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Traveling with your adult kids and their significant others

fendergirlfendergirl 4628 replies161 threads Senior Member
edited May 2019 in Parent Cafe
I'm just curious how many of you guys have traveled with your adult children and their significant others? How did it go? I have a trip coming up with my other half and his family and it got me thinking.

I remember once about ten years ago I went on a trip with my then boyfriend and his family, and his mother was knocking on the bedroom door every morning at 7am telling us to get up and start our day and she had every minute planned, down to bed time. His brother unfortunately got sick on the trip and then she threw the plans out the window and became flexible, but up until that point it was almost like being in boot camp. :)



edited May 2019
51 replies
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Replies to: Traveling with your adult kids and their significant others

  • doschicosdoschicos 25738 replies255 threads Senior Member
    We have and it has worked out great. We don't expect the young adults to hang with us the entire time. Usually, we do some breakfasts as a group and then come together at dinnertime. Otherwise, folks are free to go their own way.
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  • HarrietMWelschHarrietMWelsch 2661 replies34 threads Senior Member
    We have too, several times, and it worked out wonderfully. Did (much as @doschicos said) some group stuff and other independent stuff, with most evening meals together.

    Possibly it has tended to go smoothly because we've traveled for years with another family, so everybody was used to that m.o.?
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  • eyemamomeyemamom 5428 replies79 threads Senior Member
    Just came back from a 4 day trip with my d and her bf. We didn’t expect togetherness the whole time. H and the bf golfed together one morning. We did a few things together, they did a few alone and I think we had dinner together 2 or 3 times and had breakfast together. In general I don’t like to do group vacations but this worked out great.
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  • showmom858showmom858 3032 replies16 threads Senior Member
    We have done it many times and never had any issues. Some trips we have all done most activities together and some trips we have just met up for dinner at night.
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  • toledotoledo 4828 replies290 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    One of my son's requested 2 beds when we brought his girlfriend on a weekend trip with us.

    We took another son's girlfriend with us to Italy for 10 days. We spent most of the time together, but a few times, while apart, they were asked if they were on their honeymoon. They have been married two years now and we have taken two more trips with them. I'd guess we spend about 75% of each day with them when we travel.
    edited May 2019
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  • oldfortoldfort 23181 replies296 threads Senior Member
    We have been doing it since my kids were in college - different SOs. When it was a beach/resort scenario we just agreed where we would meet, not necessary when. I would be fairly early at a pool and they would join me whenever they woke up. We usually had lunch and dinner together, but otherwise people just did whatever they wanted.
    If it's a sightseeing trip, we would usually discuss the night before on what we were going to do the next day and agreed on a reasonable time to be out the door.
    I just recently came back from an 8 day Spain trip with D1 and her new husband. I let them plan the whole trip and I just tagged along. They knew what I liked to do and what I liked to eat, so I was perfectly happy. There were few afternoons when I decided to stay back because I was tired and I wanted them to have some time alone. We usually texted each other first before we meet up - no knocking on doors.
    Two years ago D1 and her then fiance came on a 15 days Asia trip with my extended family. It was more of a boot camp trip because there were 15 of us and we were on a private tour. We had to be up at a certain time with very specific itinerary. It was a bit stressful because we had to meet/greet a lot of relatives. We all ended up having a great time.
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  • travelnuttravelnut 2031 replies15 threads Senior Member
    Yes. We usually do one week at a beach house with kids and partners every summer. Additionally, we travel together for family events and weddings. One planned trip to Europe with DD and her then SO was memorable. We were in a capital city for 4 nights; us in a hotel, them in a nearby air bnb. After that we trained to a shared rental house in the countryside, got a rental car and toured around. Extra fun that 3 weeks before the trip, the SO called to let us know he planned to propose while we were there. Super fun to celebrate together afterwards.

    All around, it has worked out very well. Everyone respects that this is cherished vacation time and is very flexible about who does what, when. Generally find that folks like to be together even more than might have been anticipated. We are sure to allow for privacy, those who need some time for work, and couple’s outings, as well late starts. These are some of our favorite family times. DH and I prioritized these opportunities, especially after the kids were out of school. There are lots of different ways to create these moments for connecting and I am grateful that the SOs have been happy to join in.
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  • jym626jym626 56915 replies2987 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    We have done a family cruise that typically involved meeting for the big meals and one or 2 of the excursions. We typically go skiing with the grown kids, which is always a lot of fun. We get one big condo and try to get out the door and onto the mountain at the same time, though we will often split up depending on who wants to ski where. We sometimes will come back to the condo for lunch, and do do dinner together.

    This year, with a grandbaby in the mix, we took turns babysitting with her int he condo. It is something I look so very forward to. Younger s’s wife is not a big skier, but she has been a real trooper and put up with us!

    Have fun!
    edited May 2019
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  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild 23222 replies196 threads Senior Member
    My experiences have not all been as positive, but there have been some good ones. We took a few trips with our daughter and her husband, but a lot of the time we were worrying about whether HE was having a good time and if we were doing the things he wanted to do. He is no longer in the picture. :). My son is not an easy person- intense and always has stuff “going on” like business deals or intense triathlon training. Some trips with him are great and some horrible. In 2014 a fateful trip to Hawaii for son’s girlfriend’s Ironman debut ended very badly and we were also with her parents! My husband and I still have PTSD from that one.

