Author Topic: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.  (Read 8398 times)

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JeanFromBNA

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Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« on: August 19, 2013, 04:04:43 PM »
DH and I plan to invite our friend's family (John and Samantha,  two girls 6 and 4 years old), and John's mother, to come with us to Walt Disney World (WDW) next year.  We are Disney Vacation Club members, so we will provide accommodations.  I have a lot of airline miles, so we should be able to pick up the plane tickets.  We thought that we would pay for park tickets, and get everyone a dining plan.  Souvenirs, extra food, etc. would be their responsibility. 

We would like to take their cousins, Ethan, 12 and Mary, 10.  They have never been to WDW.  Their mother, Casey, is a single, working Mom doing her best to get by, so trips to WDW aren't easily budgeted.  We have shared many holidays, birthdays, and cookouts with their extended family, so we are all familiar to them.  They mind their Uncle and Aunt, and we don't don't think that there will be problems with anxiety or misbehavior. 

If we take Ethan and Mary, it would cost more than we have budgeted.  Shortening the trip doesn't help much:  the cost of accommodations isn't an issue for us, and Disney prices its park tickets so that the cost of additional days beyond the first three are negligible.  The big ticket items are food and plane fare.

Would it be acceptable to ask for financial help from Ethan and Mary's grandparents?  We are comfortable enough with them to ask ourselves or to ask their daughter, Samantha, to ask them.  I don't think it's fair to ask Casey for money.  I doubt that she could afford much, and I don't want to put her in a position to say no. 

Or should we forgo asking Ethan and Mary at all for this trip, and perhaps take them the next time? It will be two or more years before we can do another big, family trip.

Do you see any other problems with our idea?  DH and I are WDW fans and have been many times, so we might be looking at this with Mouse colored glasses.  :)


Shoo

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 04:07:39 PM »
Just my gut reaction, but I think that if you can't pay for everyone, you shouldn't invite the extra two children.  It will get back to their mom that you paid for the others, but her parents had to pay for her kids.  It's a big batch of hurt feelings just waiting to happen. 

Perfect Circle

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 04:11:06 PM »
I think your idea is wonderful, but really, you can only offer hospitality you can afford. You really should not approach anyone else for financial help, but invite those you can afford to treat.
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kckgirl

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 04:13:08 PM »
I agree with Shoo. Could you skip the park tickets and dining plans and just cover accommodations and airfare for all? Or even just skip the dining plan for your guests? I would think that if you invited my entire family and a niece & nephew and planned to provide airfare,  accommodations, and possibly park tickets, I wouldn't have any problem working out meals. That would be the only expense besides souvenirs. How could they object?
Maryland

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2013, 04:19:38 PM »
If you know, what is John and Samantha's financial position? Would they be able to fund part of their families expenses?

It sounds like you know Samantha fairly well and you are talking about including her neice and nephew. I'd speak with her first. Confirm first that she likes the idea of including 2 extra kids. And then talk candidly about how to finance them joining the group without having to ask their mom.

This is a very generous offer your making.


lowspark

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2013, 04:26:04 PM »
I agree that you should offer the same thing to everyone you're inviting. So forgo the park tickets and/or meals and go ahead and include everyone (if John & Samantha are ammenable to inviting the cousins).

And I agree that even just the accommodations offer is very generous but add to that the airfare and wow. If someone offered that to me, I'd be only too happy to pay for my own tickets & meals.

Lynn2000

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2013, 04:44:21 PM »
I agree you're making a very generous offer, but I would try to scale it back to what you could afford for everyone--as others suggested, maybe providing accommodations and tickets for everyone, and letting them pay for their own airfare and meals, for example. If Casey ended up asking her parents for help paying for that part, fine, none of your business how the money got there. But I think it would be weird to go around Casey--you may feel you know her financial situation backwards and forwards, but I think there's the potential for offense when one presumes someone else can't pay for something, you know?

If it were me I would take what I think I know about Casey's financial situation (and anyone else's except my own) out of the equation, and just offer to pay for what I want to and what I know I can afford. I think it's a good impulse to say, "They can't afford stuff like this, so I will offer to treat them," but I think it can sometimes lead to stickiness down the line, so I would rather approach it as, "I can afford this, and it would make me happy to treat them."

