View Full Version : When you take family, do you charge them for the room?

10-25-2004, 12:42 PM
We bought into DVC on our honeymoon for 150 points. We have travelled to WDW frequently and I love it there (DH enjoys going on vacation). Anyway, we wanted to take my in-laws once so they could see why we enjoy it so much. They don't have a lot of extra money, so they probably wouldn't get to go otherwise.

Anyways, we are going for a week next June in a two bedroom which will cost all of our 2005 and 2006 points. I think that they should offer to give us a little something towards the room or cover some of our airfare or something. My DH says that is unreasonable because we would be paying for the points regardless of how they are used. Then, I respond by saying we could have made two trips or more (staying in a studio) if we didn't take them, so there is an opportunity cost for using those points for his family.

I want them to enjoy WDW such as my husband and I do, but I don't want them to think this is an open invitation. How do you handle this situation.

10-25-2004, 12:54 PM
If you invited them, then no, I don't think you can ask or expect them to pay for the room, just their own expenses like airfare etc.

If they offer to pay something towards it, then its up to you if you accept. Or they may offer to pick up the check at dinner a couple of times?

We are taking my in-laws this Christmas. They have offered multiple times to pay towards to room, but we have refused. We invited them because we wanted them there, they did not ask to come. To be honesy, I feel bad because they are having to pay for the airfare and park tickets.

Ofcourse, everyones situation is different and this is just my opinion.

10-25-2004, 01:00 PM
No. We took my parents to VB on one occasion and did not charge them. I'm sure they will join us in the future and I will not charge them then either.

They did pay for their own airfare and shared in the cost of the rental car though.

10-25-2004, 01:05 PM
We just took my SIL and her family -4 people-. in a 2 bedroom at OKW. We had decide that we not ask them for anything towards their stay as we invited them to join us. Everything else they paid for on their own- tickets, meals. etc. I wouldn't make a habit out of it but once in a while we like to share the magic of DVC with family members that would like to experience it but can't afford to . my DH was happy he could do this for them. It's not something I would do all the time. We already have our vacation planned for next year With DVC and and will not use points to treat in laws. We have invited them to possibly cruise with us in 06 at their own expense. It will give them enough time to save. My SIL loved DVC so much and raved about it to my in laws that they're thinking of becoming members.

10-25-2004, 01:18 PM
I have to agree with the rest of the reply's, although I know when I researched this there were many different options from - just charging the maint fee cost to a percentage etc.

We chose to not charge, we invited my DH's 2 brother's and their families for a grand gathering in March. This will be the second time to WDW for 1 family, but the other family has never been and would have difficulty making ends meet. We are covering the rooms 2 studio's and 1 one bedroom, they are covering their tickets, transportation etc.

10-25-2004, 01:33 PM
We took my in-laws with us to WDW in October of 2002. We didn't charge them for the room, but told them they had to buy their own passes (we had AP's). They treated us to dinner 2 nights and they treated us to a day at Universal including lunch at Nascar cafe. We found on that trip that much as I love them - I don't travel well with them.

We've also given them a week at Vero (them alone without us) and again we didn't charge them. This really works for us because they get a nice vacation and we can take ours when and where we want without them.

Only you know what is right for you, but I agree that if you invite them you shouldn't charge them.

10-25-2004, 01:33 PM
I would never be able to ask my in laws to pay. It would have to be an outright gift.

If you give it as a gift you can't expect anything in return. If they give you a gift, that's great. But never expect one or you'll be disappointed. Just enjoy the GIVING.

Since you have second thoughts, maybe you shouldn't make the offer right now.:earsboy:

10-25-2004, 01:50 PM
We have done many trips with family and friends as guests, and we have never asked for anything from them. I consider it my treat to give them a place to stay. If they have tight finances anyway, just the park passes and airfare are quite enough to handle. We just returned from a GV stay with 4 family groups. We had 12 people and had a GREAT time. They all paid their own way, but the family of 5 would have found it impossible to stay on-site if they had to pay for that too. We really enjoy sharing our DVC with family and friends. Each trip, our guests have done something special for us. Usually it is a nice dinner out at one of our favorite WDW restaurants, and some have even done CdS tickets. We don't expect anything other than a heartfelt thank you though! It is just so much fun to share with them.

10-25-2004, 01:55 PM

Chuck S
10-25-2004, 01:55 PM
We have often taken family and friends and have never "charged" for the room. They paid their own meals and park admission. If they could afford it, they would usually pick up the tab at a nice dinner for all of us. If they couldn't afford it, we simply enjoyed having them along on the trip. In fact, one of the best trips we took was when a friend of mine couldn't even afford airfare, so we drove to WDW (think Nat'l Lampoon Vacation), it was absolutely the best road trip I'd ever taken. :)

We invite people because we enjoy their company, not so they "pay" for their room. If we didn't truly want them there, we wouldn't invite them.

10-25-2004, 02:01 PM
When we bought DVC we bought enough points for the four of us plus my MIL. She is great and she was the one that passed on the Disney Freak gene to DH who in turn passed it on to me. When her boys were little they went every year. After the divorce she never was able to take her girls ( they went with the ex).

Now my family doesn't know we own DVC so we would have to charge them. We would tell them that I got a great deal with the AP and that everything is in my name.

My best friend and I plan on taking the kids some time and she will pay for the difference between a one bedroom and a two bedroom.

10-25-2004, 02:03 PM
I don't know if we ever really invited them, as funny as that sounds. We are very young (24 & 26) and just starting out. No kids yet, but we do own a house and are building a new one. We are not poor, but we do have to keep a close eye on our budget. They have made comments over the years about us spending all this money on vacations and how can we afford it blah blah blah. To me, a vacation is a very important necessity in life, a chance to recharge and spend quality time together. Well, when we announced that we had bought into DVC, the questions started with how can you afford it, do you know what you are doing, do you want to go there for the next 50 years...

So, in the meantime we invited my 7 year old niece to join DH and I next summer. Then, the inlaws started in on if we could handle a child for a whole week and things like that. All of a sudden, they were coming with us! I don't know how it happened, if there was some kind of subtle invite on our part or if they just invited themselves or if my husband invited them without me knowing. I can't uninvite them, but I am not thrilled about the prospect either. Nor am I thrilled about having to use up all my 2006 points either.

