DEAR MISS MANNERS: My parents are taking my husband and me on an island vacation with them this summer. We haven't always had the best relationship, although things have been going well for some time now.
Could you provide some tips on how to vacation with parents and/or in-laws, what to remember and what to avoid, that might help me (and others) to contribute to the creation of a memorable experience for all?
GENTLE READER: It is all too easy to have a memorable experience when vacationing with relatives with whom you have not always gotten along. Miss Manners would have thought your goal was the opposite.
The answer to your question is: relentless good manners. That would bar any complaints, whether about the conditions of the trip or the history of the relationship, in favor of showing appreciation of this opportunity. Oh, and don't talk politics.
That may be counterintuitive in an age that considers rudeness more relaxing and therefore more appropriate to a vacation. It might also help to preserve some time for separate activities, which will be easier to do if your island destination is closer in size to Greenland than to Grenada.