Inspired by family trip threads: What are your ground rules?

Discussion in 'Purchasing DVC' started by JonHM, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. JonHM

    JonHM Turn into the spin, Barbie!!!!

    Jun 21, 2001
    Hi Guys!

    There have been several threads of late that I would either describe as funny or scary, mostly telling tales of nightmare DVC trips taken with inconsiderate family members or friends. Many of you have spoken about one means of attempting to assure the trip will go well: sharing a set of 'ground rules' with the family or friends that will go on the trip with you, well before you leave for WDW.

    My question is this: when you take family or friends with you on a DVC vacation, what are your ground rules? What do you make sure that your potential guests understand in advance, and what arrangements do you make with them regarding things like expenses, food, etcetera?

    Any input would be welcome!!! You may save me from a WORLD full of trouble over the next year or so! :D


  2. Olaf

    Olaf DIS Cast Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    I read those threads with interest too. However, I've been wondering how one presents these "ground rules" to one's family members. I mean some of mine would get ticked off if I just mentioned them. Maybe with humor. I don't know. No plans to invite family anytime soon.
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  4. JonHM

    JonHM Turn into the spin, Barbie!!!!

    Jun 21, 2001
    Besides the initial question, perhaps a little side comment on how you present these ground rules would also be very helpful. :p
  5. Rock'n Robin

    Rock'n Robin Disney Queen

    Jan 20, 2000
    Boy this is timely. We have invited my parents for the first five days of our July stay while we have a 2 BR at BWV. They will be 70 and 72. Mom is waffling, though, so I don't know if they will go. Dad has already mentioned he is uncomfortable not paying for the room, so I told him he could buy a couple of meals. I have already mentioned that we don't have to do the same thing every minute, since they will need more rest and dad has a bad back as well. It's going to be a challenge--which is why we are there for 4 nights after that, at Poly and VWL, to recover!:D
    Robin M.
  6. Granny

    Granny Yeah, I'm a guy

    Jul 25, 2001
    I haven't taken anybody, so these threads are very interesting in avoiding pitfalls. Dean has posted a set of rules on this board that I won't plagarize, but I think make sense.

    The most basic rule.....WE ARE NOT A SIAMESE GROUP! We are not all joined at the hips. There is no way that any group can agree on every decision on what to do. It's okay to go separate ways and join up when convenient!

    Also, the key seems to be getting the DVC owner couple (husband and wife) to absolutely agree on the rules. Most of the problems I've seen on the great "inconsiderate family and friends" threads stem from one of the spouses not willing to face up to their own family. I see a bunch of "IL" references, meaning that one partner is exasperated with an in-law and obviously the other partner is not willing to set them straight.

    I tend to be on the blunt side so outlining the rules is no problem. When the invitation is extended, the rules should come up right then. In other words, "We'd love to have you join us at WDW in our home, and we do have some rules that we find helpful in making sure everyone has a great time. " Explain the rules. "Are you okay with our vacation philosophy?"

    I know...rude people will say "Yes, we accept (thought you'd never ask) and we'll be glad to follow your rules". Then they'll ignore them while you're there...."Oh you don't really mean that you'll leave without us if we don't get up until 10:00?".

    Right now, DW and I have only one rule: "Don't tell anybody we own DVC".

  7. BobBrazeal

    BobBrazeal DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2001
    I've done a few trips where I've "sponsored" family and / or friends on trips to WDW and other places. I've worked from a slightly different slant.

    My philosophy so far (and it has worked) is that if I believe that I need to establish ground rules with a particular individual or group to have them join me on a trip, they just never get invited in the first place. Why even start the process with that sword hanging over your head?

    Only those that I feel have enough common sense to understand what the ground rules would be if they were enumerated, get an invitation. Maybe I've just been lucky so far in being able to discern the difference or maybe I've just been lucky enough to have never been put in the situation where I had to invite, against my better judgement, those that I knew needed ground rules!
  8. Beth

    Beth Just happy to be here...

    Aug 17, 1999
    Someone else in one of the other threads mentioned our biggest Ground Rule...