I don't think my husband would accept anything monetarily from them, but it does kind of upset me that they didn't at least offer. We are trying to make ends meet as well, and I am giving up a years worth of disney (2006) to take them. Just was curious about other peoples thoughts.

10-25-2004, 02:08 PM
One of the main reasons we bought into DVC was to be able to treat friends and family; I'd never think of charging someone I invited. We're bringing a couple of dear friends with in December, and they're paying their own airfare, admission, meals, etc. We'll probably both go in on staples for the kitchen - bottled water, snackies, etc., but the room is on us.

Chuck S
10-25-2004, 02:22 PM
All of a sudden, they were coming with us! I don't know how it happened, if there was some kind of subtle invite on our part or if they just invited themselves or if my husband invited them without me knowing.

Well, see, that's a little different. I would almost bet that somehow your husband invited them...again, maybe unknowingly with a comment like, "You need to come with us sometime..."

I mean, my response to a comment about bringing the 7 yo niece would have been, "We'll be fine, it'll be good practice for when we have kids." or some other benign remark.

Unfortunately I think you're kind of stuck. The time to discuss "payment options" was really during the trip planning stage, before you made the room ressie for them.

10-25-2004, 02:25 PM
An invitation implies that you are not expecting anything in return. If they invited themselves that would be a different story. You stated that they would not be able to go otherwise, so wouldn't expecting money be a contradiction of why you originally invited them?

10-25-2004, 02:37 PM
I think its safe to say we all replied based on the premise that you invited them, which may not be the case.

If they invited themselves, it would be reasonable to expect them to offer to pay something, but I am not sure about asking them to pay. Thats really up to you and depends on your relationship with your in-laws.

Sounds like you are stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

10-25-2004, 02:42 PM
I know I sound like a huge contradiction (and a greedy person) but my inlaws are so hard to explain:D

They have to keep a close eye on their budget and they don't have tons of extra money lying around. They go to Virginia Beach every year and stay with my MIL's sister who lives there. That is their idea of a vacation. Except for the Jersey shore a few times with FIL's parents, they have never been anywhere, nor do they have a desire to go anywhere. Yet, they are quick to judge my husband and I, who like to go places all the time.

Anyway, it isn't that they CAN'T afford WDW without some budgeting, it is that they WON'T afford WDW. I know their priorities are different than ours, to each their own. My husband thinks I am horrible for being upset that they didn't offer us anything for the room. I would never CHARGE them outright, but I still think they should offer something. If friends or family would invite us, I would insist on paying something for the room, and if they would refuse I would treat at a couple of meals or something like that. I guess the fact that they aren't even willing to offer has me peeved. I want them to experience (and love) Disney, but I hope they don't construe our generosity as an open invite for future trips. They even hinted about us taking their other son on a future trip, uh, no thank you. I can't even imagine what is going to happen when we have kids. Anyways, thanks for the opinions, just needed to vent.

10-25-2004, 03:16 PM
Puffkin - So sorry for the predicament you're in! There's a reason my in-laws don't know about it. I think MIL and FIL would be ok, but too many siblings would want something! Good luck when you have kids, the in-laws are a surprisingly large part of the reason I don't!

By the way, if they invited tehmselves, they should pay. If your DH invited them, that may be why he doesn't understand your frustrations. Maybe he should pay ;)

10-25-2004, 03:36 PM

I'll be blunt, as I have this problem myself: it's a waste of time getting upset just because other people don't act the way you would in the same situation.

Whenever DW and I are invited to someone's house for dinner, the first words out of my mouth are "What can I bring?" - which is what my mother used to say. I have found, though, that many other people do not think this way, and getting upset over it is just a waste of my emotional time and energy.

As long as you do what you feel is right when the decisions are up to you, you'll feel fine....

10-25-2004, 04:26 PM
I think I would be inclined to just live through this one trip without charging them anything, but be on high alert for the next time they might invite themselves along.

Sometime during this trip I'd probably say something like, "we just love the DVC...it's just too bad that we aren't able to buy enough points to do this again. It was really worth our not being able to come back for a couple of years to do it this one time, though. It's really been fun having you."

That would set the stage for the next time they try to move in on your vacation (if I'm understanding the situation correctly). You could remind them then that, as much as you wish you were able to buy the points you would need to make a second trip possible for everyone, it just isn't in your budget. But it sure was fun the last time, huh?!

Maybe if you know this will never happen again, it may be easier to get through this one trip as a gesture toward good family relations.

10-25-2004, 04:42 PM
I think your post says alot about your relationship with your inlaws. Dealing with inlaws is always a touchy area, especially when they may be your inlaws, but they are HIS parents. Are they normally the type of people who invite themselves? or do you truly think your husband invited them? It is a tough situation.

Not that I am an expert, but I would never charge or expect compensation if I invited someone, but I would also try to set the guidelines upfront and establish what they needed to pay for on the trip like their park tickets, food, any other entertainment, airfare etc. In this situation you do not really know if your husband invited them or not. Even if he didn't officially invite them, by not stopping them when they said they were coming, he did in a way invite them.

I know its hard when you are worried about establishing future guidelines, but put it in prospective. This is just one trip with his parents. Don't begrudge them joining you this one time or put your husband between you and them over this one trip. ALso, the trip hasn't happened yet. Who knows maybe they'll pay for some meals or something.

Also, I think taking parents along is alot different from taking siblings, etc.


PS I am sorry if I sound harsh about this, but I am talking from the prospective of my dad being gone over 3 years now and currently watching my husband struggle with the possibility of losing his dad soon to cancer.

Mary Anne
10-25-2004, 05:16 PM
Aside from the room, I think you may have other problems too.

You mentioned that your in-laws have never really been on a real vacation.

They have to keep a close eye on their budget and they don't have tons of extra money lying around. They go to Virginia Beach every year and stay with my MIL's sister who lives there. That is their idea of a vacation. Except for the Jersey shore a few times with FIL's parents, they have never been anywhere, nor do they have a desire to go anywhere.

Forget about the "free" room they are getting. Do they realize how much it is going to cost just to go into the parks each day? I have a feeling they are going to really freakout over the cost of even a 3 or 4 day pass. X 2 people!!!! What about food costs? Even if you eat in, you still have to buy it.

