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How to Tell Your Parents You Don’t Want to Go on Vacation With Them

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For most of us having a good relationship with our parents are important.

Hence why declining an invitation isn’t always painless. Even when it’s the right thing to do for all parties.

But with the right perspectives and mindset, it’s much easier. My goal is to help you achieve this with everything you’ll find in this article.

Because most of the time it’s our instincts that make our minds and feelings play tricks with us. Rather than rationality and a calm overview of things.

Let’s not waste time and get started.

1. Weigh in All the Reasons Why You Don’t Want to Go

As stated in the beginning, having a quality relationship with our parents are important for most of us.

And in order to nurture a relationship, spending mindful time together is one of the most effective ways. This applies to all relationships.

Benches are for reflecting. And sometimes sitting

But maybe you’re in a situation where it’s a no-brainer to you and you already made up your mind about not going on a vacation with your parents.

In that case, you could just skip this chapter and continue with the next one.

If not, the exercise I’m about to share with you now chances is you’ll find it beneficial (also in other aspects of life).

2. The Simple Exercise That Provides Clarity and Helps You Decide

I’ve used this exercise many times while being in doubt about doing something or not.

And it’s very simple and straightforward:

Make a pros and cons list and give each bullet a score between 1-5.

The list with the largest sum wins.

While this is not always enough to provide a definitive answer, it can often help you create the overview you need to take the right decision.

Pen and paper are still cool

Chances are that by doing a brainstorming like this things you might haven’t thought about will pop up.

And without a doubt, it will give you a better overview of all your thoughts – ultimately helping you taking the right decision.

Though the reason(s) you might come up with doesn’t always have to be rational – listening to your emotions are often also a valid way of making the right decisions.

It’s about finding the balance between your rational thoughts and feelings.

3. See Things From a Bigger Perspective

A valid argument that speaks in favor of you going on vacation anyways, is thinking about what your future self would advise you to do.

I agree on living in the present is the best thing to do most of the time. But when it comes to taking the right decisions for yourself in the long term, it’s often the opposite.

This often includes unwanted emotions here and now, but will benefit you in the future. Such as killing procrastination, exercising, or choosing a healthy meal here and then even if you don’t feel like it.

Limited edition colors

With the risk of getting dramatic here, it’s important to remember that our time and chances in life are limited. This includes the quality time you have with your parents.

In my later years, I really liked to remind myself of this. Also when it comes to other aspects of life.

In everyday life, it’s easy to get caught up with a busy schedule. But if you sit down and visualize the time you statistically have left (with tools such as this), it can really create some food for thought.

With anything else, I’m not saying that this is necessarily enough reason for you to go on a vacation with your parents anyways. But it is still a quality reflection that can help you take the right decision.

📌 TIP: Not spending enough time with friends and family is often mentioned among the biggest regrets people have on their deathbed.

4. Show Your Appreciation and Understanding

Whether they’re kind enough to pay for the vacation or not, showing your appreciation can be an important element in saying no.

If you’re paying yourself, an option is simply to tell them you appreciate that they want to spend time with you.

By doing so you’ll warm up the conversation and decrease the risk of hurting your parents or running into an argument.

Another thing is also to confirm their ideas and why you think a family vacation is a great idea on another occasion (but only if you truly do so).


5. Be Honest and Transparent (If You Can)

If you’re not being honest and transparent with your parents about why you don’t want to go, you’re also hindering the chances of them understanding you in the first place.

Being transparent and honest with someone often improves the relationship. This applies to the relationships with your parents too.

And since most of us consider the relationship with our parents long-term rather than short-term, it makes even more sense to be straightforward with them.

Especially if the reason you don’t want to go isn’t personal.

Since I don’t know the unique relationship you have with your parents, you’re the only one that can decide if being honest and transparent is an option.

If it is, I highly suggest you’re taking that route.

If not, a bad excuse and maybe even a minor white lie is to be preferred.

6. See It From Your Parent’s Perspective

If something being a parent teaches you (talking from second-hand experience), it’s putting aside your own needs for the sake of your children.

I’m not contemplating that you’re without responsibility here being the son or a daughter. But if you truly don’t want to go for whatever reason, they most likely want what’s best for you and support you.

Hugging family

And imagine if you’re parents planned this trip for your sake in the first place without you knowing. It would be a shame to still go if the truth is all of you prefer to spend your time differently.

But on the contrary – if you know this vacation means everything to your parents, consider doing it for their sake.

There’s no shame in doing something for someone else, even if we don’t feel like it ourselves. There’s a lot of meaning and happiness in practicing this in general.

7. Saying No Shouldn’t Be Easy

Saying no can be difficult enough as it is.

Especially when it comes to saying the ones we love.

But if you have your reason, it’s a good opportunity for growth by moving out of your comfort zone.

Saying no is an important skill to practice in general, and it’s something we’ll benefit from for the rest of our lives.

It also potentially helps us become more aware of our own unselfish needs, make boundaries, and become better versions of ourselves.

8. Suggest an Alternative to Look Forward To

In case you don’t mind going on vacation in the future. Consider suggesting an alternative along with telling them you don’t want to go.

This is also a great way of emphasizing your true intentions and letting your parents know that it’s not a personal thing.

Campfire talk
Next: Bread on sticks

I also suggest booking some dates as well. Then it will be specific and you all can relax more knowing plans are made.

But only do this if you’re 100% sure you want to go. Don’t use it as an easy way of avoiding the initial challenge of saying no. Even though it might be tempting. This would just postpone the situation.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a trip or vacation either.

In the end, it’s all about giving space for present quality time with each other.

📌 TIP: I've previously written about how to tell someone they're not invited on a trip. In case you're looking for more related perspectives and inspiration regarding the important skill of saying no and declining someone even if it's the right thing to do.
Global Dane

Hey, my friend! I’m the guy behind this website. I was born in Denmark in 1991. My love for traveling started at an early age when the occasional family trips meant ice cream, french fries, and sea water were indulged in an equal amount. Later in life, I found my true source of happiness in exploring unknown lands, turning strangers into friends, and challenging my view of the world through traveling.

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