If you will recall, DH and his family go on a family vacation each summer.
This year at the end of the trip, they talked about where to go next summer.
A first suggestion was an East Coast beach tourist destination (not Florida).
This year we paid for the house and our travel and a portion of the food. DH’s parents mostly paid for the rest. But the house was cheap because it just doesn’t cost much to Air BnB a house in a state capitol in the summer. So total was something like $2,500.
East Coast tourist destinations are expensive and far away from the Midwest (except Florida, which is relatively cheap but still far away).
Another suggestion was a popular midwestern summer destination heavy on theme parks. Some of us would fly but some of them could drive. But the group houses there are expensive! I don’t feel like we could foot the entire bill like we did this year, especially since we’d probably be staying longer than three nights.
Neither of DH’s siblings asked about defraying the cost of lodging this year. We wouldn’t have let them contribute this year because it wasn’t a big deal, but if we’re talking about a more popular tourist destination, the price goes up. BIL has a good union job with a SAHW and a house that’s bigger than ours (glassdoor suggests a salary ~$90K, but who knows). SIL’s family makes over 100K now (she’s a teacher so her salary is public and MIL said her husband is now making more than she is with his latest raise– I am so crass!). Of course, BIL has paid for his wife’s family to go with them on a second trip to Disney World. SIL is financially supporting her husband’s family in many ways. So income is not the same as disposable income.
DH had been thinking that next year they could all gather in BIL’s hometown, which is an hour or so away from SIL’s. But it sounds like they want to do something more exciting. Which means we have to think about how much of the cost we’re going to defray and what we’ll let DH’s parents pay. And… I think it’s really unlikely that either DH or his parents will ask his siblings to contribute unless they decide to get separate hotel rooms instead of renting a house. And I think it’s really unlikely that his siblings will even think of offering.
What is wrong with me that we can’t just give a gift without me expecting some gratitude or acknowledgement? I think in this case, it really is the money. We can handle nobody knowing or caring that we paid for a lot of this summer’s vacation and other previous summers, but once they start talking about more and more expensive places without chipping in (to be fair, DH’s parents do offer to pay for the entire thing and have paid for whatever we don’t pay for in the past, or to be more accurate, with the exception of this past year they pay and we contribute) it seems like a bit much. We can fix that in the future by saying we can contribute X amount during the planning stage, so it’s unlikely to be a big deal going forward. I don’t think DH’s parents would spend so much on one of these family vacations that it would jeopardize their retirement, so we shouldn’t be worrying about that possibility.
Anyhow, I feel like a jerk about money. We do still make more than the rest of DH’s family. If we don’t offer to contribute, DH’s parents will pay for everything. As far as we know, they’re not in danger of running out of retirement money. This shouldn’t be a problem. And yet, I have to admit, I’m a bit annoyed. But we will probably continue this way unless and until some negative change in DH’s job situation.