I think you need to call a family meeting. Go over the other costs upfront, and to be honest tell them you need the money for the tickets upfront from them, you buy them. I have a feeling if you don't you're going to end up in Disney for a week with them sitting in the room being pains and not even letting you go to the parks. With people like this I think you also need to buy into some type of food plan at Disney. Either the vouchers or tell them up front you need X amount of $$$ to cover the food.

I hate to say it but I fear you're not only going to be paying for the room but everything else on that vacation too. :earseek:

Snow Shoe
10-25-2004, 05:31 PM
If you invited them, then you should not expect anythong in return. To expect something in return for inviting them along as guests is not very polite. However, if they offer/insist to pay some, then ask them to buy dinner some night for everybody.

10-25-2004, 05:42 PM
I must be in the minority - we are charging our family. Here's the situation:

My FIL wanted to take everyone on a trip together. We discusssed a couple options, Disney being one of them. When comparing our options we offered that we would cover the 2 bedroom if FIL would cover the cost of the studio. There are 10 of us total. We figured if our family of 4 went we would probably get a 2 bedroom anyway. Now we just have to share it with 2 additional adults. When we presented this idea to the family I laid out what the studio and 2 bedroom would cost if booked directly with Disney, and what it would cost if renting points, then what our cost was - we just used $7 / point. We then used points to book both rooms and FIL will pay $7 / point for the studio.

I don't feel bad about charging them at all. They are getting great accomodations at a fraction of the cost.

10-25-2004, 05:51 PM
If we invite family, we do not ask for anything. We are extending the invitation and the room is a gift to them. We do not usually pay for anything else, except maybe a character meal or a birthday present (i.e. taking my step-daughter on a tour in March).

We have taken family a few times now and never asked for anything in return. For this next trip, my step-daughter has said she wants to take us out to eat at Boma to thank us. That's fine with us, but not expected or implied.

However - I would not extend the same invitation to friends. And if any family members knew we were going and asked us to get a larger room so they can go with us, or get them a room, they would definately be given a price. The freebee only comes with our invite.

10-25-2004, 05:56 PM
As DH and I get older, it becomes more and more important to us that we spend as much time with family and friends on vacation as we can. So we do not ever charge family or friends. Our October trip was worth every point (all 754 of them!) because as our 20-somethings lives become more complex we will never be able to line up all of the schedules again.
We have the luxury of more points now than we did when we first joined DVC and we are gray-haired. The view from opposite sides of age 40 or 50 can be very different. I think this is an issue that can only be resolved between DH and DW. JMHO.

10-25-2004, 06:03 PM
Oh, I just read backwards a bit and saw your other posts. Hmmm quite a predicament here.:scratchin

I would be a little miffed at my DH. Well, maybe a lot miffed at my DH, if he invited someone along without talking to me first. Sounds like you're not really sure how that happened. You may need to make some DVC ground rules about who you invite and when. We definately have family members that we will not ever, ever invite or agree to take if they ask (and they already have.) This is our vacation and I refuse to take a vacation from my job, just to spend the time with someone who drives me crazy!

I think you have to tough it out this time - and live and learn. Instead of trying to convince your DH that you have to charge them this trip - talk to him about how to organize future years and what using up 300 points all at once does to the Disney Bank of the future. Who knows - maybe you'll start talking add-on!!!

10-25-2004, 06:30 PM
Even if they invited themselves I certainly would not charge them especially if they are in your in-laws or parents. My reasoning is that our parents raised us and gave up a lot of their lives to raise their children. I realize you don't have children right now so, this might be more difficult to understand. Raising children is not easy and I think, it is great if you can offer them a place to stay for a week. Who knows maybe you'll bond better. My FIL is exactly how you described your inlaws but you know after 10 years of marriage I realized who am I to judge what he does and doesn't do with his money.

Second, I would bring up the extra costs involved like park passes, meals, etc... I think, it would be important that you tell them what you plan to do on the trip. Like we will be at the park on the following days. If they choose to hang out at the room that is their decision. My MIL goes on vacation with us all the time but she loves just hanging out at the resort. She really doesn't like doing tourisy stuff so, it usually works out for us. Maybe once you hint on the expense of the extras they might back out. Also, give clear guidelines on the last time they can back out. You don't want to lose out on points either.


10-25-2004, 06:36 PM
Northwoods, I'm not sure you're in the minority - the situation you describe is different from OP's. If I understand correctly, someone else (FIL) wants to play host for the family, and you're offering a lower-cost alternative; seems fair to me.

10-25-2004, 06:46 PM
We are planning a trip with DH's sister and her family (4 people) over springbreak 2006. We will be getting a 2 bedroom for the 8 of us. We are not asking them for anything toward the room. This part of the trip is "on us". We thought it would be fun for the 4 boys (my 2 DS's and 2 DN's). They will take care of their own airfare, park tickets, food and miscellaneous. We're just providing the room. This was part of the reason we just did an add-on. We love going on vacation with friends and family. What better than to be able to provide the rooms for all of us at the "Most Magical Place On Earth"!!:cool:

10-25-2004, 07:30 PM
We tend to take only one or two family members at a time and they stay with us in a two bedroom. When you start inviting everyone and becoming the travel agent, concierge and have to hassle with cancellations and complaints, it becomes a nightmare very quickly, so yes, I would charge them some nominal amount, like 99 a night for a studio.

10-25-2004, 08:05 PM
I agree with the others that have posted saying that they would not expect or request any type of payment for the room accomodations. I totally agree with your DH. How do you know that after dinner one night, that they would not pick up the tab? When we go out with our grown kids, we always pick up the tab. We do not make a big deal out of it, it is funny the server always seems to put the bill in front of my DH, like they know he is going to pay. I have used two years of points to take friends and family and expected nothing in return, but I do have great memories and that for me is enough.

10-25-2004, 08:08 PM
We don't charge our family. They are the reason we bought into DVC - we wanted to be able to go with my parents and sis and not have to worry about everyone saving up, etc. (sis is a starving college student...).

My family is great about bringing groceries and paying for meals. They also love to babysit the kids ensuring my dh & I at least one meal out by ourselves.

Kristen :earsgirl:

Doug Wolfe
10-25-2004, 09:59 PM
I agree with your DH. No charge.:rolleyes:

You said it yourself, they don't have a lot of money and they wouldn't do it otherwise.

