At what age do you stop taking your adult child on vacation?

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Becc1

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Aug 2, 2010
My DH and I are discussing a November trip to WDW, we have 4 children, ages at the time of trip will be 20, 13, 11 and 9. We have decided to go in November because we really want to see all of the Christmas decorations and this is the first time my DH will be able to get away from work at that time of year. DS 19 will be in school, DH and I kinda assumed that he would not be going with us this year. My DS asked me the other day if we were taking a trip this year and I told him that we were thinking November, I think he assumes that he will be going. I didn't have the heart to tell him that we weren't planning on him going because we figured he'd have school. Also by him not going we will be saving a lot, in airfare, tickets and food. I hate to sound cheap and say we aren't bringing him because of the cost but realistically, it does come into play. We are all going to the Outer Banks this summer so it's not like he will never vacation with us again. DH and I both were talking about it and said that our parents went on vacations all of the time when we were in college but we didn't have younger siblings going with them so it's a little different. So my question is, do we suck it up, allow him to miss school and go with us or do we figure a way to nicely tell him that we weren't planning on him going? I hate to make him left out of the loop so my mom guilt is kicking in overdrive :(
 

kjpotter

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Jan 17, 2010
In my family you continued with family vacations until you graduated college. You could opt out, but we never did. When I was 19, my family went on a cruise and I went even though I made guest number 5.

However, my family is very close and we actually did a family vacation with my parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.
 

ctinct

DIS Veteran
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May 22, 2005
He lives at home, right? I would take him. I still take my 21 yr. old daughter, but it's only the two of us. I plan on taking her as long as she's willing to go, but realistically, she graduates this spring, so our traveling days may be numbered.

But, I think as long as you are supporting him, I'd take him. If he is semi- independent, ie working and paying rent to you, or for part of the utilities or food, I might ask him to chip in for his airfare.......but probably not. If I couldn't afford to take him, I'd scale back my vacation or do without.

Eta: when you say he is in school, is that college or high school? How long is the trip? It might be tough for him to get away if he is in college, which could potentially solve your problem. Still, speaking personally, I would plan the trip for a time when he could go.
 
  • kim929

    DIS Veteran
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    Sep 12, 2007
    This is a tough one, which I have gone through.
    Would he even be able to take the time out of school? I know my older children couldn't.
    Explain that to him and remind him of the beach vacation you have planned. Good luck this is a tough one
     

    elgerber

    DIS Veteran
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    Feb 17, 2000
    I am taking my 19 year old daughter in August, and then dh and I are taking my 22 year old ds in November for F&W.
     

    kirstenb1

    DIS Veteran
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    Feb 23, 2010
    Interesting question. I stopped going on vacation with my parents when I was in college, due to work schedule conflicts.

    DH and I bought DVC a few years after college, and we often invited my parents as our guests. Ironically after years of this, they bought DVC. They have treated my siblings many times over the years. They very kindly paid for a beach trip for all of us for the last several years. Not all siblings and grands always come, but all are welcome.

    So my guess is college, but then when there are grandkids, a lot of grandparents around here will treat the family to a week at the Outer Banks, or other close by beach.
     
  • Gumbo4x4

    Note to the ladies who forgot to
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    Jan 19, 2012
    I quit going at 16. I hope my kids can keep going a little longer than that, but not counting on it.
     

    Becc1

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    Aug 2, 2010
    He lives at home, right? I would take him. I still take my 21 yr. old daughter, but it's only the two of us. I plan on taking her as long as she's willing to go, but realistically, she graduates this spring, so our traveling days may be numbered.

    But, I think as long as you are supporting him, I'd take him. If he is semi- independent, ie working and paying rent to you, or for part of the utilities or food, I might ask him to chip in for his airfare.......but probably not. If I couldn't afford to take him, I'd scale back my vacation or do without.
    He does live at home but in the fall will be transferring to a larger school and living on campus. He does work but he only pays for his car insurance. We do make him pay for trips he takes with friends, he's currently planning a Spring Break trip to Puerto Rico!

    This is a tough one, which I have gone through.
    Would he even be able to take the time out of school? I know my older children couldn't.
    Explain that to him and remind him of the beach vacation you have planned. Good luck this is a tough one
    That's what we were originally thinking that he would have school, we currently are thinking of 10 days away, my youngest kids are off school the whole week of Thanksgiving so they will only miss 5 days of school. DS 19 still has school the beginning of a Thanksgiving week so had would miss like 7 days.
     

    FairestOfThemAll37

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    Feb 12, 2013
    My sister and I vacationed with our family until we were out of graduate school (ages 23 and 26) when schedules became difficult with work.

    Granted our family is just the 4 of us but my parents would never dream of going on vacation with either of us without the other being welcome.

    We are a bit unusual in the in my family (for generations) you're children for life. There's no age limit on being's someone child and the generation before helps the younger generation all they can. Be it through gifts or trips or whatever. It's expected that we do the same when the next generation comes along.
     
  • JediBonas

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    Jan 31, 2013
    When I was in college my parents still took our usual vacations with my brother but I could never go since I had class. It never really bothered me.
     

