Being an Introvert on a Family Vacation: 9 Tips to Avoid Exhaustion

An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving Your Next Family Vacation

Sometimes, we need a break from the meddling aunties!

No matter the year, the period between December to February may be the best time of the year. You’ve got Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Chinese New Year in three consecutive months, and to top it all off, there seems to be a never-ending wedding season happening as of late. Not only do these holidays call for celebrations and merriment, but they also bring family vacations which some of us have been dreading all year. 

introvert family vacation

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As an introvert, I can tell you why the holidays aren’t a great cup of tea for people like me. Spending quality time with your family is one thing, but to be in constant contact with half of your family tree can be quite exhausting. You get roped into activities you don’t want to be a part of, and when you refuse to tag along on outings, they call you a spoilsport. Sure, you haven’t seen these people in three years (or more), but sometimes we need a break from the meddling aunts. 

What’s more, the house is going to be packed. In the midst of unnecessary comments and questions and meddling aunts, you’re less likely to find time to recharge. If that’s the case, we’re here to help! Whether you’re flying back home or going on a road trip, here are nine tips to avoid feeling exhausted for introverts on family vacations. 

Also read: What It’s Like Planning & Executing a Mega Family Vacation Without Going Crazy

Top tips to survive your next family vacation as an introvert

1. Find a space to recharge your energy

introvert family vacation

Image credit: Annie Spratt

The most important thing for introverts on a family vacation is to find a space where one can recharge. On your next family gathering, figure out a private space where you can go whenever you feel like taking time for yourself. 

If you’re staying at a relative’s house, the best bet is your assigned bedroom. As for the introverts planning to stay at a hotel, try to book a separate room from your family. During the afternoon, you can opt to stay in while the others head out. On that note, if you’re sharing a room with someone, offer to share it with a family member whom you know will be out often. 

However, if you’re out travelling with your family, finding a private space might be difficult — which brings us to the next tip.  

2. Bring a book, a journal, or a pair of headphones

introvert family vacation

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When you’re an introvert on a family vacation, you might find yourself stuck on a road trip or a flight with your relatives. When that happens, bring a book, a journal, or a pair of headphones with you. Not only will you have some me-time throughout the trip, but you could also avoid talking to your least favourite family members (even for just a few minutes). 

Most importantly, it’s a great way to destress whenever you feel overwhelmed after constant family interactions.

Also read: Best Beach Reads of 2022: Top 30 Books to Bring While on Vacation

3. Bring your laptop

introvert family vacation

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Alternatively, you can bring your laptop on vacation. This only works if you really have work to do on your vacation, which might honestly be a blessing in disguise for some of us. When you find yourself needing to work without any interruptions on your trip, find a room at your relatives’ house or go to a nearby cafe. We guarantee that you’ll have temporary peace of mind as you get your tasks done for the day. 

Also read: 21 Quiet Cafes in Singapore for Digital Nomads

4. Arrange a day out for yourself

introvert family vacations

Image credit: Maryam Badamchi

If you’re travelling to a place you’ve never been to before, another helpful tip is to arrange a day out for yourself. You can plan beforehand where you want to go on your own, including places that your family wouldn’t be keen on visiting due to time constraints. For example, if there are a few attractions that you’re interested in, you may want to check these out at night, when everyone else is planning to stay in and rest. 

A second option is to simply have a solo date — especially if you’ve already been to that destination! Before heading out, let your family know where you’ll be and agree to meet up somewhere once you’re done.

5. Space out your vacation itinerary

introvert family vacation

Image credit: Kylie Paz

With family vacations, you’re bound to participate in a lot of activities and outings throughout your trip. Although the idea of spending the whole day with your family sounds fun for a lot of people, it does get tiring afterwards. 

If you’re an introvert who has faced this issue before, one of the ways you can combat this problem on your next vacation is to space out the things you want to do. Choose which activities you’d like to be a part of, and politely excuse yourself from the ones that don’t interest you. 

6. Plan a shorter stay

introvert family vacation

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If you’re currently stressing over how you’re going to survive your next family vacation, might I suggest a solution? Specifically, if you’ve booked a separate flight ticket, you could always plan a shorter stay. For example, if your next family trip is two weeks, you can opt to stay for a week. 

Although your family might be a little sad that you can’t extend your stay, it allows you to still spend time with them in a meaningful way. 

Also read: 12 Stunning Islands in Indonesia Near Singapore That Are Perfect for a Short Holiday

7. Find a routine that works

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In the past, I’ve been told that I was “antisocial” because I was quiet and didn’t spend a lot of time with my relatives. In scenarios where you know that there’s no escaping your family, it’s best to figure out a routine that works for both parties. If your relatives are the ones calling the shots, negotiate with your parents first. Let them know your schedule and that you won’t be free at one point during the day. 

Then, figure out a plan that works best for both sides. If it makes everyone happy, it’s a good sign to stick to the routine for the rest of the vacation!

Also read: 5 Tips From a Homebody on How to Enjoy Travelling & Being Outdoors

8. Team up with other introverts in the family

introvert family vacation

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I think all of us can agree that at one point in our life, we’ve had a relative encourage us to talk to our cousins. Perhaps they’d even call someone in the family to come over to talk to you, which might be less than ideal for some of us. When you’re looking for a way to avoid this, simply spend more time with your favourite relatives — if they’re also introverts, even better! Together, you can plan how to navigate the next two or three family gatherings and make the whole vacation more enjoyable. 

9. Communicate with your family members on boundaries

introvert family vacation

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Last but not least, talk to your family members if necessary. Talk to them when you start to feel drained and need some time off to recharge. In addition, it’s important to address boundaries and stand up for yourself so that your family can anticipate when you need a break on your next vacation. 

Also read: The Best Countries for Introverts Who Love to Travel

Image credit: Erik Odiin

If you’re an introvert reading this, here are my tips for surviving your next family vacation. Although it may be hard in terms of the company, do remember to put your well-being first. Regardless of what anyone says, your feelings are completely valid and you’re allowed a moment to yourself. I hope that with my guide, you’ll be able to work on fostering better relationships with your family and creating more memories during the holiday season! 

Featured image credit: S&B Vonlanthen | Unsplash

About Author

Natasha Effendy
Natasha Effendy

Natasha is a wordsmith and digital content creator who's been trying to write her way into the adventure of a lifetime. If she's not writing, you'd definitely catch her nursing her addiction to romance and fantasy novels with a cup of tea.


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