In 2003, I put my mom & dad in a studio for a week at OKW. I was next door in a 2-bedroom with the DW & kiddies.

In 2004, after my dad passed away, I just took mom and put her in our 2-bedroom.

No charge....no expectations. It's just something nice to do. I contributed to a trip for the DW's parents to Alaska.

It just makes me feel good to help others to enjoy life without asking for anything in return. In 2005, I'll probably ask mom to join us again.::yes::

10-25-2004, 10:26 PM
This question has come a few times and I think it has to do with the situation. But yes, we have charged.

in our case we told my sister that we could share our points to make it cheaper for them to go and stay deluxe if they ever wanted to go. They asked us if they could go and use some of our points. We mutually came up with $500 for the week. We up both felt this was fair as we were using some of our next years points and they are getting to stay deluxe for super cheap. She would not have wanted to go "free". We are doing the same thing this year too because they thought it was a fantastic deal and loved the DVC.

We do have to borrow some pts for them to go. This is one reason I added 50 pts this year to make our total 200, so we could lend points every so often.

I hope this helps. :D

10-26-2004, 12:43 AM
Follow your gut and live & learn..

We planned our trip in the early part of this year so that we can visit in OCT. A member of my immediate family slipped and told one of the other parties that was going with us that it was a timeshare. The change I saw in them was amazing. It was as if I was to pay for everything. It disgusts me to even think about it let alone write it.

Now only my immediate family knows about me being a DVC member and I prefer it that way.

10-26-2004, 12:20 PM
This can be a very tricky situation, particularly when it appears in this situation it's far from clear as to whose idea it was in the first place.

I have charged relatives before, but I have always made sure they were completely aware of the situation BEFORE any plans were made. I would only charge if extra points were being used to get a larger unit. While I think it's very generous of those that decide they want to invite their families along at the DVC owners expense, I don't feel the same compunction to treat my family out of my pocket to that degree. I don't feel it's anyone's duty to support their families vacations, if it makes you feel good to be able to do so, then that's fine. If however, like me, you don't feel that debt of honour, then I think that's fine as well.

I don't think there is any way out for the OP in this situation, particularly as her DH is against charging his parents. However reading the other comments I do think there is grave potential that her PIL could take advantage of the situation as they seem to have a habit of using other people's houses as their vacation option of first choice. Unless the rules are laid down pretty quickly I can see this as becoming a festering boil in her relationship. I think I have to agree with those that say THIS TIME, there is little option but to allow the trip to pass off without any further comment, although a meeting to discuss the likely cost of the trip for "other expenses" might prove a saving grace. By putting all other possible costs at their higher plausable levels you may succeed in discouraging them, if that's what you want to do.

Unfortunately I think you're kind of stuck. The time to discuss "payment options" was really during the trip planning stage, before you made the room ressie for them. I have to agree whole heartedly with this comment, as a general rule I think any discussions need to be done BEFORE plans are made. In this case I think the OP has no choice but to let this instance slide, but to have a discussion with her DH to make sure similar "misunderstandings" don't occur again as with just 150 points this will put a large dent in her vacation plans for a good few years.

10-26-2004, 12:39 PM
There's talk in this thread about having a discussion with the in-laws before reservations are made. That's true.

But there's another discussion that needs to occur even before that one, and that's where husband and wife come to mutual agreement before any offer is even hinted at to the relatives. That needs to become an iron-clad part of the marital ground rules.

10-26-2004, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by vernon
[...] While I think it's very generous of those that decide they want to invite their families along at the DVC owners expense, I don't feel the same compunction to treat my family out of my pocket to that degree. I don't feel it's anyone's duty to support their families vacations, if it makes you feel good to be able to do so, then that's fine. If however, like me, you don't feel that debt of honour, then I think that's fine as well. [...]
Just to clear up one misconception, vernon: I feel no "compunction", feel no "duty" nor feel a "debt of honour" to treat anyone to a DVC visit. I just enjoy sharing a good holiday with friends and family that I like to spend time with - it's as simple as that. No obligations: I invite whom I wish, solely because I want to, and I expect no payment from those that I do invite. And though I speak only for myself, I'd bet that there are others who share my attitudes.

Be well!

10-26-2004, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by DrTomorrow
Just to clear up one misconception, vernon: I feel no "compunction", feel no "duty" nor feel a "debt of honour" to treat anyone to a DVC visit. I just enjoy sharing a good holiday with friends and family that I like to spend time with - it's as simple as that. No obligations: I invite whom I wish, solely because I want to, and I expect no payment from those that I do invite. And though I speak only for myself, I'd bet that there are others who share my attitudes.

Be well!

I totally agree, Dr. Tomorrow. We choose who we invite and when. They choose if they will or wont join us. We pick the dates and make the ressies and ask guests after that. Their only decision is if they will or will not join us.

10-26-2004, 01:29 PM
DrTomorrow is right on the mark.

When we (myself and DW) decided to invite my in-laws (her parents), it was because we wanted to spend the time together with them. As such, there is no way we would consider asking them to pay and have refused their offers to pay towards the room.

If it was someone elses idea, for whatever reason, to use our DVC points for some group vacation, then there would be some discussion of the group members contributing to the cost of the points, especially if it envolved boworring future points.

In the OPs case, it seems undecided who's idea is was, who invited who etc. Now I think the OPs only option, short of causing a family rift, is to hope for the best. Maybe they will cover that meal out (or two).

10-26-2004, 01:38 PM
If we take them, no charge...and we usually pay for their park admission. I suppose if they ask for a room there might be considerations.


10-26-2004, 01:41 PM
I have never charged for the room but I do wish people understood that there is a dollar (currently 8-10$) associated with each point.
I quit inviting people to join us because it was costing me more in rental cars (need a bigger vehicle), grocery costs, and dinner (some people just don't get they should give enough money to cover everything they ordered and a tip for that amount.

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10-26-2004, 03:40 PM
This may sound stupid but can't you just ask your husband if (and when) he invited them? I understand having difficult in-laws, BELIEVE ME! (My MIL announced to my mom and grandma while I was in labour that she needed to be in the room with me even though I had said no because she needed to be there for my husband in case the baby and I died!) Don't make the question accusing, maybe something like "Honey, I don't remember when you asked your parents to come along. Was I there?" O would blame it on my faulty memory and make it sould like a joke. If he says that he did not invite them then I would ask him who decided they were coming?