    MomofKatie

    Dairy World? Fairy World! OH, DARN IT!!
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    Apr 4, 2004
    My brother and I stopped taking vacations with our parents during college. They always asked if we wanted to/could go, and we decided. Mom and Dad didn't go out of their way to schedule vacations during our breaks, though, so they were probably weaning us off family trips...:rotfl:

    If your child still lives at home (at least part time) and you are supporting them, it would be nice to at least ask if they would like to accompany you. If you are planning a trip in the middle of the college semester, their choice would seem easy to make- no vacation for them. But if I was your son, I would get my feelings hurt if I wasn't at least given the choice.

    We started vacationing together again every once in a while when we had our own kids and their grandparents wanted to spend time with them. Now, more than likely, we are left out of the trips- my DD and her cousins are asked on really great vacations in the summer with just their Grammy and Grampy.
     

    ZephyrHawk

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    Feb 15, 2007
    It's not so much a question of when you stop taking kids on vacation, but more, when you discuss with them beforehand how much the trip is going to cost them, and give them the option to decline.
     

    Becc1

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    Aug 2, 2010
    I cannot fathom telling my 20 y/o college student (who does NOT live at home) that we couldn't afford to take him on our family vacation. We plan our trips around everyones schedule, including his. Maybe when he gets married we can revisit it, but I want him with us for as long as I can get him.
    For the record, I would never tell him that I couldn't afford to take him, if he really wants to go and can take the time from classes than I will spend the extra money and gladly bring him.
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
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    Dec 15, 2003
    My 28 year old son and his 27 year old fiancée are going with us, and our 24 year old daughter to spring training. Their birthday's are in February and March and the trip is our birthday gift to them.

    DW, DS and DD and I went with my mom on vacation until I was 55 and my mom was 89.
     

    NHdisneylover

    DIS Veteran
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    Feb 26, 2007
    I find this to be an interesting discussion.

    DD18 will be starting university in the fall. We have an added glitch that we live in Germany but she will attend university in the USA, so just getting her to/from wherever we might be for a vacation would be time consuming and expensive.

    We've actually talked about future travel already, so I guess she won't be assuming one thing when we assume another.

    We are NOT going to limit ourselves to only travelling when she has time and we can afford to have her join us. It would be pretty unfair to her younger brother if she got to travel often in highschool but then he did not due to her college schedule.
    Besides, DD knows we are spending a lot of money on tuition, room, board, books, etc so she is not going to begrudge us saving a bit on not taking her on a trip.

    I think she might be kind of sad to be left out at sometimes, but not in a "feelings hurt" kind of way, just in a "wishing I could be a part of it" sort of wistful way.

    On the other hand, we will funnel some vacation funds towards something we can do with her in a break and into going to visit her---so I guess we would be splitting things, not all trips include her but not leaving her out all the time either.

    OP, that sounds to me much like what you are doing: you included your son in the Outer Banks trip this summer, but are not going to not take the younger ones to WDW no that he is in college (and, IMO, missing a week or more of college courses for vacation is simply not an option--not while I am paying for that university education anyway).
     

    Colleen27

    DIS Veteran
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    Mar 31, 2007
    I expect the transition to adulthood being a process rather than a cut-off age/stage/event. Generally speaking, I assume that as long as the kids are living under my roof they'll be welcome to travel with us and I'll do my planning/budgeting accordingly.

    As they move out, it becomes more of a grey area - DD plans on being hours away for college, wants to travel on her own and study abroad, and I'm not going to keep the rest of the family home while she's doing those things because our schedule or budget can't be reconciled with bringing her along. But my oldest plans on a 2 year trade degree from the local community college, and since he'll still be living under our roof I expect he'll still be coming along on family vacations during his college years so I'd at least ask if he wants to be part of a particular trip before scheduling it.

    When does your son's fall semester end? Would it be possible to go in early/mid Dec. rather than in Nov. so that you can see the holiday decor at a time when he can be included in the trip?
     

    Andtototoo

    DIS Veteran
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    Nov 23, 2010
    Speaking as someone whose parents regularly did this with a younger sibling, I can tell you my feelings were incredibly hurt. If it's a family vacation, family goes.
    I can tell you the same thing. I'm not a grudge holder, but... I still remember finding out that my parents were taking my sister on a fancy ski vacation. Something we'd NEVER done before. And they didn't do it during my spring break or ask if I wanted to come. They point blank told me that I wasn't invited so they could save money which would enable them to take a "nice" vacation. They also said that now that I was away at college, I wasn't "family" for the purposes of vacation any more.

    I wouldn't have gone anyway if it had been during regular classes, but to not even be invited? To have them not even consider doing it during my spring break so I could come along? For them to go on a fancy vacation because they excluded me? To find out that I was not considered "family" if it meant spending money on me or impinging on the quality of their vacation? Hurtful.

    I can tell you that one major reason I did not return home that summer or for any spring break after that was entirely due to that single decision of theirs. I viewed it as "Apparently I'm not family any more, so I don't need to go back there any more either."
     
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