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View Full Version : Does your family make you feel guilty for taking vacations?


melancholywings
09-12-2008, 01:43 PM
Does anyone else have extended family that make you feel guilty for taking immediate family vacations? Or maybe some advice before I lose my mind.

My family is very small and we can budget a family trip w/airfair once a year, with in the last few years we've been going to Disney, and after this next trip we're not planning on going back for a few years. If it wasn't 'Disney' it would be something else. Traveling is a big life goal of mine. We are also both working parents and cherish our yearly family trip with just the three of us - it gives us bonding time.
Along side that we try and also plan one extended family trip a year. Which is hard because we have a lot of different extended family groups, none of which live near us. Only one of them comes and visits us, and everyone else always wants to know when we are going to visit them. It's understandable that many of them have lifestyles and responsibilities (ie. farm animals) that you just can't easily get away from. But so do we and it makes it hard to balance all their needs and wants, as well as our desire to travel. And for many of these families when we mention saving up to take a trip they start asking and guilting when are we going to come see them. Not guilting us to invite them - but trying to make us feel bad for spending money on a family trip that doesn't involve visiting that family. It's gotten so bad I don't even want to share that part of our life, or tell any one where we are going. I can't even tell one family that we are visiting another family with out them making me feel bad we're not visiting them instead.
I know I should feel happy that they all want to see us (I'm an orphan so family is a big deal), but I wish there was a way to make everyone happy while maintaining our yearly 'just us' family trip.

imthatgirl
09-12-2008, 02:04 PM
you cant make the people around you happy, thats their job. your job is to make yourself happy and love and enjoy life.
i would tell them that there just isnt room in the budget to take a second vacation, they dont need an explanaition as to why the first is so important to you.
but you did say you plan an extended family trip once a year, so i would assume you are seeing them, right?
family doesnt need to know why you spend your money the way you do, its yours.

Poohbug
09-12-2008, 02:12 PM
I know my family also thinks that we take too many vacations. We would rather save our money for vacation than go out to eat, movies, etc. Those little things add up and we just use our money to travel instead. I love to travel also and I think seeing different places/cultures is a wonderful gift to your children.

As far as visiting family, it sounds as if you are doing that as well. If your family members think you are being unfair by taking your personal family vacation, there's nothing much you can do about that. I doubt that they visit you on every vacation that they take. If they give you a really hard time, then I just wouldn't talk about vacation with them. You can explain how you feel but you can't change how they react. If they are that selfish and think the world revolves around them, there is nothing you can do about it. Don't waste time and energy on it. Plenty of people on the DIS board to discuss your trips with.:goodvibes

Darcy03231
09-12-2008, 02:14 PM
After many years of DH traveling to see his sister and her never coming to visit us we finally came right out and told her that he wasn't coming again until she came here. It got to be that we were the ones spending (airfare, rental car, related travel expenses) and she wasn't. Add in that DH only gets 2 weeks of vacation time (she gets 13), we're still paying off a mortgage (her home has been paid for in excess of 20 years), we have two children in college and two still at home (hers are all grown, married and have children of their own) and she and DH make approximately the same salary, we put our foot down. She still hasn't been up to visit and he's not going back.

She makes comments all the time about the other trips we take, but we just ignore her.

mom2aredhead
09-12-2008, 02:21 PM
Yup.
That's why we're not telling them about our upcoming trip at the end of the month. At least until we get back.
This will be our 2nd trip in less than 6 months (our 4th in 16 months) and I think if I tell them they'll have me committed...

Work Hard...Play Hard ;)

minnie4me
09-12-2008, 02:28 PM
It seems that you are not alone in your situation.
We have family too that doesn't like when we go to Disney or take a vacation anywhere really. My DH and I work very hard to afford ourselves these trips. When we go we go "big" and enjoy ourselves as does our DS. My DH hasn't had a new car since 1998, but we have been on 4 or 5 WDW trips a Carnival cruise and a trip to Hilton Head. We like to vacation, so we save and go. We are never late on bills, have no debt except our morgage and are trying to put alittle away for DS's future.
IT is your vacation, it is your money, time and family togetherness, don't let opinionated others stand in the way of your enjoyment !!