10-26-2004, 03:44 PM
We took my BIL & SIL last Dec. and also paid for their park passes. They paid for their airfare. I would do it again in a heartbeat. We had a blast and they were very appreciative and had a fabulous time w/ our kids.

On the other hand my DS and her DH are just as cheap as can be. We have taken them on limo rides, out to dinner and they are so not apreciative. I would not ofer to treat her to a Disney Vaca. She has even asked me if I have extra pts. and when we treated BIL & SIL she needed to know if we collected money from them. I just told her yes...solves that dilemma.

I think it can depend. I do lean towards the treating side!:sunny:

10-26-2004, 04:11 PM
No Charge !!!!!!

If you want to invite someone or take them along it is an invitation.
If circumstances are such that you can not handle the cost or points or responsibility then don't invite them.
We seem to alway take along family as guests and have never asked them to pay. We purchased DVC to share and enjoy the time. What seems to happen is someone suggests they go on a grocery run for breakfast, lunch and snack foods and they always pick up a dinner or two during the stay.
What we have done to others is mention when we are going and if interested the Swan and Dolphin ( BCV is our Home) are very close and reasonable if they decide to go the same time. We have done this with extended family and has work well in the past.

Maybe its just me but I have a problem with giving and invitation and also asking them to pay.

There have been other cases where I did not want something to become a habit (not DVC) so I jokingly ask if they would like to join us for dinner, Dutch Treat !!! as an example. In that way they new from the beginning they were paying their way before they gave me an answer.
No mis-understandings.
Sometimes they even picked up the check.

10-26-2004, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by rocketriter
There's talk in this thread about having a discussion with the in-laws before reservations are made. That's true.

But there's another discussion that needs to occur even before that one, and that's where husband and wife come to mutual agreement before any offer is even hinted at to the relatives. That needs to become an iron-clad part of the marital ground rules. ITA with this! Husband and wife need to be on same side and agree before any invitations (of any kind) are issued.

I too think this time for the OP is a done deal - no way to get out of it gracefully. I would however, insist that my DH not invite anyone ever again without at least discussing with me first. Of course, I would expect to discuss with him first befoe I invited anyone, too.

Best wishes -

10-26-2004, 04:39 PM
Just a thought, because I haven't seen anyone else mention it. What about getting 2 studios instead of the 2 bedroom. It would be less points, and you wouldn't have to share accomodations with your inlaws. They would probably be nearby, but not under your nose. This might allow some "un-together" time, which it looks like you might need!;)

We have invited my parents, and SIL and did not charge them anything, and when DH's parents retire, we'll treat them to some trips too. It sounds like a tough situation, but hopefully you will have some enjoyable times. Unless the 2 bed. is a must, I'd do the 2 studios, and then maybe you'll have some points left over for another trip in 2006.

10-26-2004, 04:50 PM
There might be a way to get out gracefully, and someone hit on it earlier.

Set them down. Have your husband explain (not you, they are his parents), that your original intent was to take your niece and you are prepared to pick up airfare, tickets and meals for her. But you can't afford to treat the "grown ups" to a fully paid for trip - not when you are in the middle of building a house! You will graciously cover the rooms - which, he should explain, have a "street value" of around $3,000 for the week - that's what you could get if you rented out your reservation. But they will need to buy their own park tickets and they will cost $XXX each. They will need to cover dining expenses, and that will be $XXX a day. They will need to take care of their own airfare at $XXX.

Give them a chance to gracefully bow out....."we understand that this is a lot of money. We'd love to have you there, but if you are only going because you aren't sure we will be able to handle Becky for a week, rest assured, we won't have a problem with her. We've spent a lot of time with Becky and she is a good kid."

I suspect - when confronted with what their out of pocket expenses will be - you will either have two fewer guests, or you'll change your own mind about being generous. If they are willing to shell out several thousand dollars (and that is what it will likely be) for the vacation, they are doing it to spend time with you and their granddaughter.

BTW, we treated my mother in law last year - a woman of limited means who'd never have gone on her own. And we picked up meals and park tickets and airfare, and took her sister along so she'd have company when we were off with our kids! But the situation was quite different. We could afford the treat. She didn't invite herself (in fact, was reluctant to go at all -- not getting the Disney thing). I don't think there is anything wrong with inviting someone to "share" your vacation and offering to "rent" them points to do so at a reduced rate - and if we ever add on we will be doing that with friends - but that is the way the offer needs to be made.

10-26-2004, 05:28 PM
We just got back from a successful trip in which we got a 2-bedroom lockoff and gave the studio side as a gift to my wife's brother and his partner. From the get-go it was understood that they would be responsible for their own airfare, park tickets and meals. However, we gave DBIL a birthday party at our expense, and one night they bought us dinner as a thank-you for the room. It worked out very nicely because my DW and I figured out what we'd like to offer together before we made the offer, and then we laid out the offer and terms in our first conversation with DBIL. They understood the nature and boundaries of the gift and were grateful for it, and we respected the fact that they expected to carry their own weight on the other expenses.

Disney Doll
10-26-2004, 07:19 PM
I would not be able to charge my or DH's family, but I like them all, none of them would be "moochers" or "expect" a free trip to WDW every year. Plus DSIL &DBIL are very good to us, have us for dinner a lot etc., so I see using the DVC points to give them a trip now and then as a way to sort of pay them back for being nice to us. Plus, we enjoy travelling with them, they are a lot of fun and like many of the same things we do.

I do have a couple we are friends with that I charge if they stay in our DVC unit. I charge them what they would pay per night in a moderate, since if they weren't staying in our DVC 2nd bedroom of a 2 BR unit(which is, in effect, a moderate hotel room + kitchenette), they'd be paying to stay in a moderate. They consider that to be very fair, as they feel that they are getting far beyond moderate accomodations for a moderate price.

I have a single friend who sometimes travels with us when we do a big group thing, and she sleeps on the pullout in the livingroom, and I don't charge her anything to sleep there either.

Usually all the folks who travel with us are also good about chipping in for the food etc., and it works out nicely.