Also, I would ask John and Samantha how they feel about including the two extra kids on the trip. I don't know if you've mentioned the trip to them at all yet, but it would definitely be a different dynamic with two older kids there, and that may or may not be something they're comfortable with. Once you have their okay and a firm plan about what you'll be paying for and what the others will be responsible for (with numbers), I would approach Casey away from the kids and put the plan to her, maybe in email or something so she has some time to think it over. There could be a lot of other considerations besides money for her, such as the dates you plan to be gone, something special Casey wants to do with her kids herself sometime, her feelings about the kids going to WDW in general, etc..

I think it is a really great impulse on your part, but I would just approach it carefully, because someone could hear your generous sentiment as "you can't afford to do stuff for your kids so we're going to fix that" and be hurt by it.
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CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2013, 05:38:32 PM »
Just a thought . . . if you invite the cousins, won't their mother feel like she's being excluded?  Everyone is invited except her.

It seems a shame to deprive the cousins of a WDW trip over some money that could possibly be found somewhere.  Can you discuss the situation with John & Samantha?
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gramma dishes

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 05:54:53 PM »
Just my gut reaction, but I think that if you can't pay for everyone, you shouldn't invite the extra two children.  It will get back to their mom that you paid for the others, but her parents had to pay for her kids.  It's a big batch of hurt feelings just waiting to happen.

I agree with this.  Maybe next year a much smaller scale outing could be arranged (and paid for  by you) that could include the extra children and maybe even their mother!

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2013, 06:46:56 PM »
Some background:  John has been a friend of ours for 20 years. He and DH would do just about anything for each other.  When he was married we got to know Samantha, and then Sophie and Abby (their children) when they came along.  Samantha has a pretty big family, and John and Sam invite us when they are having big family gatherings. Occasionally we have dinner with just them and the girls.  We see Casey and her kids at the big gatherings.  We get Ethan and Mary Christmas presents, bring Easter candy, etc., and always receive charming thank-you-notes. 

The four cousins are close and see each other frequently. I think it would hurt Ethan and Mary to hear about Sophie and Abby's trip for the next few months when they couldn't go. 

We had planned to discuss it first with John and Sam this weekend.  They would have the primary responsibility for Ethan and Mary, so they would have to agree.

CaffeineKatie

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 06:54:19 PM »
Are you even sure that all the people you plan on inviting would actually like to go to Disney World?

I ask that because you are making a very generous offer, but even as a child, Disney/theme parks of any kind were my idea of hell on earth.  I can't deal with crowds, sun, heat, lines, etc.  My father once said he was so sorry he couldn't afford to take us when we were kids, and was relieved to learn this was one thing I was glad we couldn't afford.

If they don't want to--problem solved.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 07:05:23 PM by CaffeineKatie »

katycoo

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2013, 08:24:18 PM »
Just a thought . . . if you invite the cousins, won't their mother feel like she's being excluded?  Everyone is invited except her.

And also, i think that a parent would probably like to experience their child's first WDW experience with them.

Marbles

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2013, 08:33:55 PM »
If you know, what is John and Samantha's financial position? Would they be able to fund part of their families expenses?

It sounds like you know Samantha fairly well and you are talking about including her neice and nephew. I'd speak with her first. Confirm first that she likes the idea of including 2 extra kids. And then talk candidly about how to finance them joining the group without having to ask their mom.

This is a very generous offer your making.

Agreed, especially this part.

I think that it might be nice to invite Casey, but giving her a week "off" from parenting is pretty nice, too.

shhh its me

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2013, 11:58:21 PM »
  IF I remember the dinning plan is pretty expensive. I recall really struggling to actually use it all we only did it once. Even eating every meal either at the parks or resorts and including the characters meals at least every other day I never spent as much as I did with the meal plan.  A 12 year old boy though may have an easier time  eating that much :) I think you can invite the group to WDW  paying for airfare , park passes , accommodations and maybe stock the (I assume you're staying in the condos) the basics for breakfast and midnight snacks ...milk, cereal, fruit  some pastries, (maybe eggs if you'd want to cook on vacation) cheese,  crackers ,bread, peanut butter , maybe a veggie tray?  That way you can feed them a bit while they are in the condo an they can feed themselves while out in the park or if they want room service? if you're up to running to the shops twice I think you could provide that for the cost of 1 or 2 meal plans? you may even be able to swing a character meal for everyone in you budget.  I don't think you have to provide the food but that seems to suit the style of hosting you're going for.

Silversurfer

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2013, 01:35:08 AM »
I just wanted to say that in what ever form your gift ends up being (with meal plan, without, with extra children or not) your offer is very generous.