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Old 01-20-2013, 10:06 PM   #1
jpwoods
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teen wants to take a friend

Our 15 year old wants to take a friend with her which I understand. We will be traveling with stepdaughter 23, stepdaughter 26, her husband and 2 year old son. We have always included the 23 year old on our vacations because she still lived at home and was under our care while in college. With the other family going my daughter will be left out and wants a friend with her. I'm wondering how others have handled the expense of inviting a friend along to Disney. The few times we have allowed friends to our beach trips we have covered all the expenses - which was just food since the condo was already rented. Disney will be a lot more expensive than a beach trip. I feel that we should cover that since we are inviting, but on the other hand, it is very expensive to cover. What do you do?
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:32 PM   #2
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Our 15 year old wants to take a friend with her which I understand. We will be traveling with stepdaughter 23, stepdaughter 26, her husband and 2 year old son. We have always included the 23 year old on our vacations because she still lived at home and was under our care while in college. With the other family going my daughter will be left out and wants a friend with her. I'm wondering how others have handled the expense of inviting a friend along to Disney. The few times we have allowed friends to our beach trips we have covered all the expenses - which was just food since the condo was already rented. Disney will be a lot more expensive than a beach trip. I feel that we should cover that since we are inviting, but on the other hand, it is very expensive to cover. What do you do?
I can understand a 15 yo wanting a friend along. They all want to be with their friends at that age. I thinks it's odd that you refer to your husband's older children as "the other family".

If I extend an invitation to go with us on vacation, I pay for the guest's accommodations (assuming that they will be sharing with a family member), their food (since I'm not going to eat counter service all week in order to meet their budget) and their park ticket (because I'm a nice person). I won't pay for their airfare because I don't want to be stuck with a ticket that I can't use if the kid backs out. But I will do whatever I can to get them a deal on their airfare.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:39 PM   #3
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I can understand a 15 yo wanting a friend along. They all want to be with their friends at that age. I thinks it's odd that you refer to your husband's older children as "the other family".

If I extend an invitation to go with us on vacation, I pay for the guest's accommodations (assuming that they will be sharing with a family member), their food (since I'm not going to eat counter service all week in order to meet their budget) and their park ticket (because I'm a nice person). I won't pay for their airfare because I don't want to be stuck with a ticket that I can't use if the kid backs out. But I will do whatever I can to get them a deal on their airfare.
I think she referred to some of them as "the other family" because the oldest stepdaughter is now out of the house, married, and has a child of her own. Which makes them a whole "other family" unit.

OP, are you in a situation that you could cover all of the friend's expenses? If not, I would just make sure that the friend and her family know what to expect if she accepts the invite. Maybe they could get their own park ticket and you could cover the rest. Will you be staying onsite or off? Dining plan or OOP? Could you go during a free dining period? That would certainly help in this situation.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:36 PM   #4
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DD13 took a friend to Disneyland for her 10th birthday in 2009. We paid for everything except souvenir money. Luckily we only live 5 hours away and drove.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
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Our dd is no where near the age of being able to request to take a friend, however dh and I have discussed the matter. We both feel that if our dd invites a friend on a vacation that we will foot the bill. We drive everywhere on vacation, even the 12 hours to Disney, so transportation expenses wouldn't be an issue. All that I would ask for her parents to provide is souvenir money.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:15 PM   #6
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I think it depends on your relationship with the friend's parents. I'd consider..

-Do you know for sure which friend your daughter would pick?

-Is that friend someone you would be ok with coming? ie Does she listen to you and behave well with you? Are you willing to deal with any issues that may pop up? Would she feel comfortable with your family for the span of the vacation?

-Do you have a relationship with the friend's parents where you could discuss it with them prior to actually extending the invitation? The parents might say no straight out and if you approach the child first that could cause a lot of problems. Figure out ahead of time what you'd be able to cover cost wise. If you do expect the friend's parents to foot some of the bill, do you think they're in a situation where it's doable?
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:21 AM   #7
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I have taken others kids to WDW world before and I've handled it a couple of different ways depending on what my finances at the time were. Once I drove down and so I paid all the gas, for accommodations and for food. Friends family paid for park ticket and spending money. Another time I paid for airfare, accommodations and park ticket, friends family paid food and souviner money. Last time, I paid for everything including souviner money because the parents really didn't have it and I really wanted the child to be able to experience WDW. My finances are very tight right now and will probably be for the next few years and my kids and I are incredibly lucky to be able to go ourselves in that if another kid came on the trip, the only thing I'd be able to offer was accommodation and possibly food.
So a great deal has to with what you can afford to offer and also what the kids family has to offer.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:19 PM   #8
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We've done vacations that we footed the entire bill with the exception of souvenirs, and we've done vacations with shared expenses.
Comes down to what you and your husband want to do and can afford.

Personally the most I would ask the other parents to cover is the cost of airfare (due to being non refundable) if flying and souvenir money

I would cover lodging, food, and park ticket.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:47 PM   #9
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I was always allowed to bring a friend to Disney in my teen years. If you ask my parents it was worth every extra penny they spent because it was more enjoyable for everyone. I had someone my own age to hang out with and we could go our separate ways as well. My parents always covered airfare, food, lodging and ticket. My Dad always requested they brought enough money for food but that was really just to make sure they had some money for souvenirs, snacks or a meal if we didn't all have dinner together. Most of the friends I took parents couldn't have covered it and had never been so it was a great experience for everyone.