10-26-2004, 07:44 PM
We have taken friends and family on several occasions and have never charged. In fact, we took 10 in January for a week's stay. We got 2 - 2 bdrs which we split into 2 studios and 2 -1 bdrs and then had another studio. That way each family had their own space and more importantly we had our own space. We are going back in 40 days (not that I'm counting) and are taking 4 close friends with us and getting a GV. Each pair will have a bdr of their own. We chose the GV this time as it is mostly a golf outing for 5 days and won't be in the room a whole lot. After they leave we are moving to a 1 bdr for 6 more night of relaxation. I think the options are great and depending on how well you think you will get along would determine for me which accomodations to get. My family that had the studios still thought they had been given a million and were so appreciative. They bought us several meals and made a photo album for us when we returned. Certainly circumstances are different for many and sometimes it can get a little sticky. Hopefully this all works out for you.

10-26-2004, 09:01 PM
I see you're from Reading PA! I grew up in the Boyertown area...my parents who still live there are joining us in December at VWL and are paying for the difference in points for a 2br vs. a 1br....but its kind of weird how that worked out. We hosted them in Dec. 2002 (they bought us some meals and paid for groceries...their choice). But this year it worked out differently. We were planning to take the trip ourselves, but realized we'd really love some help with the kids. Rather than put out over a hundred bucks to use the kids' clubs a night or two we decided to offer my mom a plane ticket to come stay with us and babysit. She countered that offer with a proposition that both she and my step dad join us, get their own room, etc....and pay for all their own stuff. That's when I offered to check on getting a 2br...not expecting any compensation...and my mom said that it would be okay with her as long as they could pay us for the difference in points between the 1br and 2br. So really, it works to all our advantage...they get 5 nights at the VWL for $400 (great rate!) and we have a bit extra cash for our visit and babysitting a couple of evenings.

I would definitely find out how it happened that your in-laws are coming along. If your dh asked them without consulting you that seems like a pretty big issue. And if they invited themselves, how did it happen that you made a reservation for them? Seriously, anytime anyone would mention coming along I would be really up front about whether or not we'd be providing the accomodations and about the other costs involved.

I know the attitude of "how can you afford that?"... and the not taking vacations thing....being from good 'ol Berks Co. myself. We dealt with it a bit when we still lived there. Its all a matter of choices, as you said.

To be truthful, I have no idea how anyone could get stuck with someone inviting themself along on a vacation. My first question when hearing they were coming would be "oh, you are? where are you staying?" and then if they stated they'd be staying with us I'd have to politely say..."oh, I'm really sorry if you got the wrong impression, but our room only sleeps X (number) and we're out of points this year" Then again, I don't know anyone who would even do that...its so rude!

But when making plans with anyone I make sure everyone is clear on what I'm offering or not....but basically if I'm offering a stay with us, I expect to provide it without strings attached.

10-26-2004, 10:24 PM
Be careful -

10-27-2004, 08:49 AM
know the attitude of "how can you afford that?"... and the not taking vacations thing....being from good 'ol Berks Co. myself. We dealt with it a bit when we still lived there. Its all a matter of choices, as you said.

This is too funny because you hit the nail on the head with how vacationing is viewed in this area.

Thanks for all the advice. I don't think my DH actually invited them, he is pretty sure about that. We bought into DVC by using our wedding money as a down payment. In his thank you notes to his family, he wrote that we bought DVC in the hopes of taking other family members with us from time to time (meaning my nieces). He was in charge of his families thank you notes (20 notes verses the 100 I had to write:eek: ) so I didn't check them. His parents found out we were taking our niece and they mentioned they would like to go along, to help out. He never said yes or no, just kind of ignored it (this is a huge problem I have with his family, there is noooooo communication). Well, they are now really excited about going, so there isn't much I can do.

I already laid out what park tickets, airfare, and meals will cost. MIL has already balked at the cost of meals, saying "Well if the unit has a full kitchen, why don't we eat there?" I pretty much told her they are welcome to eat any meals they want in the villa, but my DH and I eat one nice meal a day on vacation (I refuse to cook on vacation!!!!!) and will probably only eat breakfast and snacks in the villa. Plus, we hinted around at what the "street value" of the villa is for the week, plus the fact that we are buying our niece her park ticket plus a lot of her food (her parents are covering the airfare and some spending money).

Hopefully, everything will work out well and we will have a great trip. His parents are such tightwads though, and generally tend to lounge around on vacation. That is just not my style at all! My DH said he would compromise and let me invite my Mom to come along too. That way, if I want to do something and his family just wants to hang out, we can go our separate ways.

Again, thanks for all the thoughts and advice. I guess I will just have to drop the bullet on this one. My DH already has been assigned to explain to his parents how DVC works and about our limited points so that they realize this isn't something we can afford to do frequently (use up two years worth of points) and that we don't plan on taking other family members except our nieces for a long time, until we can add on more points.

10-27-2004, 09:14 AM
I wouldn't take your mother - where would she sleep? Plus, my own mother and my own mother-in-law get along "fine." But not "vacation-for-a-week" fine. They'd drive each other batty - and I'd have to commit ritual suicide before the week was out.

Sit down with your husband and figure some stuff out. Sounds like he envisions himself sitting around the villas with them and your niece, leaving you on your own (i.e. you can take your mom so you have something to do). If that is fine with you, great. I'd be setting my hubby down for the come to Jesus talk - WE do these things - a nice dinner, time in the parks. WE aren't going to be bringing your neice down to sit by the pool. If your parents want to sleep late and hang in the Villas, great - we will bring cell phones so they can reach us if they want to hook up. I'M not thrilled with them coming to start with and if you decide spending time with them is more important than OUR vacation, I'll get quite cranky.

That is actually a pretty strident version of the deal I had with my Mother In Law. We are going to do these things. I'd recommend you do these things with us. But you are free to spend as much or as little time with as as you'd like. In our case, we spent the first two days running my MIL and her sister ragged - we wanted to get them the lay of the land. They spent the next four meeting up only for dinner - we went to the waterpark, we rode rides - they poked through Epcot. We spent the last day together again doing the kids favorite MK stuff.

