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How to Get Someone Out of a Grouchy Mood Even If You’re at the Grand Canyon

What a Beautiful Place to Be Grumpy!

Grand Canyon grumps

“Or not!”

Hopefully, like the cheerful woman in the picture, you have to wonder how anyone could be grumpy in such splendor.

However, for some families, traveling together is like packing two large dogs after a run in the mud, a couple of old grouchy cats, and a gopher in your suitcase, and hoping your clothes come out unscathed.

Do you know someone like this? They’d rather be home. They like their own bed. They hate crowds?

Grand Canyon grumps“Don’t plan a bunch of stuff that we have to do. I don’t want to do anything, just relax.”

Traveling is an ordeal with grumps in your family even if they are your favorite people. Ms. G. Stumpy might even be you. But even Sensitive Sam and Grumpy Stumpy go to some of the most sought-after vacation spots in the world and have a great time.

How do they do it?

Will you ever be able to get your Sensitive Sam past the front door?

Grand Canyon grumps

Before you take off consider these basic needs. You can make it easier for Grumpy Stumpy and in so doing will make it easier for yourself and the rest of the family when you travel.

Allow Grumpy Travelers to Help Plan the Trip

We decided to drive to the Grand Canyon, and you can read why in an earlier post.

Some of the views, like these, are only accessible by car, while others are just available by tour bus.  You can catch this stony tower and the rest of these travel shots at the East Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon grumps

Desert View Watchtower

One step you can take so that everyone has fun is to let others plan the trip. It’s just like cooking, if they grow the vegetables and help cook the food, they will enjoy the meal more.

If you are ordinarily a planner, this means that you may have to step back and be satisfied with what they plan. Some travelers prefer to have others make the decisions and be flexible about the results. For the planners, here is a great video to plan your Grand Canyon trip.

Grand Canyon grumpsGive them a job that they love. Even little ones adore being the photographer.  Keeping busy behind the tripod might be the emotional safety net that the teen or adult in your group needs to enjoy the trip.

Grand Canyon grumps

Everyone Needs His or Her Own Space

Grand Canyon grumpsTraveling puts people in tighter quarters than they usually have at home. Unfamiliar roads, eateries, beds all add to travel anxiety. When you get to a place where you can spread out, take advantage of it.

None of this man’s family is sitting with him on the edge of paradise. There’s a reason for that. In families, different members enjoy different experiences.

You may be the one to make compromises and watch the kids or wait behind while someone takes a few minutes to themselves.

Grand Canyon grumpsOr possibly you are the one who wanted to go down the trail, and your family member decided he’d sit at the top and watch. This may be stressful for family leaders who wish to make everyone to do what they want to do.

Hopefully, someone in the family has a sense of humor and is willing to follow the leader. With sensitive/grumpy families it’s probably best not to travel in groups of three where there are two leaders and only one follower!

Grand Canyon grumpsEight Cures for Tightly Packed Grouches

Finding emotional space when you’re in tight places, like the car may be more difficult.

If conversations heat up and the volume rises higher than the temperature in Arizona in August, try these temper tamers.

  1. Get lost in a book and have plenty of books, paper, audio, or digital for everyone to have an escape.
  2. Play a game.
  3. Allow the grumpy one to choose the music, or
  4. Take turns choosing the music.
  5. Bring earphones!
  6. Ignore the grump. Let your mind wander, soak up the scenery and block out the family disputes.
  7.  Maybe someone in the group is a captivating storyteller. Remind them of a story you’ve enjoyed, and let them regale.
  8. If there’s a motion sensitive grump in the group, audiobooks work well to distract and stimulate.

When All Else Fails – Eat or Drink

Grand Canyon grumps

Actually eating and drinking is a great diversion, no matter who does it. In this case, the squirrel built an entirely new community around its own needs. Everyone else forgot what made them grumpy.

If someone suffers from travel grumpiness, it may be that they suffer from low blood sugar. Travelers get hungry when they’re not on a schedule. You think about packing food for kids, but sometimes it’s the adult who needs sustenance to stay healthy emotionally.

Grand Canyon grumpsSo pack nuts. They travel well and are easily accessible from anywhere along the trail. You might lace the nuts with chocolate chips and dried cranberries for some added flavor and zing.

Squirrels eat nuts too.

Grand Canyon grumpsThis traveler had a long straw coming out of a water supply inside the backpack that sort of hung around his neck. Unlike the squirrel, he could take a sip when he wanted.

You might add some sandwiches, chips and cold drinks in your cooler. At the Grand Canyon, lunch costs almost as much as an egg during the Gold Rush. You stand in a long line for a sandwich from the refrigerated case. If you drive, pack a lunch. If the place you go has a great restaurant, you can eat your lunch later.

Grand Canyon grumps


This trip provided enough interest so that everyone could do something they enjoyed, from sitting next to a loved one receiving a gentle back rub to a talking your girlfriend into taking a dangerous-looking hike down a canyon trail.

Grand Canyon grumpsMaybe you can relate to some of these stressful vacation situations.

You may be the grump, or you may be the smoothie. Either way, you can help the vacation by packing emotional health tricks as well as your digital camera.

So turn that family grump into a photographer or blogger, storyteller, or reader and enjoy more of your next vacation.

For more fun walks around the world check out these two blogs.