    We've never actually had a bad trip - and we've brought so many people with us. Our secret?!? SHORT TRIPS!!! Too many days is just setting yourself up for disaster. I guess that's a luxury we have with living so close - but that's the only way we would ever agree to it!!!
  9. TIdoublegaER

    TIdoublegaER <a href="

    Dec 12, 2001
    We took my sister and her family with us to HH last summer. When we invited them, we made it clear that we got the master bedroom, that we expected them to find their own transporation to the resort, that we expected them to split the groceries, they would pay for any activities for their family and they did not have to do everything we did just because we invited them. It worked out very well and after we checked out we told them that other than their gas, the trip was on us. Our expense we less than we had planned for and we were happy to be able to "treat" them. Plus, they ended up buying DVC and we got Disney Dollars in return. This summer we are taking DH's parents to OKW with us and even though we gave them the same ground rules, I hope we are able to "treat" them as well. I don't think I would invite anyone, family or friend, who I thought would try to take advantage of the situation. However, should an incident arise, they would NEVER be invited again!
  10. TrudyZ

    TrudyZ Mouseketeer

    Feb 18, 2001
    Hey, I'm with Granny on this one.

    My husband and I decided not to tell his family because they would expect to tag along. We aren't close, live across the country from them, and based on previous experience, we know that they would expect it--And, the family "patriarch" would put pressure on my husband to not only invite them but assist with their expenses.

    And it is not because we (especially me) are afraid to say anything--it is because we would (tact is not part of my job description):D No good could ever come of it.

  11. Princess Tess

    Princess Tess Mouseketeer

    Feb 15, 2001

    If you have to use the word "rule" there may already be a problem.

    You probably already know the answer to the question "how do you think a vacation would be with so and so?"

    If you are absolutely obligated to bringing someone, book a non connected separate room.

    DON'T BRAG ABOUT DVC!!! If people don't know about DVC then they won't know that you can bring them....

    Having said all that, I may be going with 25 family members in my father always said "don't do as I do but do what I say"
  12. Tagrel

    Tagrel DIS Veteran/DVC Member

    Jun 13, 2001
    I have one of those 'this is the way it WILL be' personalities, so I wouldn't have any problems in this area. Its my way, or you can always get your own reservation and we'll meet up here and there. If you aren't waking up until 10am, then you'll just have to find us in the park! :D

    On the plus side, my wife's family is actually very easy to get along with so we've already talked about future invitations.

    Two years ago we did take my SIL and her daughter, and had a wonderful time. (for the most part ;) ) They had never been to Disney and looked to us for the best game plan. It can be a bit nervewracking if you let yourself get caught up in showing them EVERYTHING, but we finally slowed down a bit and just enjoyed.

    And the 'we are not connected at the hips' comment is very true. We used radios to find each other in the parks when we separated, and it worked pretty well. You just can't all want to do all the same things, and a way to reconnect saves lots of waiting and searching.

    Remember, its a vacation. If it is a chore to invite someone, then its probably a real good idea to rethink the invitation. And assertiveness training should be included in the DVC purchase! :)

  13. QueenAnne

    QueenAnne Maid Marian's Mommy

    Dec 29, 2001
    That is pretty funny, she actually TOLD us we had to drive because they were flying and we had to bring all the beach stuff!!!! Hee Hee! :D Small price to pay for a "free" trip! I think knowing the expectations up front really help keep lines of communication open and that makes for a great trip!

    We are planning to join our family's once again with our parents in June 2003, that should be very interesting!
  14. Firefighter Mickey

    Firefighter Mickey DIS Veteran

    Dec 29, 2000
    We're not doing any more re-union type trips to DVC any longer (at least we have no more planned, and I'm going to be pretty hard to convince). Way too much stress. Possibly we broke the rule of going for too long, but when some of the family come from Alaska, you want to have a decent amount of time for such a long flight. Plus, I don't think our kids have as much fun.

    Getting our last trip organized was a total disaster. It was for my wife's side of the family, since the previous trip had been for my side of the family. Everyone said "Yes, we will be there" and then one by one they all backed out, except for my MIL - and the only reason she didn't back out was because we were buying her plane ticket (credit card reward points) - and then, a week before the trip, after she had the non-refundable, non-transferable plane ticket in hand, she backed out as well (to scared to get on the plane after 9/11). We managed to salvage the trip by inviting my parents and sister in the last minute (dad paid for sis's and her kids airline tik's which was really great of him), but for awhile it looked like there would be 4 of us staying an an OKW GV.

    Anyway, after that fiasco I said "never again!"