And I did "express my concerns" to my husband before inviting them. That in the interest of being a good hostess I'd have a lousy vacation. That our kids were only going to be this age once - and we'd bought DVC so that we could see Disney through their eyes at each age - and not the "we've been in this shop for an hour mom! I'm bored!" experience. He understands what Disney means to me and we are both very aware of my (and by extention his) vacation style at Disney - early mornings, quick moves between attractions. Not quite commando, but not a lot of room for "this is vacation, I'm going to sleep in every morning, and if I spend an hour looking at doo dads in a store, that is a good way to spend my time." And we are both very aware that is mother is a "sleep late, move slow, like to shop" sort of person.

(However, all of us, MIL, DH and self, like food - so we centered the whole vacation around where we were meeting for dinner - sharing the part everyone was very content with).

All in all, the vacation was fantastic. Everyone had a really good time (I did push too hard the first two days). My mother in law was great - I did a great job planning to our incompatibilities, and she was a real trooper when she needed to be. And her sister - I'd take her anywhere again in a heartbeat! Gracious. Wonderful traveling companion. Helpful. Not obtrusive. And the best thank you note I ever received.

The only other thing I wish I'd done is we were so busy, we never took a night to let my MIL babysit so we could go out. It wasn't important to me, so I didn't schedule it. But SHE saw it as a way to pay us back in some form. I didn't realize that until much later and I should have been more aware of it.

10-27-2004, 09:36 AM
I wouldn't take your mother - where would she sleep?

Our sleeping arrangements would be DH and I in master. MIL and FIL in 2nd bedroom. Mom (if she can come, still checking on her work schedule) would sleep on sleeper sofa. Niece would either sleep on second sofa (we are planning on staying at OKW) or in the other bed in the 2nd bedroom.

I really want my mom to come because I don't want to deny my husband time with his family. Plus, my DH and my mom get along great because we have already vacationed with her and we are now living with my parents until our new house is finished. Just wanted to clear that up.

10-27-2004, 12:26 PM
Oh, my...the inlaws expect you guys to spend every minute with them? ouch!

I didn't mention that one of my other things about vacationing with others is that I let them know I generally have a plan....they are welcome to join us or do their own thing. If there's something I'd really like to do as a group I ask if they want to do it. I've never travelled with anyone who had a clue about WDW...so generally no one else makes any plans. I'm not really rigid in my planning either....and I make changes as necessary....but I do try to be clear that I'm not going to be catering to someone else's whims on MY vacation. As a mom I spend enough time every day catering to others' whims.

Sounds like your mom would be a good addition to the trip if your inlaws would seriously expect you to sit around with them....but I also suggest that you and your mom take the neice with you to have fun if she gets tired of sitting around with her grandparents and uncle! I almost feel bad for her...I mean, here she was going to get a fun trip with her aunt and uncle and now her grandparents are coming too. If all they like to do is sit around that's gotta be a real bummer...as much as I'm sure she loves them.

10-27-2004, 12:26 PM
Puffkin, in your situation I would DEFINATELY take your mom along.
It's not going to add much to your cost, it would give you some support when I think you're likely to need it and it sounds like you mom has been very helpful ( more so than the in-laws)while you're building your house and might feel a little left out if you take your inlaws before taking her.

10-27-2004, 01:38 PM
While I wish I had hundreds of points and plenty of money, I couldn't afford to take the family with us. We usually decide when we are going (myself and husband), and then decide if we want to tell others. Usually just my sis and her family and my parents, they all love disney, but haven't caught the bug yet. I explain what I can get, and if they wish to join us, (not come with us), this is what I can do. I am usually able to cover a 2 bedroom, and they cover the studio and maybe the weekend nights, that way they feel like they are contributing, and I'm not using 3 years of points for one trip. Everyone is on their own for tickets, etc. But we all enjoy traveling together.

It would be different if I said, hey I have a 3 bedroom villa booked do you want to come!

10-27-2004, 02:08 PM
The in-laws will not be ruining the trip for my niece, I can guarantee that! If she wants to stay at the resort by the pool, she can, but she will have the opportunity to do as much as she wants with me if the rest don't want to do things. That is one thing I am really excited about is getting to be there when she experiences WDW for the first time!

I plan on booking Hoop Dee Doo for our non-park day and hopefully an Illuminations Cruise and the Princess Breakfast. My DH and I will cover the Cruise if we are lucky enough to get it, but they are going to have to pay for the other things for themselves. They already balked at those prices, but I think it is something they will really enjoy once they do it. Beyond that, any other PS's will be optional for them, but my DH, niece and mom (if she comes) will be booked with our best interests in mind, not theirs. I will make the PS's for 6 people, but if they don't want to come, that is fine with me. Don't get me wrong, I am trying to include them in all the planning and I am trying to be as nice as can be, but I am not going to be jumping through hoops to accomodate them.

It has been very helpful to read everyone elses opinions and suggestions. Thanks so much!

10-27-2004, 02:53 PM
The only other thing I wish I'd done is we were so busy, we never took a night to let my MIL babysit so we could go out.
There's a very good idea in here. We always plan a meal that just a "date" for my wife and myself. If it's just the four of us, we either hook up with an in-resort service or use Kids-Nite-Out. Otherwise we ask our guests to watch the kids for the evening. One our last visit, our guests were delighted to do so and the kids were very excited about it!

Consider doing the same. Give yourself and DH an evening at, say, the Brown Derby or Artist Point or Blue Zoo, someplace grown up where the two of you can de-stress by yourselves, and then walk around the park or DD for an hour or two. You'll love it and so will the kids.

10-27-2004, 08:38 PM
I never charge parents, just hope for a night of babysitiing. When we are joined by my bother or sister and their families, I usually ask them to pick up the tab on a minivan rental, or some groceries.

10-27-2004, 11:41 PM
<font face="times" size="+0">First, I wanted to pose this question:
If you were to go on a trip with <i>your</i> parents, would your DH be okay with you not charging them? If he wants you to be okay with treating his parents, then it should also be the same the other way around.

My own situation is like this:
DBF and I are not married, but we've been together long enough that these types of issues do come up. Shortly after we bought DVC, we did sit down and discuss what we think is fair as far as booking rooms for other people, including family members. What we personally decided was that for parents, we would not charge them... <i>unless</i> they try to abuse the privilege (i.e. deciding that they love WDW so much, they'd like to go very often on trips w/o us, and I would never want that kind of situation where they take <i>our</i> DVC membership for granted like it's free for us or something).

