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

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Wendy31

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Mar 5, 2005
I think it would be different if your DS were truly on his own, but he's not. While he is "away" at college, he probably still, at this point, feels like your home is his home - he hasn't yet branched out & made his own home somewhere else.

I actually can't imagine including all but one of my children on a "family" vacation & telling that child that he was no longer welcome.

When my sister & I were in college, my parents still planned family vacations around our schedules - and still paid our way.

That said, I also understand that you're wanting to go to Disney during his school time. However, if he wants to come w/ you & feels he can work the trip around his school schedule, I wouldn't hesitate to include him. Maybe he can fly down separately & join you for part of your trip?

Personally, I just love our time together on family vacations, &, like another poster said, I want all 3 of our kids on our family vacations w/ us as long as possible.
 

Colleen27

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Mar 31, 2007
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.
In that case, I wouldn't stress over leaving him out of the Disney trip. It isn't as though he's sitting home while the rest of the family travels - he'll be busy on campus, he's traveling with peers on his breaks, and he's still included in family trips when it fits his schedule. That seems very reasonable to me for that in-between, not-child/not-adult, not-on-his-own/not-at-home stage of life.
 

coneeny4

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Mar 15, 2006
We are planning on going in August our DD is 17 and DS is 13 plus my 20 year old DN is coming this time.
 
  • mjkacmom

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    Feb 20, 2006
    I can't imagine missing 7 days of college (or even high school)! Dd18 knows that there might be vacations she's excluded from, simply because of her school schedule, and she's fine with it. She certainly would not be okay with missing more than a week of school - who does that?
     

    NHdisneylover

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    Feb 26, 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.
    :thumbsup2:thumbsup2
     

    NHdisneylover

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    In that case, I wouldn't stress over leaving him out of the Disney trip. It isn't as though he's sitting home while the rest of the family travels - he'll be busy on campus, he's traveling with peers on his breaks, and he's still included in family trips when it fits his schedule. That seems very reasonable to me for that in-between, not-child/not-adult, not-on-his-own/not-at-home stage of life.
    Yet another thread where I tend to agree with you 100%:thumbsup2
     

    SamRoc

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    Oct 27, 2003
    Just went to Disney in October with dd who is 25. And am planning on taking both kids ds 29 and dd 25 to Italy and England to see where their grandparents were born.
     
  • NJlauren

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    Nov 6, 2014
    I don't think there is any general rule for this question since every family will have different 'rules' that work for them.

    What about if he wants to come for a few of the days but not the whole trip? Maybe meet someplace in the middle since I agree missing 7 days of school is a lot. He came come after school is done and join you.
     

    Becc1

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    Aug 2, 2010
    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).
    My main issue really is that he can't afford to miss school. I may give him the option of going with the stipulation that his grades not be affected by missing class.


    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?
    I would love to go in December, unfortunately with my DH's job there is no way he would be able to get away at all in the month. We like to visit NYC every year for a couple of days see the tree and decorations, and even that is difficult, a week would be impossible.

    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."
    Somewhere my DS has never been would be out of the question, WDW is different, he's gone several times with us and even once last summer with his friends.
     

    nancygirl1

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    Feb 18, 2008
    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."
    That's awful!! I can't fathom doing that to one of my children. I know it was a long time ago, but I'm so sorry this happened to you.
     
  • Hisgirl

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    Apr 8, 2011
    My two children finished college recently and honestly, it would have been impossible for them to miss school right after or before thanksgiving. That is moving right into exam season and most classes are focusing on what will be on the exam.

    Also, a lot of professors don't take kindly to students missing class and have a limit on what is allowed.

    My suggestion would be to present your plans to your son and share the logistics of the trip. Tell him you realize as he gets older, that with school and work, it will be challenging for him to always come along. Let him know that if he feels he can swing missing a few days, the family would love to share vacation with him. Maybe he can miss a couple of days and just meet up with you?

    My son and daughter have managed to find ways to accompany us when invited but it has always just been for a long weekend. We would go for a week and welcome them when they could come along. There will be years and years to come where I'll look back and remember the days my children vacationed with me and I'll wish I could do it again.

    Enjoy the children while you can. One day they'll be fully grown and gone and vacationing with the parents won't be as important to them. ;)
     

    DawnM

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    Oct 4, 2005
    Whenever they no longer want to go or if they cannot go for some reason (college schedule, etc...)


    I assume when they are married and have their own families we will make them pay their own way! :laughing: But they can still come.

    I would LOVE to take my grandkids to Disney World some day.
     

    mom2rtk

    Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
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    Aug 23, 2008
    Did I read that right? Would you be leaving him behind over Thanksgiving? Regardless of what you decide your policy is on vacations for college age kids, I would not do this to him.

    So then the question becomes do you try to schedule at a time he could go too? Most colleges are out fairly early in December, before the big crush hits. If he wants to go, I would try to go then.

    This is a tough age. Some kids are raring to go off and take on the world and declare themselves independent. For others it harder, and the family taking a big trip like that without them might seem hurtful.

    Whatever you do though, do not choose a path that encourages him to miss a week of college classes.
     

    Liz

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    Aug 18, 1999
    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.
    :thumbsup2
     

    Becc1

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    Aug 2, 2010
    Thank you to those of you who suggested him flying separately and just joining us for a few days. Not sure why I had not thought of that! I think the main reason that he would want to go is for Universal, we haven't been since HP has been there and I know he wants to do that. I could plan for us to go there when he's there so he won't miss out :)
     

    goofy!

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    Jul 6, 2000
    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 :(
    We just went to Universal over the Winter Break. Not only did we take our 24 year old, but also his girlfriend. She paid for her own airfare and my son paid for her ticket, but we paid for all meals and the hotel.

    Family is family and they are always welcome. I cannot even fathom telling one of my children they could not come on vacation with us if we were also taking the other children. That just seems cruel. It should be his decision if he can miss school.
     

    ShayBells

    Let's get dangerous.
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    Aug 8, 2013
    My mom takes me and I'm 27. She'd take my sister who is 32 but she won't go (she's crazy lol)

    Oh and BTW I say if you can afford it take him! If you can't .. He's an adult tell him he can come if he pays. Or just say hey are you coming we've got the room but you're up for everything else. Not unreasonable. And it's what I would do.
     

    Becc1

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    Aug 2, 2010
    Did I read that right? Would you be leaving him behind over Thanksgiving? Regardless of what you decide your policy is on vacations for college age kids, I would not do this to him.
    We are planning for the week before Thanksgiving, coming home on that Monday, I would never leave any of my children alone on a holiday.

    Contrary to what others maybe thinking about us, we are a very close family. There is a 7 year difference between my oldest and 2nd DS, we went on many trips before any of the other children came along (including one to WDW). Also because DS19 is the only one who loves sports, my DH has taken him on many trips alone to see games out of state, they recently spent a weekend in Pittsburg for a Steelers game. My DS 19 is in no way neglected :)
     

    Wishing on a star

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    Aug 7, 2002
    Thank you to those of you who suggested him flying separately and just joining us for a few days.
    Sounds like there might be a way to work something out!

    My thoughts on the original question...
    I think it could be titled "..... on a FAMILY vacation".

    I would have no problems with parents taking a vacation trip on their own.
    And I would have no problems with excluding a college aged 'kid'.

    But, I just don't see excluding a kid who is currently still a teenager from a 'family' vacation that the younger kids will be enjoying. Too much of 'your the odd man out, and you are easily excluded...' message there.
     
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