    The only "rule" we ever had for people is that we don't have to do everything together. My dad offered to take care of any group dining expenses (we would sometimes plan a few meals together at different places) and it was generally understood that everyone needed to contribute on the common groceries.
  15. JonHM

    JonHM Turn into the spin, Barbie!!!!

    Jun 21, 2001
    None of the people that we have invited or planned to invite are inconsiderate or impolite people, but none of them have travelled all *that* much, and none of them have been to Disney World before. So the reason that I'm asking for your 'ground rules' *isn't* that we've invited some rude people (or people who need 'rules' in everyday life), but simply because I was wondering what the best ways are to ensure that everyone understands the situation in such a way that major problems won't arise. Thanks, everyone, for all of your responses so far! Keep them coming! :D
  16. Peter Johnson

    Peter Johnson Mouseketeer

    Oct 14, 1999
    We've taken family twice.... once DW's 14-year-old neice, and once DW's sister and husband. Both times worked out great :)

    DN had been to WDW with her parents a couple of times before, so she was very self-sufficient. She used the daybed in our 1BR. We did most things together of course, but we let her cut loose a few times. We also made sure she had a room key and knew how to get from anywhere back to the room.

    Her parents were great guests too. They had the studio lockoff of our 2BR. We did some things together, some separately. They paid their bills, and took us to a dinner or two. DW and her sister tended to do their own thing, and DBIL and I did ours.

    All we asked was that they pay their portion of the food bills. Before we could even bring up the together/separate issue, they told us they wouldn't hang onto us unless we wanted them to.

    All in all both vacations were very successful, and we wouldn't have any hesitation inviting any of them again :)
  17. Jen D

    Jen D DIS Veteran

    Mar 16, 2001
    When you all talk about "payng their bills" do you mean you cover ther park passes, plane tickets, etc?
  18. Kick it up a notch!

    Kick it up a notch! <a href="

    Dec 12, 2001
    I agree with all of the posters that said think about who you are bringing along and be on the same page as your spouse.

    We have invited friends and family many times and always had a great time. My wife seems to get annoyed when they want to do stuff together. It really doesn't bother me. I don't think that our friends are joined with us at the hip, the whole reason I wanted to invite friends down with us is because I wanted to spend time with them and share the experience with them. I didn't have to set ground rules, although I have explained to them that it is our vacation and we might like to do things they may not want to do and that they should feel free to do anything they want and we can meet up later. We have been a few times and there is some stuff that we don't care to do, and some stuff we do. We have radios and meet up with people later with no difficulty finding them.

    Also, I really tend not to associate with people who will annoy me or potentially annoy me, and really have no problem telling someone that what they are doing is not cool. I tend to discuss things before they happen, like "hey, we're going to the supermarket now, do you want to split the groceries or do you want to get stuff later." It's all in the presentation. You don't have to be a jerk to get your point across to people with reasonable intelligence, and if you think they are that dense that they can't understand the concept of co-operation and sharing, don't ask them to go. You will be miserable and that defeats the entire purpose of going on vacation in the first place.

    For those of you who don't want to hurt the feelings of your spouse by telling them that you don't think it is a good idea to take members of their family, think about the hurt feelings that you will incur by fighting with your spouse on vacation because your BIL or SIL did something that created a situation that ruined your vacation.

    Communication is the key to success with anything and if you can communicate with everyone, you will have a great time.

    Good luck to all!
  19. Snowgod

    Snowgod Blu-ray Movies - Wow!

    Nov 10, 2000
    Master bedroom is ours (we paid for it).
    Room is paid for, everything else is not!
    We invited you and not anyone else.
    :smooth: :wave:
  20. KyBill

    KyBill Guest

    I think your rules would vary with who your guests were. We have booked trips for our kids and grandkids thru our points and they stayed in their own villas or went seperately from the time we went.
    The only together(in the same villa) we made was last March in a 2 BR at OKW with 2 DD's and our DGD who was graduating from college. As a grad present we picked up her air fare, park hopper and all meals.
    As for our 2 DD's they paid their air fare and meals and we bought them park hoppers also. We did pick up the tab one night at the CG for all 5 of us.
    And of course we furnished the 2 BR at OKW.
  21. Peter Johnson

    Peter Johnson Mouseketeer

    Oct 14, 1999
    The deal was that we would provide the room and passes (it was back in the "good old days"), and nothing else.

    You want to eat? Better bring money! ;)

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