Summer’s here and for many of us that means it’s time for an annual rite of passage – the family vacation. For many, that means extended family members will be tagging along.

While that can bring loads of fun and excitement with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and close friends nearby, it can also lead to challenges like personality conflicts, disagreements over money and questions about who’s looking after the kids.

Let’s be honest, each of us has our own way of doing things and ways that we like to live. We are creatures of habit. So, on vacation with a group of personalities packed into a rental home or condo or other living condition, that stew of personalities can boil over, no matter how well we know and love each other.

Here are a few things to consider before leaving on that family vacation:

1. Pack Your Patience

This is a biggie. You may have to hold your tongue or subvert your feelings for the will of the group. You may have to compromise more than you would like. All those things require patience and lots of it. It might be uncomfortable for you to hold back but remember, this is supposed to be a happy, relaxing family time.

2. Go Big

When it comes to vacationing with family and friends, space matters. You might want to consider renting a large house with lots of rooms so if you need to get away from someone, there’s a place to do it. It may cost more to have your space but if it means keeping the peace, it might be well worth it. Another option is to rent several smaller units so each individual family has their own space.

3. Go Your Own Way

With tons of people around, there are bound to be lots of opinions on what everyone should do each day. If you want to have some quiet time with your wife and children, schedule it and don’t be afraid to let everyone know that the outing is for your family only.

4. Make Lists

You can remove a lot of the stress of the vacation by doing some serious planning ahead of time. Think about it. You can map out meals and grocery shopping lists before the vacation and have an idea of what each person will owe for food. You can also plan activities, cleaning schedules and more. The more you plan ahead, the more you can remove some trouble spots that might crop up along the way.

5. Be Private

If things get testy or challenging, resolve to not let your kids or your nieces or nephews see you upset or angry. This means you might have to find a place to retreat to before something is said or done that will cause a scene. You know your limits. If you’re about to reach them, dip out.

6. Be Brief

If you fear that a weeklong – or longer – vacation will be difficult with your extended family or close friends, try a shorter stay instead. You can always start small – maybe only going away for a long weekend and see how everyone gets along. If it’s no problem, then try a longer vacation next year.

7. It Takes a Village

Everyone’s goal on vacation is to chill out. And you need it. But it’s not fair for one family to constantly have the children dumped on them so others can go off and have fun. Make sure that the babysitting duty is divvied up equally. For instance, if there are several couples on the trip, try to schedule each couple to have a night out alone. That way everyone takes turns watching the kids.