All families experience vacation feuds. Here are some suggestions from experts for lessening vacation tensions.
Talk ahead of time about what each family member wants from this vacation.
Negotiate. Try to find a way each family member can enjoy something special -- an amusement park outing for the school-age kids, a do-nothing read-a-book beach day for dad, tennis for mom and nighttime club-hopping with a teenager.
Let teenagers have input into decisions from where to vacation to what to eat. This enlists their cooperation. Compromise. Tell them they don't have to eat dinner with parents every night, but you'd like a family dinner for three nights.
Get as much space as possible. Paying for an extra room for the kids may be worth eating a string of mediocre meals.
Be honest about a budget. Don't make one parent the bad guy who must declare "No we can't afford this." Talk and decide together whether all of you prefer visiting Disney World for another day, or hanging around the hotel pool so you can enjoy a lobster dinner.
Give all similar-age kids in a family the same limits in spending money. This is especially important for blended families. Don't let a non-vacationing parent or relative dump extra money on one kid.
Have realistic expectations. Some things will go wrong, from boring museums to musty hotel rooms to traffic jams. Don't let this ruin your trip.
Take along whatever traveling games, tape recorders, food, and drink your family needs to go happily from one location to another. Never assume room service or airplanes will have anything suitable for a hungry, small child.