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Vacation by Committee

Vacation by Committee




I am almost certain this has been covered in the past, but reading many of the posts here, brings up several questions for me.

I realize that many of the homes along the Outer Banks are enormous and costly to rent and that is why several families go in together. They pay for a beautiful place with all the amenities one could ask for at what they consider an affordable price. But the bottom line is, they sacrifice their autonomy and - in some cases - privacy. I imagine there is a perfect balance of that, but honestly, I do not know more than a handful of people I would want to spend my hard-earned vacation time with. I may love them to pieces, but travel with them? NO.

So, I am not looking for personal justification to do that, but am simply curious about how large groups do it? I love large group meals and over the years I have some experience in cooking and serving groups in a private setting. However, these very same groups would be the last people I want to go to a restaurant with. I shudder at some of the large groups/families/golfing/bachelor(ette) parties I have observed at restaurants.

I feel like a big grouch sometimes when I read or hear about what my husband calls "vacation by committee." I am honestly curious about what makes such a vacation attractive?



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RE: Vacation by Committee




Lot's of variables to consider. My A #1, super-duper, over-arching thing would be kids. How many, who do they belong to, how behaved are they, do their parents give a crap or do they think every thing little sally and billy does is adorable......etc. etc. etc. etc.

You all know what I'm talking about. God, my own kids get on my nerves enough.............and i can shoot them the look of death to get them to stop what they are doing, but not so much other people's kids.Hell, my mom has to shoot the look of death at my kids too, but that can get dicey when it is a matter of other people's cherubs.

If i had to chose, i'd go with less house to ensure less people.








RE: Vacation by Committee




I do not vacation here, but I would NEVER come with many if any other people. When we owned a home here and would come on vacation to "our house" we would often ask very close friends which would be 4 max (2 adults and 2 kids to play with our 1) That was enough and we would ask them to stay just a couple days since they were getting those days for free since we owned it.

I see and talk with and sell homes to many that say they come in groups, but to me a vacation and 24 people are polar opposites. Thumbs down


RE: Vacation by Committee




We usually go with just our one son and his family and my sister may come along, not a large group.

However in the past we had very good friends that we have gone with whose children were the ages of ours, so that also worked out well - maybe group of 12-14 people.

In 1995 for my 40th birthday, I decided there was nowhere else I would rather be for a birthday celebration than OBX. So I started going every year as a celebration of my birthday. First year - 4 of us - then grew to about 8 of us (my sisters & friends) and now our 23rd year there will be 21 of us.

It is all adults, and some of us do not see each other any other time during the year - so we have a lot of "catching up to do" while sitting on the beach! We go in September, so not as much hustle and bustle. We usually plan one activity together - dolphin tour, wild horse tour, etc And a dinner out together. We have shoppers, sightseers, beach bums, fisherman/woman - so whatever you want to do you just go do! We also have a sign we take every year that says "Don't be Crabby, you are at the beach!"

For me - I don't care the size, small or large, as long as I'm at the beach, I'm a happy girl!


RE: Vacation by Committee




From my experience, 'vacation by committee' works if you spend one week doing that...and then a 2nd week in a smaller place with just your immediate family.......Before we bought our small rental cottage in Avon over 20 years ago, we would vacation with our extended family for a week in a larger home.....take turns preparing dinner......have a grocery money pot that each family would contribute to.....have a variety of activities to choose from - some liked to fish, some just wanted to go to the beach, some went birding, some went off the island to a golf course....or to Ocracoke...or Wright Brothers Memorial....lots of interacting and catching up .....and fun getting the cousins together.....Then we would spend a 2nd week with just ourselves.....family of 4.....To me, the first week was an extended family reunion...The 2nd week was the real relaxing vacation.....


RE: Vacation by Committee




Some folks are more social types and seek that type of setup, and some folks are more individualistic. I fall in the latter group, and can't relate to the more social attitides..... I don't party, and would rather be working on a car or radio or something electro-mechanical. Others wouldn't be happy without their party fix.

But I don't question it really, 'cuz I realize that my brain is just wired differently.. not better or worse. I realized almost 50 years ago that if I convinced all the folks living in the cities to come out and live and enjoy the rural areas where I reside, it wouldn't be rural anymore so I actually appreciate that others have an urban preference. This is kinda the same thing, IMHO.

