Family Holidays: Decision, Indecision – Yes, No?


We’re going on our first family holiday with P’s folks this Christmas to Japan, one of my favourite countries in the world.  This is actually P’s first family holiday EVER – almost 30 years and never a family holiday!  My belief that this is due to, in part, his family’s indecision.  I’m extremely lucky that P is generally a pretty decisive person so I don’t have to deal with this in my day to day life, but his family?

It took us months and months to decide to go to Japan – first it was Taiwan, but it’s apparently too boring (not so!!), then it was Thailand, but it’s too hot, then it was Malaysia, but it’s too dirty, and then it was Hawaii, until I realised it would cost us over $10,000.00 for 10 days.  The decision was finally made a little while ago – P’s dad suggested Japan and got us all excited, so P and I put an end to the madness by booking our tickets before everyone else, so they all had to book to come with us.  But everyone was really happy, so I thought that was that.

Then came the questions – “It’s really cold in Japan at Christmas time, why are we going to Japan?  Doesn’t Japan close down over the New Year period – what are we going to do?  What about radiation?  Why do we have to fly out from Osaka? ” I’m really worried about what’s going to happen when we’re there – “should we day trip to Hiroshima?  Nara?  Kobe?” – and spend the best part of the day trying to decide, and by the time we decide the day’s gone.

Being a really decisive person, I’d be inclined to take charge, make an itinerary and say “let’s go here, here and here”, but this seems too (for want of a better word) anal for a family holiday.

We’re not in Japan for long and I don’t want to spend most of my time sitting in a hotel room trying to make decisions, so my question is – how do you deal with indecision?  Particularly when tiptoeing around family and in-laws, who are like to get grouchy when something doesn’t go their way?  Is it better to have a take-charge approach, or just let everything happen as it comes?

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  1. Elissa Seed said:

    I saw on a website once (this was talking about a family holiday to Disneyland) that each day you elect a person as the decision maker. They decide where to go, what to see, where to eat, etc. Of course, I can’t find the website now, but you get the idea. Particular good when there are lots of small decisions throughout the day. Or you could do what Hamish and Andy do…put all the options in a hat and randomly choose.
    On Japan – definitely recommend Hiroshima and Nara. And I was in Kobe a few years ago on New Year’s Day and there were still plenty of temples to see and things to do.

    • Thanks Lissy!!! There’s so many things that I want to do, but I don’t want to seem like the psychotic one who wants everything my way. I definitely want to go to Kobe and Hiroshima!

      That seems like a really good idea to let one person be in charge of a whole day! I might put it to P and see what happens…slightly nervous about this whole family holiday business!

  2. indi said:

    Oh no they sound like they are going to be a nightmare to travel with! I just did a family holiday with the inlaws and the ENTIRE extended family for a family wedding and NEVER AGAIN!

    • i really hope it works out because they’re really lovely but i’m so decisive and they’re decidedly NOT, so i don’t know what’s going to happen. it could go either really well or really bad…only time will tell!

  3. Enjoy Japan! It’s my favourite country! Have lots of food and ramen!

    • oh my gosh yes, i cannot wait to eat all the ramen!!! my favourite place, ichiran, is to die for. do you have any recs? i really want to go to kobe for the beef!

      • We went to two famous restaurants for Kobe beef but both were fairly expensive!
        Otherwise there are lots of local restaurants offer cheaper options. I would definitely make a trip to Kobe (though not much sightseeing in the city area) but if you want to try Kobe beef it’s so much cheaper compared to other cities in Japan!

      • noted! thank you so much for the link, i’m heading there now! yaaaaaaay!

      • oh my gosh there’s so many posts i don’t know how i’m going to read them all, lol! i’m so excited i just shot off 3 emails in 30 secons with restaurant recs!

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