Trinity524
09-12-2008, 02:36 PM
My family lives in Jacksonville, FL, so whenever I want to vacation, I have to go see them and they complain I am not spending enough time with them. Just because they live in Jacksonville, doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to go to Disney... poo on them!:thumbsup2

lisadr
09-12-2008, 03:30 PM
For the most part I could have written your post-with one exception-my BIL & SIL are just bitter. They live close so that's not an issue, but they (mostly my BIL) is always making snarky comments like "It must be nice to go on vacation." or "I want your life.". But what kills me the most is we have 1 child-by choice, they have 4. We have a budget we need to work with when we go car shopping and could never afford the $600+ a month payment they have for the BRAND NEW gas guzzler they own. We work extra shifts and save and don't splurge on designer clothes and name brand shoes for a 1 year old, don't buy new electric guitars (for the BIL-too old ot be a rock star buddy), or street bikes (also for BIL). Now I don't begrudge them these items, but if those are your priorities I respect them-but please respect ours as well. But no-instead they make smart a** comments every chance they get-so I just ignore them and enjoy our family vacation!:thumbsup2

WHOA! I guess I am not doing the best job of ignoring the comments-which I just realized after reading my tirade-lol. Sorry everyone and thanks for letting me vent a bit.:)

melancholywings
09-12-2008, 03:32 PM
Thank you everyone! It's a relief to see i'm not the only one with family like mine.:yay:

I keep thinking I should just organize a family reunion at some neutral, yet inexpensive location. Then toughen myself up to those people who will complain they don't have time or funds for it. If only they'd stop being so freakin' competitive with each other.

MaryKLady
09-12-2008, 04:00 PM
So long as you're not borrowing the money from them for your vacations I don't see why it's any of their concern. People choose to spend their money different ways. It's not your problem your BIL is bitter he can't afford a fancy car, motorcycle, designer clothes AND a nice vacation. Insert snarky tone here..."Maybee you can give him some tips on how to SAVE so he can go on a nice vacation too sometime." ;) We go away twice a year and only because we own a time share. Otherwise I couldn't afford the type of vacations we go on and I have gotten comments about going away a lot. :confused3 Things aren't all they appear.

LadyShea
09-12-2008, 04:42 PM
Only my grandma does this, and she has been a selfish woman all my life. I actually said this to her last week:

"Grandma, both of your grandkids, both of your great grandkids, and one of your two sons lives here...not to mention their spouses. We all work and/or are raising children and all have 2 or more large pets. You live a 4 hour plane ride, then 4 hour car drive away, with a single cat, and are retired.

It makes zero sense for any of us to visit you, with the travel time and costs of flights for multiple people, when you could come see all of us and stay for as long as you wanted"

My DH's 92 yo Grandma visited in July, my 89 yo Grandpa with cancer visited two years ago, she is only 76 with no major health problems, the same age as my father in law who not only has rheumatoid arthritis but still works and travels, and acts like she is too old and frail to come sit on our house for a few weeks.

She told me "I guess I'll just die then before meeting my great-grandson". I was so angry at the guilt trip I said "Yep, I guess so".

Friendly Frog
09-12-2008, 04:50 PM
Yep. I get the guilt trip too. :grouphug:

You either understand the addiction or you don't.

Shelly F - Ohio
09-12-2008, 07:42 PM
Count us in on the guilt trip too.
No one on either side of our families knows that we have a DVC and we don't want them to know. DH side are big free loaders and well you get the idea.
Anyway. We don't have kids. We have a vacation savings account that gets an automatic deposit from our paychecks which allows us to take a vacation every year.

We get the sob stories from MIL & FIL "oh wish we could afford a vacation every year. We haven't been on one in 5 years" Well they spend money foolishly and make bad financial purchases like buying a cheap used cars from one of those fly by night car lots. They have put make repairs early when if they would have just bought a new one. Or at least a used one from a dealership with a limited wuaranteed UGH... I had to finally say to them last week after we had to rush home to go pick them up because their car broke down- and yes they have AAA but they did not think the two of them would fit in a wrecker and wanted us to take his mom home. Well when we got there to pick her up they had told us they spend $2500 on a repair two months ago and another $2000 this month. So I butted in and said that if you would have bought a new car you would not have spent that amount of money in car payments over a 12 month period. Yet you just spent nearly $5,000 in three months on car repairs and whose to say something else won't go wrong next month! So when they get tired on making repair on a car they buy another junker and do the same thing so I don't feel sorry that I can take a vacation when they do what they do.