Just the wide variety of human nature at work.


RE: Vacation by Committee




we go with our immediate family. so its my parents, my husband and i, my brother and his wife, my sister and her husband and their 2 little girls. Sometimes my MiL or my sister's MiL tag along too, along with a couple and their two kids who have been friends of my sister and i, and like a second set of kids to my parents since we were all little.

The biggest thing is respecting people's space. Wanna do a group meal? Cool, but nobody feels like they have to attend. My husband, sister, and her hubby like to eat out a lot, whereas my brother, parents, and the MiL tend to be more homebody types and are happy to watch my nieces and stick to the beach/pool and grill the whole time. Hubby and I love sleeping in, we hang out in the pool or go walk on the beach late at night, my brother and dad come with us when we want to go do stuff like hang out at the beer garden or go swimming in the pool at midnight - they're night owl party animals. My mom and sister go to bed early. Its all about respecting people's space and not guilting folks for doing their own thing.

If you demand everyone do everything together, all the time, and obsess over schedules... thats how drama and resentment happens. Its the beach, we play it by ear. I love getting to spend a whole week with my family just like I did when I was a kid - only now that family is even bigger, and imo its even more fun.


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We have a very unique group. 3 families, each with 2 kids. 5 girls and one special needs boy.

We became close friends, living in the same neighborhood, just a couple of houses between us. Our kids are all best fiends and roughly the same age. And they are still best friends, 20 years after that first trip to OBX together and even though they are now scattered around the US. Us parents. Well, we still live in the same neighborhood. Spend a lot of time together: going out to dinner, happy hours at one of our houses, holidays...the list goes on and on.

I remember our first trip to the Outer Banks. Prior to leaving I mentioned, in all seriousness, that I hope we come back friends. And we did. And we still are. Taking our bi-annual trips. Plus the girls' significant others (that also added another dimension and we are still going strong).

Things work out fine on our trips. From cooking, to cleaning to shopping to eating out to doing whatever you want. BUT...I WOULD NEVER TRY A TRIP LIKE THIS WITH ANY OF MY SIBLINGS OR WITH MY WIFE'S. NO WAY!!!! Love them all but I couldn't do it and neither could my wife. We agree on that.

That's my (short) story. OBX-just 47 more days to go Thumbs up


RE: Vacation by Committee




Ive come down with a lot of people and thoroughly enjoyed it. 14 being the most. I've done that a few times but that being said my favorite vacations have been when it's just me and my dog or dogs. Talk about relaxation. Just me and my dog on the beach all day in a quiet spot on Hatteras. Love it.


RE: Vacation by Committee




As other have mentioned, the key is having the right group of people, with personalities that are compatible. Everyone is fre to do their own thing, or join the group. I've never really done more than 12 (except once in my 20s and I think we had probably 40 different people over the course of the week, in a pretty big house, coming and going throughout the week).


RE: Vacation by Committee




I learned from a "difficult" trip, that some strict rules are needed to make a group trip successful.
1. if you are invited to stay at a beach house with family, DO NOT invite additional folks to stay without clearing it with the host. the host who owns the house. the host who will then politely but firmly tell your mother in laws stepdaughter's babysitter's cousin and family they have to leave! because there is not enough room for them to park and there aren't enough bedrooms for extra people.
[I thought that was something i did not have to explain to some relations. i was wrong. so now it's VERY clear. we are inviting YOU, anyone else wants to come, there is a motel down the road. i did say it was a "difficult" trip.]
2. whatever food you buy, you have to dispose of or take with you when you leave.
3. everyone is free to make their own schedule, if some folks want to do some things together, that's great!
group trips can be fun with the right group.


