Should you bring your in-laws on vacation?

By: Jessica Willis  | 
Image Gallery: Beaches It looks like this family is happy the in-laws joined them on vacation! See more pictures of beautiful beaches.
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We all know people who get along great with their in-laws, even considering them to be "second parents," and we also know some people who constantly struggle with their mate's family. No matter what type of relationship you have with your spouse's parents, you will inevitably have to spend time with them during a few holidays or special events throughout the year.

Beyond those special seasonal visits, there's another opportunity for spending time with your in-laws -- the family vacation. The pros and cons of having your in-laws on your vacation are endless and all depend on your situation and relationship with them.


So whether your mother-in-law is one of your best friends or your father-in-law is controlling and overbearing, you will have to eventually answer the question, "Should I bring my in-laws on vacation?" First, let's look at why you might want to take them along.

If you're lucky enough to get along well with your in-laws and just like spending time with them, deciding to take them along is an easy choice. But if the idea of taking your in-laws on vacation is a daunting decision, keep in mind that there are many perks to having them around.

If you have children, your vacation is likely to be more relaxing with extra help around. You will probably even get more alone time with your spouse (can you say date night?) and your mother and father-in-law will love spending extra time with their grandchildren.

Depending on your specific situation, having your in-laws join you on vacation can be financially helpful as well. Most parents love spoiling their children (even after they've become adults) and will likely be glad to help out with the financial aspects of the trip by paying for dinners, groceries or even lodging.

Most importantly, having your in-laws join you on vacation shows a huge support to your spouse. No matter how you feel about your in-laws, they are your spouse's parents and are likely held in high regard by him or her. Having them join the fun is just another way to show your spouse how much you love him or her.

Continue reading to see why you just might want to think twice before inviting your in-laws on vacation with you.


Vacation with In-laws: Maybe Not

vacation with in laws
Shot of a man having a fun day at the beach with his family and in-laws Dean Mitchell / Getty Images

Although there may be many benefits to taking your in-laws on vacation with you, there are also some not-so-positive things to consider. For example, figuring out the financial responsibilities can be stressful and possibly bring about some tension on your vacation. Deciding who should pay for what and keeping up with financial expectations can really put a damper on your vacation if you aren't careful and don't plan ahead.

Also, some people just have different vacationing styles. While you and your spouse might want to relax on the beach and take it easy, your in-laws might want to be pretty active (or vice versa). If there are expectations for you and your spouse to spend most of your time with your in-laws, you could get sucked in to doing things that you might not ordinarily want to do on your vacation.


Lack of privacy is also a common issue when vacationing with your in-laws (and really, just about anyone). You and your spouse will likely want time alone and you should definitely have your own bedroom to keep from feeling crowded by your company. If you just can't get away physically, try to mentally divert yourself by reading a book or listening to music (Source: Voo).

In some cases, vacationing with in-laws just isn't a good idea if there are any unresolved issues or arguments. It is likely that those things will come up on your trip and will be a surefire way to ruin your vacation.

If you must vacation with your in-laws against your will, handle any issues beforehand and plan ahead to make certain that your trip goes as smooth as possible. After all, a vacation is supposed to be fun and relaxing, so do your best to ensure that it is.


Lots More Information

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  • Voo, Jocelyn. "How to enjoy vacationing with in-laws." October 4, 2007.
  • Waddle, Jeff. "Vacationing with parents or in-laws." April 13, 2010.