It is that time of the year again for family vacation: rest, relaxation, and fun. That is often the game plan going in, but it doesn’t always work out that way. The stress associated with summer trips can be related to unrealistic expectations, tension between family members, miscommunications or differences in agenda/plans. One time I was visiting a theme park in Orlando and witnessed a couple yelling at each other in the middle of the park about a miscommunication related to a meeting place. It appeared that the couple’s need to be right overrode their desire to forgive and let go of the conflict. My guess is that this interaction disrupted their time together and created more stress than pleasure. Why do vacations have to be stressful? Many times we overextend ourselves financially, relationally, and behaviorally. We seek the ultimate “perfect vacation” which is of course impossible to achieve. Many of us lose sight of the process and fixate on the outcome. Vacations are to rejuvenate, to revitalize, and to restore our sense of balance in life, but vacations are not always stress free. Conflicts can occur at any time and in any setting. Find out next week ways to make your vacation time more enjoyable and keep conflicts at a manageable level. We all need vacations, but how they turn out has a lot to do with our approach, attitude, and flexibility. Stay tuned for next week’s blog.