RE: Vacation by Committee




I'm one of those people who vacation with a large group. We have been coming to the Outer Banks for 15+ years. It is myself, my brothers and their families, and my Mom before she passed a few years ago. We have had as many as 25+ with us. And we have never had any problems. The kids, now adults, have been vacationing together since they were little, and they still want to come down with the group.Some of them now have spouses, kids and/or significant others. And once the spouse/ SO come with us, they are hooked! We always get a large house, OF, pool, hot tub, game room. We are beach people, so most of every day is spent on the beach. Now that the kids are older, they can make their own plans. But- they usually prefer to hang out together or pick a spot for lunch. Most of our meals are at the beach house. We all throw in money, put it in a kitty. WE do a big shopping on check in day for the staples, and then have the kitty in the kitchen for anyone who goes to the grocery store. Many in our group love to cook, so meals are not a problem. We sit down together most every night. Now we are thinking we need two houses- one large OF for the adults and those with small kids, and another close by for the young adults. But we will still probably have dinners together every night. Not so unusual for us, as have get togethers about once a month for dinners, games, etc. The past few years, we have started to come down in SEptember with what we call "senior Week". Just me, some of my brothers and their spouses and my cousin. It is fun, and I love September in Corolla, but we do miss having everyone there in September. But- everyones idea of a relaxing vacation is different. Enjoy yourself, whatever you choose!!



RE: Vacation by Committee




It depends on your personality type if a large group house can work for you. For relaxed easy going people, it works out great. Or if you are a person/family that is a "taker" by this I mean fellow vacationer who doesn't put their fair share in with things such as cooking or cleaning or drinks all the "good wine" and leaves the sh*t wine and it does not bother them or they are oblivious-big group homes work out great for them. Now if you are a touch more on the neurotic side, such as myself and does not want to wake up and see a dirty kitchen first thing in the morning or go to the beach and see parents that don't watch their kids in the ocean on flag days then a group home is not your best bet for a vacation. It also depends on what you consider a "vacation" too. Sometimes it's important to let it go and be with family and close friends.


RE: Vacation by Committee




Like you, I have friends I love to pieces, but I think they would drive me crazy on a trip, and I also need my alone time. I have only gone to Hatteras solo. I spend all day doing whatever I want, wake up whenever I want, commune with nature and such, and I have my privacy. I have local friends with whom I have dinner and drinks at night, so it's just the right balance. A few friends here at home have hinted at wanting to tag along with me on one of my trips, and I always just kind of say, "yeah...," do the uncomfortable laugh and change the subject.


RE: Vacation by Committee




OK, I kid you not, my mother once invited her entire girl scout troop (seniors=teenagers) with various adults to spend almost 3 weeks with us - over 50 of them! Our house had two large "rooms" that she turned into dormitories. Now, our house was long before McMansions, it was a fair sized house - but only 4 bathrooms. I was only 8 at the time, but even I was ready to run screaming - there were just humans EVERYWHERE!

Seeing a charter bus full of teenagers pull into your driveway is an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone.




RE: Vacation by Committee




We used to invite family members to our home during the Christmas vacation period. The last time it did not work out too well. We no longer do that preferring to just let them go down without us.


RE: Vacation by Committee




I think it depends on a person's personality profile. My wife and I are both introverts. We go by ourselves.

We enjoy doing things with groups of people and do a lot of volunteering in social settings. We also like our personal time. A week in a house full of friends and relatives would be too much for me. smiley


RE: Vacation by Committee




It's very interesting to read all the replies from different perspectives. I appreciate the time that went into writing your experiences.

I know that my travel preferences change as I age. What would have been great fun 10 years ago would just be aggravating for me now. I really enjoy the peace that comes to me as I watch the ocean, but how do you tell a friend or family member to just shut up for a few minutes? OMG smiley

Thanks.


RE: Vacation by Committee




The two times we vacationed with larger groups, we learned some lessons.

The first is that whatever the plan for meals, it needs to be communicated very explicitly. If everyone is expected to be at group meals, or if it's every person for themselves, everyone has to be on the same page. Personally, we try budget for the maximum dinners out or delivered, to give the normal "cooks" a vacation from cooking and equally important, the usual "dishwashers" a break from that. Oddly, it's often the same people. Breakfasts and Lunches are self serve with a large group food purchase at the beginning of the week.

Second, how bedrooms are assigned or chosen needs to be determined ahead of time. Does the organizer assign rooms, do parents with kids get preference, first come, first serve? Even something as seemingly insignificant as which rooms have TVs, or parking spaces can cause serious rifts.

Lastly, cleaning, both daily and end of week, should be discussed at some point. Everyone has a different take on this and communication is key in preventing bad feelings.

