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Being Single During A Family Vacation - mbl writes
Embracing Singlehood,  Single Life Blog

Being Single During A Family Vacation

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The pros and cons of being the single sister during family vacation

A few weeks ago I posted about being the single sister of the family, the stages you go through to accept it and your singleness. From my experience of being a single sister, I always feel like it is most prominent when my family goes on vacation. When we were younger, it was just the kids and my dad, or my mum (I’m a divorce child) and while there were the usual family intrigues, being single was never much of an issue. But in recent years, it’s definitely something that surfaces every time.

Having married siblings, being the single sister is one thing… But when you’re on vacation, with them for a few days, or a week, it can get quite intense. It can also stir up a whole cocktail of different emotions and feels. There are ups and downs, and even some all arounds. While it can get really hard to be the only one alone, especially on vacation, there are also so many more perks and advantages. Which actually makes me feel fortunate to be the single one.

The cons of being the single sister on a family vacation
The cons of being the single sister on a family vacation
1. Having no plus one

While personally I find this to be quite a perk, because I love not having someone in my space… It can also be a little rough. Even though I really enjoy my own company, and I don’t need someone with me to feel like I’m not left out, or out of place… Sometimes I feel like it would be nice to have someone with me. What frustrates me most, however, is the fact that just because I’m single, and don’t have a husband, I can’t bring a +1 with me. Which is something that irks me mainly because of the “inequality”, just because I’m not married. In general it bothers me that singles get treated differently, but here specifically, singles should also be able to bring someone with them on a family vacation.

We don’t have to have a significant other to be able to bring a +1. If my sisters get to bring their husbands, I should be able to at least bring my best friend. Which is something that I have insisted on, for the next family vacation we go on.

2. Feeling left out

When you’re the only single one on a family vacation, and don’t even get to bring a plus one… Then you can very easily, and quickly, start feeling left out. No matter how comfortable you are alone in your own company, when you’re 24/7 with others and are the only single, it can get rough too. Imagine sitting at a dinner table, night after night and you’re the only one without a date or some kind of +1. No matter how much you’re being included, or how much you love yourself, you’re gonna feel left out a bit. Couples also tend to have their own common language amongst other couples, especially if they have kids. And singles normally don’t have much to input into those kinds of conversation. It can also get quite boring for us.

3. Bunking with the kids / not having my own room

More often than not, I found myself being stuck without a room, because it’s a waste to get a whole separate room for me… Because I’m single and don’t have a husband to share a room with, then I basically have to either share a room with one of the couples, sleep on the couch in the lounge or bunk with the kids. While this is fine for a night or two (and even then, not really), more than that can be really hard. Vacations can get quite expensive, so I can understand not wanting to pay extra when there’s a perfectly comfortable couch… But even for one night, it’s frustrating to always be the one to compromise. It kind of takes the fun out of the vacation, really. Not to mention, you get no privacy.

4. No sleep

Not having your own room can get quite tiring. Personally, I’ve had many vacations where I got home more exhausted and stressed out than I was before. Which if you ask me, kinda defeats the purpose of a vacation. If I’m sleeping with the kids, then it gets really noisy in the morning. Even if I sleep on the couch, they come running out at the crack of dawn, make tons of noise, and make it impossible to sleep. Especially since they love coming to wake up their favourite auntie early in the morning. Which is sweet, and I love being their favourite auntie. But also very frustrating, and can get very intense when I don’t have my own room and it happens every morning.

The pros of being the single sister on a family vacation
The pros of being the single sister on a family vacation
1. No hubby to tell me what to do

This is personally my all time favourite thing about not having a husband in general, but also specifically while on vacation. While husbands can be very sweet, nice and helpful… They can also be quite the pain when you’re trying to do some shopping. It happens almost every single time I go out with my sisters and their husband, or my best friends and their husbands… The men stand on the side, tapping their feet impatiently, and pursuing my sisters. Because of the time and money they’re wasting on buying things. While I am free to spend my money as I please, without anyone reprimanding me for wasting time they could be doing other things, or asking me “why do you need that?” or “You’ve already got so many at home.”

2. No children to care for

While I love my nieces and nephew to death, I love that while I’m on vacation – I can actually have as much downtime as I want. So it actually feels like a vacation. Yeah, I help with the kids, but they’re not my responsibility, which is a huge weight to have while on vacation. I don’t need to deal with tantrums, putting them to sleep or needing to watch out for them all the time. 

3. Free to spend my own money

As I’ve mentioned above, one of the great many perks of not having a husband in general, and on vacation specifically, is that no one is on my case for any of my purchases. I can buy what I want, when I want, for as much as I want. No one can tell me not to buy, ask me why I need to buy something, or make me feel bad for any of it. I don’t have to feel bad about spending someone else’s money, or explain myself. If you want to spend the money, you can do so however you want to without feeling bad or explaining yourself.

4. Free to choose my alone time

I love me alone time, and when we’re on a family vacation, I get to decide how much of it to spend alone, and how much with my family. But beyond that, I have no one to tell me what to do when to do, as I mentioned. So that means, I can spend my time as I please. I can spend as much time on my phone as I want, without someone reprimanding me for it. I can choose what to do with myself, and how to do it. 

After going through quite a few family vacations, with a variety of different conditions and accommodations… I’ve come to quite a few conclusions and learned to stand up for what I want and need. So I’m telling you now, don’t be afraid to ask for your own room and to bring a plus one. It’s not unreasonable, in fact, it’s actually quite the contrary. If you’re going on vacation, it’s necessary that you get the same conditions as everyone else.

Happy vacationing! 

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!
Michal B.L.

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Hey there! My name is Michal, I was born and raised in Israel, currently I live in Tel-Aviv. In my blog "Single, Thirty & Thriving" I write about Single Life Lessons and single life in all its glory. I offer tips and advice for a better, happy single life. How to be independent, feel comfortable in your own skin and company, and how not to chase toxic people.

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