#Which Way Challenge #Monday Walks with Jo

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39 replies »

  1. While I have been moving, you HAVE been out and about haven’t you MVBFM ? I did the Grand Canyon, plus a helicopter ride into it in the ’80s. I came out alive ! Fantastic !
    Sonic, my black cat, is grumpy sometimes. You should hear him.
    Love to you, V & K. Ralph xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve been thinking about you a lot. So much is going on here, that I haven’t taken the time to sit down and write you a proper long epistle email. You look very happy, as does Sonic, even if she is a tad on the grumpy side. Momma Kitty is very grumpy these days. Today when I pulled into the garage she whined loudly then plopped herself between the car and the garage, and turned her back to the car. I got out of car, picked her up and carried her to the car and threw her inside, drove the rest of the way into the garage and parked the car. I threw her out of the car and she led the way out of the garage and to the food table. So funny! 🙂 Glad you are doing so well, MFR. It looks like you’ve put on about 2 pounds. Lots of love to you and N and all the cats including China Cat in Bubble Wrap. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, this sounds to me like a great advert for ‘go it alone’. Who needs grumpy? I can manage that myself. (and often do 🙂 🙂 ) Thanks for hanging in there with me, Marsha. Back next week but life is definitely too short to grump.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sometimes family members don’t have a choice. If the child is the grumpy one, adults have some control. If it’s the adult who is grumpy, it is difficult to be trapped. Often, if there is one, there is more than one. Grumpy breeds grumpy. Going it alone is an option for many. A neighbor travels everywhere alone. She often invites people to join her, and I’m sure sometimes they take her up on it. Single people often find people or groups they can hook up with. There are other options, but for those who are trapped by grumpy – even if it’s themselves – there is still hope! 🙂


        • Rain does change the beach experience for the worse in most cases! My husband like to be under the umbrella since he’s had some skin cancers removed, but the beach is great for walking, photography, reading. You name it. Rain is perfect for museums, shopping, theatre, blogging. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. The Grand Canyon was one of the most memorable trips I ever made and I would welcome a chance to return there.

    I hear you about the differing needs of individuals when travelling together. I admit I’m usually the grump. Although I’m a reasonably high energy person, I need breaks to just sit back, absorb, and assimilate. Getting Husband to slowdown hasn’t always been easy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It sounds like you are both high energy. If you’re both going in the same direction at the same time, that’s powerful. When you veer off to different paths, then it probably gets a little crazy. Vacations are a time to catch back up. Research shows that children who have gone on family vacations actually perform better in school.


      • That’s an interesting stat. All I know is that as my boys got older, it became apparent that those vacations together created a glue between us. We laugh easily together, and share a sense of adventure and the silly. When your adult children want to spend time with you, you know you did something right ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne what great self knowledge! Makes me have to admit that I can all too easily be the grump too!

      This is a great post. My favorites are the ones that get people thinking 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful! I would love to lapse deep into the Canyon someday- I can just imagine all the intimate “portraits” and abstract macros just waiting to be seized…(glazes over in oneiric stupor).

    Grand de-grump tips, by the way, very practical.

    Sir and I sally forth on a lot of little trips. He delights in carefully planned order. I, however, like to proceed almost horizontally through life and see what happens as I go staggering through. So, he plans, I pretend to plan, and then, once we are on our way, I usually ramble excitedly as a distraction while I cunningly unravel the plans like a mischievous little Irish imp. We careen into the Unknown, I chortle, Sir sobs, and then I spout cheerful stories at him as recompense. If that fails to enthuse, I pop in a series of my favourite lectures so that a professor can boom at Sir while I smile in grand, shiny-eyed contentment. My most overused phrases are, “Don’t worry about it,” and, “It will only take a second,” to assuage a balking Sir whenever a new venture strikes me along our route (he hates it when I drive, I am wont to stop suddenly or make drastic turns because some animal batted its eyes at me, or noticed some other novelty that must be analyzed more closely through a lens, like a collection of pretty little rocks or twigs). Poor Sir, I do feel sorry for him…I am probably an atrocious, rotten little toad of a travel mate, but our misadventures, I mean, er, splendid little trips, always manage to turn out in the end, I think 😉

    Grand post, Marsha! Loving it.


    Liked by 2 people

  5. I found you through Jo’s Monday Walk blog and I knew I had to check your post out when I saw the title 🙂 I’d prefer not to travel with grumpy people, but if I ever do, these are some great trips for turning the grouch’s frown upside down. The Grand Canyon is such a fabulous place. I can’t imagine anyone can stay grouchy for too long.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great advice here, Marsha. I used to be married to a Mr. Grumpy and I’ve also traveled with two teenage daughters back in the day. Now that is truly a scary thing! I’ve only been to the Grand Canyon once briefly, I need to go again. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This is a lovely as well as hilarious post, Marsha. The photos are gorgeous, and I love your “Eight Cures for Tightly Packed Grouches.” The title alone made me laugh 🙂 “When All Else Fails – Eat or Drink.” That would probably be my first line of defense ~ while wearing earphones 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What a fabulous post Marsha. I can relate to so much of it with my own husband. I do already have my bag of tricks and appreciate the new ones from you. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are fabulous pictures, Marsha. I couldn’t sit on the edge like the man in the picture though. Eeek! No one in my family is grumpy when we travel. All the men in my family indulge my historical whims and are happy to trail around castles, mansions, and churches. Occasionally, we do something like the Imperial War Museum. My kids have travelled with us since they were 3 and 6, respectively. The poor lads don’t know any better. Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL I’m glad you don’t have grumpy times. We didn’t have too many except for his son going beyond the guard rails. 🙂 You are creating such magnificent memories for your kids. My family loved to visit museums and that’s one of my favorite things to do on a vacation. It never gets old. 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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