more disposable income, and like to cook 'proper meals' rather than -be lazy and eat out, but they're good friends and nothing was really an issue at all.

The benefits are everything you imagined when you booked - the kids entertain themselves, and you've someone to relax with when the little darlings are finally asleep.

culturemulcher Wed 10-Jul-13 18:04:15

Don't forget you can also 'opt out' for an afternoon and head off with just your family for a few hours break family time.

oscarwilde Wed 10-Jul-13 18:08:20

Scary organised friend might come in useful if the weather is bad. Just back from two weeks of rain confused
Seriously, if you have a control freak in the group just state your requirements/budget and leave them to it. grin

AtAmber Wed 10-Jul-13 18:13:27

Our ds's were both 4. Their ds threw our belongings into the pool. He wouldn't sit at the table when our ds was made to. He broke things on purpose. By day 10 we used to get the bus somewhere for the day just to get away. I thought it would be a lovely holiday. We'd all been friends for years and got on really well. I was very wrong.

Millais Wed 10-Jul-13 18:14:22

Agree to have some time out with just your own families. Also have a discussion about dealing with behaviour. We do a huge family trip each year and have all agreed that anyone should feel free to deal with stuff when they see it. Also we swap children and take turns cooking a meal with a couple of children. We also make sure all the kids know pool rules as this can get a bit mad.

It is fun- sometimes not very relaxing and we do also have a family holiday so are a bit spoilt!

theoriginalandbestrookie Wed 10-Jul-13 18:21:41

We have done it every other year with two families, have it down to an art now, although first time required some "ironing" out.

Here's what works for us:

1) Own cars - no negotiation on this, you need your own space as a family.

2) One member of each family goes on first and any subsequent major shopping expeditions. DH likes this as he gets to go with the other wives - they know now to put him in charge of alcohol and cheese, while they source the more day to day items !

3) Do a mixture of eating together, eating out - we have at least one child free night in the week and DS is very happy as playing with the other children.

4) Sometimes you have to do what suits you. DS is quite a fussy eater and the first year I tried to get him to eat what the other children were having resulting in total melt down. Now I make sure there is at least one item on the menu that he eats, even if its only plain pasta. Plus he has got a little less fussy and at least he goes to bed at bed time !

5) We never had any strict rotas, but I have got a bit snippy when I felt one of the DHs wasn't pulling his weight, so perhaps a rough plan on who does what might be better.

6) Get a big enough villa, you don't know what the other children sleep like. Do not suggest that your DC will be happy bunking in with someone elses, it will be a recipe for disaster.

7) See if you can get a catered meal at the property, we had this last year and it was fab. Not cheap at 50 euro a head per adult but loads of left overs and very relaxing for the first evening.

Enjoy it - there are loads of benefits !

dirtyface Wed 10-Jul-13 18:28:02

ha i remember doing this as a child (going away with one or two other families) as far as i remember the adults just got hammered every night and all the kids just ran riot upstairs til we crashed

but can remember lots of little tiffs as well. between the kids AND the adults lol

Bowlersarm Wed 10-Jul-13 18:32:22

It really is a great way to take a holiday. Kids all entertain themselves which is the main thing,

I would just recommend compromise, compromise, compromise. If all the families are digging their heels in about various issues it can become very fraught.

I loved this sort do holiday when the kids were small though; worked very well.

raisah Wed 10-Jul-13 19:00:04

Like everybody has said, shared rotas for cleaning, cooking & general maintenance.
Shared food kitty for grocery shopping
Do separate & shared activities
Make sure you have chill out time away from each other so you dont get on each others nerves.

theoriginalandbestrookie Wed 10-Jul-13 19:41:00

Just thinking about our group holiday last year. One of my best and most lasting memories ( and I recorded it so we have it for posterity) is the evening all the children decided to put on a magic show.

Obviously Paul Daniels needn't give up his job just yet, but it was so lovely to see them all working together, delighted to have an audience, whilst we cheered them on - suitably enthusiastic after a few glasses of wine.

KevinFoley Wed 10-Jul-13 20:33:48

We've had some lovely holidays with friends but we're all laid back, similar budgets, etc. However, holiday with BIL and his partner was the most hellish experience of my life as they were completely controlling and she was certifiable. Preferably I'd have separate accommodation from other families which I think increases chances of success. I'd also advise agreeing that people can do their own thing whenever they wish.

dirtyface Wed 10-Jul-13 20:36:27

oh theoriginal thats just lovely smile <melts>

i remember doing a very similar thing as a child with the other kids we were on holiday with, except we put on a little play on the last night. smile

theoriginalandbestrookie Wed 10-Jul-13 20:39:44

Thanks dirtyface - the memory of it is keeping me going as we are having some issues trying to agree upon a suitable venue for next years vacation <first world problem>

JackNoneReacher Wed 10-Jul-13 20:53:45

I think it could be amazing and really worth the effort/mild irritations. We've done it but only for long weekends. Bit different.

The uniform thing worries me a bit... Funny until you get there and realise she didn't mean it as a joke.

Good luck. Can we look forward to a post holiday update?

Oh, just remembered... we've had a rota in the past where there is a main cook for the whole day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they have a 'slave'. We were on holiday for 7 days and there happened to be 7 adults. Each adult was main cook for a day and slave on another day. The slave gets told what to do (chop veg, wash up etc). We are pretty laid back and it worked well for us. It also meant there were no slackers and everyone had to take some responsibility. Maybe we're all a bit controlling though. hmm

On the day that you weren't main cook or slave, it was utter bliss. Just sit back and put your feet up!

YoniWheretheSunDontShine Wed 10-Jul-13 22:21:58

I dont think itinery is worrying you can take it or leave it - but its there, better than not there, i think thats rather nice,

i cant tell you are arnt bu though as lets face it - hell is other people.

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