    Last year we came to the Caribbean with son, his then-girlfriend and our daughter (no boyfriend at that time) and the girlfriend was great! Son was stressed (good business reason- some litigation) and our daughter was finding her way after a sad divorce. There were still good moments. This year my husband and I are here (right now) by ourselves and enjoying that a lot!
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  • 3SailAway3SailAway 578 replies7 threads Member
    edited May 2019
    @MomofWildChild glad we aren’t the only ones with extended-family-vacation PTSD ;).

    Our kids don’t have SO’s yet, but vacations with my parents, siblings and our SO’s have been roller coaster rides. Our problem is that a controlling family member has expectations of the perfect vacation and gets critical if we want to be flexible. She also feels threatened by the SO’s getting close to other family members. It especially sets her off when some of us would like to do a few activities together that are not her cup of tea. We love her, but this has lead to too much upset and we have decided to stop attempting vacations with all of us :(.
    edited May 2019
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  • dentmom4dentmom4 1450 replies4 threads Senior Member
    We (mostly I) travel a lot with our adult kids. SOs not unless long term relationships, engaged, or married. Our daytime plans tend to be loose, and we pay for meals that anyone eats with us. Usually breakfast and dinner.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 40282 replies2204 threads Super Moderator
    I'm still traveling with my parents, which is wonderful. No trips yet with kids and SOs. Looking forward to that!
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  • somemomsomemom 10940 replies329 threads Senior Member
    We've done family meet ups with any of the adult kids who can come, their spouses, and the wee ones and we have chosen stay at a vacation rental house. One bedroom for each adult couple, it's a little bit weird when not all are married or have an SO, the single kid sometimes bring a friend, which then changes the dynamic. I like, especially with little kids, being able to shop and cook and do things at our convenience and not fighting toddlers and restaurants. We usually plan together for the big outings that everyone does and other optional excursions.
    We did all take a trip abroad once, to meet up with a kid who lived abroad. We gave each kid airfare and we agreed on dates in the siblings town, everyone could make their own travel plans, go any other places they wanted, etc. It was still an intense week of organization. We paid costs for rental car and food and places to stay. It was memorable and fantastic.
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  • somemomsomemom 10940 replies329 threads Senior Member
    As someone mentioned above, we had some trips with DH's parents which were not fun, they were a lot of work to keep the parents happy with the way the trip was going. We learned a lot about what not to do on those trips ;) Mainly, always assume the best of others, don't take things personally, don't look for opportunities to be offended, and don't make it about us! There was way too much emotional drama with the in laws for it to be fun, which is really sad, because they sincerely tried, but they were always getting hurt feelings.
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 3463 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Yes, but with limits. I have had a vacation with one daughter, her BF and just me. Great time and we all agreed we should do it again.

    It's my opinion that adding my husband or the other daughter to the mix would NOT have been an idea that resulted in more fun and more enjoyment.

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  • collage1collage1 1937 replies73 threads Senior Member
    First D to have a long term, serious bf so we just had our first trip this year to Thailand. It all went well but was different and changed the family dynamic (not a complaint).

    Hardest part for me occurred when we were on a full day tour. Lunch concluded and we were told to go ahead to the next activity. I looked around to count heads and bf smiled and said, "Gf is in the restroom. You go ahead and I'll wait for her and we'll catch up." I thought, "Hey, that's MY job!". I realized my little girl really wasn't my little girl anymore. Bittersweet.
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  • CountingDownCountingDown 13604 replies113 threads Senior Member
    So how do you all handle traveling with adult children when there is a significant income disparity between the two young adults? We are going to visit S2 this summer in his Eastern European country and then travel someplace else, and S1 is actually interested in joining us. S1 makes many multiples of S2's income. Feels weird if S1 offers to pay for dinner or some activities when S2 is not in the position to also contribute. OTOH, it feels infantilizing to pay for S1's expenses when he is more than able to do so. And OTOHOH, S2 speaks the language and will be able to translate and communicate with the local population.

    Just feels like no matter what we do, we slip into old roles here, esp when DH gets involved. Am I overthinking this?
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  • jym626jym626 56915 replies2987 threads Senior Member
    Good question, @CountingDown . When we ski, I usually pay for the lodging for everyone and call it their holiday gift. If your S1 is paying his airfare to/from S2’s, thats a significant cost. Maybe once you are all together you can pay for meals, and if S1 wants to help, let him. In our family, both S1 and S2 can afford to pay, but when the situations arise, S2 tends to be one to grab a check or order a round of drinks or a title of wine for everyone on his tab.
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  • fendergirlfendergirl 4628 replies161 threads Senior Member
    @CountingDown , it's a good question.


    My family is similar. I make multiples of my sister. When my sister and I travel with my parents (...not very often. She travels with them more often than I do), if we're doing something together, my mom pays. If we break apart and do our own seperate things together, we're on our own.

    I don't think my parents would make me pay and not her because i'm fortunate enough to make more. I don't find it infantizing. I know my mom is all about equal treatment.

    That being said, I treat them to dinner all the time when they're over visiting. And sometimes when I visit them.
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