Middle Class Problems: Group holidays are innately stressful


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The Independent Online

Holidays, of course, are about shedding the stresses of daily life. Group holidays, on the other hand, are innately stressful in themselves.

It all begins months before you've even packed, as each member of the troupe is forced to engage in a mercilessly prolonged e-thread, deliberating in microscopic detail eight differing viewpoints on the location of your hypothetical villa, though naturally no one would dare impose by making a final decision on where to go.

Once away, there is the problem of agreeing on an itinerary; Eliza yearns to read the Booker winner on the beach, Gabriel is desperate for a game of tennis, while Otto harps on about catching some culture. Someone will utter the immortal words "I don't mind what we do," which invariably means they will soon be furiously staring into space in the back of the rental car, racked with passive-aggressive anger, uttering "I'm fine" through clenched jaw as you speed your way towards a tainted white-water rafting excursion.

In fact, group holidays are one long, protracted vote where the "group" becomes a terribly important political body greater than the individual; no, you can't put olives in the trolley, the group decided they weren't necessary; no, it's not fair to get that bottle of beer when the rest want wine.

The only way to get some much-needed peace and rest: ensure you are not the tacitly appointed team leader; that way, splitting the bill – and madness – lies. Instead, lie back, allow others to fuss and flail and focus on the most important thing: your tan…