If you budgeted for your son to come I don't understand why a friend would change the cost much
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:52 PM   #10
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We are not paying for DSD23 or the other step-daughter & family. They are paying thier own way.

My DS18 told us months ago he was not going with us. As a mom I have tried to encourage him to go with us - last trip before he goes off to college, etc. but he isn't budging so far.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:59 PM   #11
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I was always allowed to bring a friend to Disney in my teen years. If you ask my parents it was worth every extra penny they spent because it was more enjoyable for everyone. I had someone my own age to hang out with and we could go our separate ways as well. My parents always covered airfare, food, lodging and ticket. My Dad always requested they brought enough money for food but that was really just to make sure they had some money for souvenirs, snacks or a meal if we didn't all have dinner together. Most of the friends I took parents couldn't have covered it and had never been so it was a great experience for everyone.

If you budgeted for your son to come I don't understand why a friend would change the cost much
I agree with bringing a friend along in these circumstances makes the trip more enjoyable for everyone. Obviously, this is ultimately your decision and I'm sure your dd will be grateful to be at Disney regardless, but I think that overall it makes things more enjoyable. Our dd is an only child and we do plan on more kids in the future, however if we were to travel to Disney as she got older and she was still an only child, I would almost encourage her to invite a friend. It's not that I wouldn't enjoy spending quality time with her, obviously I do or we wouldn't take family vacations to start with. However, tweens and teens like having people around their own age. Once dd is a little older, I could totally see the benefits of a friend going along. The three of us ride everything together that we can, but a lot of things seat 2 comfortably...at least, in my situation, no one would be sitting alone
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:39 PM   #12
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When I was a teen, I went to Disney with a friends family. We stayed offsite, his two grandmas were FL residents and got us all tickets. I had to pay for my tickets, my food, my souvenirs, and a portion of the gas and hotel. I shared a room with his two sisters and one grandma, he, his parents and other grandma were in the connecting room) and was asked to pay for half the hotel room. It was made very clear at every sit down meal we did (not many) that I was paying for myself, and before we left I gave them an envelope of cash for 2 tanks of gas. At the time we lived about 7 hours away, so I paid half (or more) of the gas. Looking back almost 20 years I think that was a bit ridiculous, and it was awkward.

We took my niece when the girls were 8 and we paid for everything. If we didn't, there was no way that my niece could go, and we wanted her to go. It was a bad decision. lol Taking the niece, not paying for everything.

My daughter was invited to Jersey & NY with her best friend 2 summers ago. They drove, stayed at grandparents house and I sent money for food (she's a gymnast and can EAT), expenses/admissions/transit and souvenirs. Her friends dad refused to take any of the money and except for the little she spent on *things* - she came back with it all. I wasn't upset, and friends dad said my daughter is like family and he felt weird accepting it.

Now, it's true, the girls are like family to each other, and to the adults. BFF is an only child, my oldest is 6 years older than her two younger siblings (whoa re 11mo apart) so having a friend with her makes everything more fun. BFF has come with us to many things and we usually pay everything for her without thought, she goes places with BFFs family and they pay, never any worries. Both girls usually do have money with them just in case. And there are times I will tell all 4 girls - I'm buying one scoop of ice cream each. If you want a second scoop you're paying for it. My youngest will never use her own money for a second scoop of ice cream, my middle will buy it every time. So will BFF. My oldest varies.

We're all going to Disney together this June, then a Disney Cruise. Because we are 5, and everything usually books in even numbers (or has space for even #s), adding BFF to our trip doesn't really cost us anything. So the plan was she'll drive down with us, get a hotel partway down, stay at Bonnet Creek with us until her parents come down, join them, play, cruise and drive home with us while her parents fly. Her parents will buy her Disney ticket and her dad will try to foist money on me for her meals that I won't accept. (It's the way we both are! ) She'll have a prepaid debit card that I'm supposed to, but won't, use for her meals, and she can buy stuff with. He resumes the cost of feeding her once they arrive. We've since decided to take the Auto Train. Her dad offered to pay her fare. We refused -with the special kids price and a AAA discount, the cost of paying for her ticket is less than it would have been to drive and pay for meals and a hotel - so I won't accept her dad's offered money.



I rambled - the point is - we know the family well, we've discussed and been VERY clear about who will pay for what and when and all parties are in agreement. I think it would be great for your 15year old to have someone closer to her age. But you have to think carefully about who you will and won't allow to go with you, how well you know the families, and what you can and cannot pay for. If everything is upfront, and all parties agree, then no worries.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:02 AM   #13
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We have taken our daughters friend before. The other child's parents asked if they could pay for anything so we said they could buy the tickets. We covered airfare food and lodging........... For our up coming trip our daughter (17) will be taking a friend again but this time we are covering everything except spending money. We look at it as we are inviting the child so we will foot the bill.......... If your daughters friends family ask if they could pay for something maybe let them. We told our daughters friend mom that we would cover everything and she said if you want us to help let us know.
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