Some of our most memorable and happy times were on these trips. Unfortunately, so were some of the worst arguments and bad feelings. I'd like to have more large trips, but it usually does not work out due to time and money commitments. Nowadays, we usually try to rent the largest house we can afford if it's only us going, then invite friends or family that can work into our scheduled trip. If they share the cost, great.

Good luck and I hope it works out for you.


RE: Vacation by Committee




OK, I kid you not, my mother once invited her entire girl scout troop (seniors=teenagers) with various adults to spend almost 3 weeks with us - over 50 of them! Our house had two large "rooms" that she turned into dormitories. Now, our house was long before McMansions, it was a fair sized house - but only 4 bathrooms. I was only 8 at the time, but even I was ready to run screaming - there were just humans EVERYWHERE!

Seeing a charter bus full of teenagers pull into your driveway is an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Kai Avalon


I've had septic systems on my mind recently. all I can think is, what about the poor overworked septic system!?! now I'm going to have nightmares about charter buses of teenagers!


RE: Vacation by Committee




I mostly enjoy my small committee of four on our vacation. Three of us like to fish, two of us like to shop and four of us like to spend the day on the beach or sight see together.

We did the 2 and 3 family vacations a long time ago but everybody had different expectations about what they wanted out of a group vacation, and disappointment was inevitable. So we go do our thing every summer, and if friends are heading down too, then we plan a few things that way.

The big groups I see are having a great time in a big house, but it also never seems quiet either. Unwinding is good and so is getting plenty of sleep.



RE: Vacation by Committee




OK, I kid you not, my mother once invited her entire girl scout troop (seniors=teenagers) with various adults to spend almost 3 weeks with us - over 50 of them! Our house had two large "rooms" that she turned into dormitories. Now, our house was long before McMansions, it was a fair sized house - but only 4 bathrooms. I was only 8 at the time, but even I was ready to run screaming - there were just humans EVERYWHERE!

Seeing a charter bus full of teenagers pull into your driveway is an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Kai Avalon


I've had septic systems on my mind recently. all I can think is, what about the poor overworked septic system!?! now I'm going to have nightmares about charter buses of teenagers!

JoyinVirginia


My first thought was about overworked septic systems as well. But I have to image that all the large groups that you see are respectful and rent only homes that have enough beds for their group. Wink smiley

Prior to pulling the family house out of the rental market, a Boy Scout Troop completely trashed our home. I guess being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind...flies out the window while at the beach.

I would like to think that I would enjoy being with a large group on Hatteras, but after years of relaxing on my own terms, I will continue to pass.


RE: Vacation by Committee




More than 4, I'm out the door. Confused smiley


RE: Vacation by Committee





Kai Avalon


I've had septic systems on my mind recently. all I can think is, what about the poor overworked septic system!?! now I'm going to have nightmares about charter buses of teenagers!

JoyinVirginia


I have been trying to figure out how to communicate the rest of this story as it relates to the septic system without being crass. I guess if you are of timid sensibilities, please stop reading. OK the early 60's were a "bulky" time for females. My mother, being the planner that she was, bought a case of wax paper "napkin disposal" envelopes. Great thought, but even with 30 teens, a gross of these were overkill. These envelopes stayed in my childhood for years. Being the child of the depression my mother was, just throwing them out was beyond my mother's sensibilities. But the day I opened my lunch box and found my "snack" inside one of these envelopes was the bane of my poor 6th grade life


RE: Vacation by Committee




Oh Kai, what a funny story!
We have experienced both a large group - about 18, with ages from 2 - 90. It was a wonderful week celebrating my in-laws 70th wedding anniversary! Big ocean front house, pool, two hot tubs and a catered anniversary meal. Many wonderful memories but the house that was selected had bedrooms/bath for everyone and large common areas. If you wanted to be with the family or if you wanted to be alone to read, it worked. I would not trade the memories for anything!

My husband and I are coming in May and October with only our dog. Not an opulent house but a condo. We walk the beach, cook fantastic meals, he fishes while I read on the beach and its great. Either way we expect to have a great time and we do.

So I guess I'm saying its all about the attitude. If you think you will be miserable - then you will. If you think you will have a great time either way - then you will.