photo: Adria Valdes Greenhauff, Vivala

If you grew up with a big Cuban family, then you’ve probably lived through at least one massive family vacation. You know, the one that suddenly went from you and your parents to you, your parents, your grandparents, and 15 other relatives, including that random cousin you only see once a year at Noche Buena.

Since marrying into a large Cuban family, there’s no such thing as a quaint family getaway. We go big every time, which inevitably makes for some interesting, yet endlessly entertaining, challenges.

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Here are 13 things that happen when you vacation with a big family of Cubanos.


It will take FOREVER for everyone to agree on vacation dates

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So you'll need to start planning early. 


You'll be volunteered to coordinate all the logistics

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Since you're so good with el Internet. 


You'll IMMEDIATELY regret asking anyone for hotel suggestions

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Because everyone, and we mean everyone, will give their two cents.


Coordinating flights will be worse than planning a wedding

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Who sits with who, and do we really all have to be on the same flight?

Related From Vivala: 11 Things That Always Happen at a Cuban Wedding 


You'll turn heads everywhere you go

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Is that a flash mob? No, we're just here for dinner. 


People will mistake you for a tour group

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Everywhere you go.


You'll wait, a lot

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For your abuela to use the bathroom, for your cousin to buy a souvenir, for the waitress to find a table to accommodate 22 people. Oh, how you'll wait. 


You will get lost

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Your dad just had to forgo the GPS on that car rental, didn't he?


Someone will get drunk

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It probably will be you. 


There will be salsa dancing

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Day and night. 


Someone will bust out the dominos

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And maybe even the entire domino table. 


You'll pose for one too many awkward group photos

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Most of which will cut at least one person off. 

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You'll secretly love every minute of it

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Because despite all the antics, there's nothing better than family.