But, DBF and I also have siblings to worry about, and we decided that we cannot afford to not charge them.

The "invitation" issue is weird too. For us, our possibly upcoming trip came about this way: DBF's mom knows that I'm the WDW expert so 2 years ago she had asked me to look into booking a trip for DBF's whole family (his parents, siblings' families, and us) because she wants to go now when DBF's nephew is still about the "right" age to enjoy WDW (his nephew has only been to WDW once at age 1, which IMHO is too young for him to remember anything!). This was before we bought DVC, and his family has been so fickle about actually <i>planning</i> the trip that it's taken 2 years to get around to the beginnings of a real discussion. Now that we own DVC, it's likely we'll be using our points to book multiple rooms for this big-family-trip.

We are too early in the planning stages to have any discussion about costs yet, but DBF and I plan to tell his family that we will pay for his parents' room, but his siblings' families will basically rent the other rooms from us. Not sure how that will go over, but it's what we're aiming for.

Anyway, so our situation is one where we didn't invite anyone, and they didn't invite themselves along either. It's just that the idea was thrown out that a WDW trip for the whole family was something they might want to do, and DBF and I (being the Disney freaks in the family) would probably be in charge of planning it. Although I do have to admit that because we <i>are</i> the only Disney freaks in the family, we probably want the trip to happen more than the rest of them do.

After reading a few horror stories here about guests taking DVC members for granted, and not appreciating it when they are treated to a free DVC room, I'm really wary on the whole issue of treating people. It's hard for people to appreciate the value of something they're getting for free. So for now, we plan to charge everyone except for parents. Besides, we really don't have enough points to treat people (we own less than 150pts), and likely will need to rent transferred points from other members in order to afford booking so many rooms.

Anyway, these are my thoughts on this subject. I hope it all works out for you.</font>

11-02-2004, 09:40 PM
after reading these posts again...I honestly think it comes down to "inviting" people and people asking to come and use some of your points to help alleviate their costs.

The "invitation" would be free...in my eyes.

it seems like this is how most people are treating it.

11-03-2004, 12:03 AM
Even after you distinguish between "inviting" people and "people asking to come," there are still issues of transportation costs, park tickets, meals and so forth. They must all be addressed, preferably during the very first conversation that comes up on the subject. It's often not practical or reasonable to take the position of "an invitation is an invitation, so the inviter has to pick up everything."

We recently took some family to BCV. We invited them, and made it clear from the start that this meant we'd give them their room for free. They happily paid for their own transportation and park tickets. We went "dutch" on most meals. We picked up the cost of the birthday party, and they bought us a couple of thank-you meals. Everyone was happy with the arrangement, and it was negotiated up front.

TDC Nala
11-03-2004, 02:44 AM
Not family.

I charge nonfamily guests a little cash per night to help cover the dues.

Everybody pays for their own park tickets.

11-03-2004, 08:40 AM
As with many of the other posts, subtle invite or not, I don't think you can now ask for money. We have travelled with my inlaws, and I have felt somewhat the same re why are they not offering something. We are travelling with them to Vero end of this month, and they will likely pay for a few meals and I suspect, a good portion of the groceries. We were young as well when we purchased our 150pts, and this is the second dvc trip with them.

On the flip side, unlike yourself, we now have 3 children, whom my inlaws are very good to, and help us with them on a fairly regular basis. They would never take money for childcare, so this is a way for us to thank them, and they do appreciate it.

The only issue I have now is, my Mom seems to be keeping track as to how many times we have taken my inlaws and EXCPECTS a turn. I have a bigger problem with that, my inlaws did not excpect it at all.

Johnnie Fedora
11-03-2004, 10:18 AM
We usually split costs by having relatives pay cash for the Fri and Sat nights. We pay 5 nights they pay 2. It works well. We are upfront about it, and don't feel the need to "treat family" to completely free accomodations.

If for some reason your vacation goes south, you will not feel like you've wasted 2 years of points on a lousy trip. There have been many posts on the DVC board about family DVC trip disasters. On the other hand, if your trip goes well and you want to vacation together again, you won't feel you have to always "treat" in the future.

Good Luck

11-04-2004, 07:17 PM

I know this is off the subject. But..................

I tried to book the illuminations cruise last year and couldn't get it so I decided to try the Wish's Cruise on the pontoon boat out of CR. I had absolutely no problem booking this. We loved it. With the Electrical parade? in the water and the little tour it was great.

We had a birthday dinner at Chef Mickey's first and then let the kids swim for an hour at the CR and then we did the cruise. It was magical!!

Just a thought in case you are not able to get the illuminations.

Good luck w/ all your plans.;)

11-08-2004, 08:56 PM
We have "somehow" gotten into the routine of "inviting" my in-laws . Not a complaint. I love that the kids get to spend time w/ thier grandparents. My MIL anf FIL are also VERY generous when it comes to meals or have even paid for park passes. It all seems to come out in the wash.

-disneyberry -your situation sounds a bit different. You were asked to plan a family trip not host one. Do the research and give everyone the info and what they should expect to pay. For example, mention that points can be rented for such and such or that rooms are available at this rate-Whatich would you prefer to do? Let them know what to expect re: meals and park passes.

I have planned trips fro my friends and they have said How much and where and when do I show up.

Also, what is the "sixth' borough of NYC?-Nassau?

11-09-2004, 01:10 PM
Just got back from a great trip where we invited MIL, BIL and SIL. Since they were our guests, we wouldn't think of charging them.:jester:

11-11-2004, 08:56 AM
When I invite family members, I make it clear, the room is "on us" but they have to find their own transportation (we drive), passes and spending money.

That being said, I have so far, only invited my sister and her family, and next week my MIL and FIL are coming with us.

If I invited them, I would not feel comfortable then saying. "oh by the way, can you pay us such and such for your portion of the room?"

11-11-2004, 09:01 AM
We like sharing it with family & friends. I too end up borrowing from the next year. Oh well, so be it. When they offer,I say you can get dinner one night.

If they do more fine, if not that's fine too. I just get a little disappointed by people who come and don't enjoy it. That makes me wish I had charged them. But like we all know some people get it and some never will.