We have too have taken vacations and not told them we went. Because we did not want to hear the sob stories.
But when they to comment I have to think we earned the vacation. We worked hard, saved money, found great deals on airfare - rental car ect. So we should not feel guilty. It not like we won the lotto and are not sharing the money with our families. It all goes back to careful planning and rewarding you/your family and spending quality time with your loved one.
A lot of time now a days families don't get a lot of quality time and this is a way for a family to reconnect.
So don't feel guilty.

kaleighmariesmom
09-12-2008, 08:27 PM
count us in too... I call it "Italian Guilt"... lol

dbarker
09-12-2008, 08:59 PM
Count us in.

This year we took 2 mini vacations locally...no WDW this year. We actually only took a total of 5 day off. But, we split it up into 2 different weeks. You would have thought we took 2 MONTHS off the way they (DH's parents) were laying on the guilt trips.:lmao: :lmao:

And when we do go to WDW, I hear the sob stories from my mom. She wishes she could take the other grandkids to WDW some time. :confused3

We haven't told any of them that we have 2 trips to WDW planned for the next 2 years. I don't want to hear the sob stories or the snide remarks. popcorn::

trustknoone
09-12-2008, 11:14 PM
I just had to post my 2cents worth.

Do they try and make us feel guilty, some of them do with their poor sob stories about how they have no money and they wish they were us.
The thing I've learned in my life is that no one can make you feel anything, you and only you are in charge of what you feel. So just let it roll off your back and move on, I don't even answer them anymore when they complain. I keep no secrets about where I am going, I just choose not others peoples bad attitudes affect me. This may not work for everyone but it really does work for me.

retire2disney
09-13-2008, 04:14 AM
I soooooooo understand where you are coming from...we get it from both sides of the family!! OUCH!:rotfl2:

jtopp
09-13-2008, 07:10 AM
Does anyone else have extended family that make you feel guilty for taking immediate family vacations? Or maybe some advice before I lose my mind.

My family is very small and we can budget a family trip w/airfair once a year, with in the last few years we've been going to Disney, and after this next trip we're not planning on going back for a few years. If it wasn't 'Disney' it would be something else. Traveling is a big life goal of mine. We are also both working parents and cherish our yearly family trip with just the three of us - it gives us bonding time.
Along side that we try and also plan one extended family trip a year. Which is hard because we have a lot of different extended family groups, none of which live near us. Only one of them comes and visits us, and everyone else always wants to know when we are going to visit them. It's understandable that many of them have lifestyles and responsibilities (ie. farm animals) that you just can't easily get away from. But so do we and it makes it hard to balance all their needs and wants, as well as our desire to travel. And for many of these families when we mention saving up to take a trip they start asking and guilting when are we going to come see them. Not guilting us to invite them - but trying to make us feel bad for spending money on a family trip that doesn't involve visiting that family. It's gotten so bad I don't even want to share that part of our life, or tell any one where we are going. I can't even tell one family that we are visiting another family with out them making me feel bad we're not visiting them instead.
I know I should feel happy that they all want to see us (I'm an orphan so family is a big deal), but I wish there was a way to make everyone happy while maintaining our yearly 'just us' family trip.

I love the my family only vacations. When both parents work, that time dedicated to your children is priceless. I have family in the Orlando area who expected us to spend time with them every time we went to Disney. I want to spend time with MY children, Who in turn want to spend time with me, not extended family who they don't know and rarely see. The family does not travel to our home to visit, so we eventually stopped the visitation. Now it's down to messages on holiday cards.

marcyinPA
09-13-2008, 09:17 AM
Oh, yeah. We have family like this (my side, mostly!). They even go so far as to ask us how we can afford it! Personally, I think it's rude, but I just let it go in one ear and out the other. It's none of their business how we spend our money. I never went on vacations as a child because my parents didn't see the value in it. My DH and I love to travel, and will sacrifice a lot of extras in order for our children to have these experiences.

ETA: My mom often wants to come along with us on our vacations, and her "tone of voice" when we tell her it's just going to the four of us going makes me feel very guilty. I'm learning to get over it. She's single, and doesn't have a lot of opportunities to travel, but we can't always be expected to bring her along.

gillenkl
09-13-2008, 01:31 PM
We've learned to not even tell when we're going on vacation or where we're going. If people ask we tell. Ignorance is bliss for some people. I got tired of all the "whoa is me" stories".

happymommy
09-13-2008, 01:42 PM
Yeah - oh I can relate!

I live about 800 miles from my parents and sisters. I used to go every summer, bringing the kids, to visit. This includes me flying alone with my kids when they were babies even (DH can't always get away from work - he is the owner). My one sister hasn't visited here in 9 years! She goes on vacations and stuff with her kids, but even just alone or with one or two kids, nope. My folks could come here much more easily than me and two kids (mom and dad are young and healthy). I finally decided that I'll try for maybe every other year or so, and honestly I don't care how they feel about that!

We recently bought a Marriott timeshare in Hawaii, and trust me, my family and my inlaws don't know. It's really not their business (okay, I broke down and told my sister, but she thinks it's cool). My folks think timeshares are a "scam", but it's actually a great deal. Looked into DVC for years, but DH wouldn't do it, so at least we can try to trade into it from time to time.

On a positive note, my DH never took a vacation until we met. His brother (super cheapskate) never was taking any, except for his honeymoon. His wife was getting super jealous of us, as we take at least two vacations a year. Now - they actually go on vacations! He's super cheap (doesn't have to be, they have plenty of money, just is) so it's not the type we like, but still, it's nice to see them going on vacations!

I also didn't go to a family "reunion" in Illinois last month, although my mom sort of planned it. It would have involved flying to Chicago, then driving 2 hours to the middle of nowhere, and seeing relatives that I don't see but every 10 years or so. It was a total pain, so I politely declined. I know that some were pissed, but sorry, that was my decision.

If I go back to visit even every few years, that is fine by me. Maybe then they'll decide to come here. I think one vacation for just immediate family per trip to see relatives to me is too much - maybe one trip to see relatives for every 6 or so?

I also agree, the guilt only can come from the one feeling it. No one can make you feel anything. You just have to do what you feel is best for you and your family. I used to feel like I had to go visit my folks, but honestly, they can just as easily come here.

I can't remember how many times we've been at Disney World and my folks were at their house 3 hours away, but they never came up to enjoy Disney with their grandkids! Only last year they did, but it was a bad decision (we all met there, and I am the only one that goes regularly, it was sister's first time bringing her kids, and well, I'd rather go without her!). My dad was drunk by the pool daily (hates theme parks and crowds, and he came WHY?).

Thanks for letting me vent!

Oh - and how many of us have heard "You're going to Disney AGAIN? Why don't you go someplace else for a change?" Those that never go to Disney (my mom and sister)- they finally stopped asking that! Thank GOD - I don't have to explain WHY I want to go somewhere!

mommy-on-the-move
09-13-2008, 02:25 PM
I'm pretty lucky- my parents take it as a direct assumption that if we're travelling "we're travelling" means us six and granny & grandad LOL - they don't stop to ask if it's an extended thing- they vacation with their grandkids and that's how it is (and the kids love it)

My sister and her husband if they have the money or were going to vacation anyway will often ask if we have room in our/parents accomodation or they book into the same resort as us- if they aren't planning to travel they don't make us feel bad about it.

DH's family his one sister is always pleased for us, she travels alot but domestic travel (we're in the UK) she has 4 kids like us and she if fine with it, as is MIL (always really excited for the kids) his other sister gets really competitive- she's very much about materialistic stuff and always having "best" but when it comes to vacations just wants to go where her neighbours do and then got really quite offish we were going to Disney as she has a better car/sofa/house than us so how come we could and she couldn't :rolleyes:

FIL is a complete eejit- has to run around telling everyone how it's a waste of money... somedays he really, really shows why MIL divorced him LOL