Dear Snarky – All Inclusive Fancy Family Vacation Gets Downgraded to a Courtyard Marriott

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-6-48-54-pmDear Snarky,

 My parents for their 30th wedding anniversary invited all of their 4 kids plus spouses, plus my two aunts, to celebrate with them by paying for us to go on a trip with them to an all-inclusive resort. 

 Now two weeks before the trip I found out that only my parents are staying at the resort and the rest of us are at a nearby Marriott Courtyard – four to a room!!!  I’m married and my husband and I will be sharing a room with my sister and her husband. WTH!!!! 

 When I asked my mom about this she said that the resort turned out to be more expensive than they thought so the Marriott was a cost cutting option and the “lot of us could just Uber back and forth to the resort.” 

 My husband who never wanted to go says this is a sign from God that we should bail out now. Do you think he’s right?   

Signed, Not a Brat

Dear Not a Brat,

 The way I see it you have bigger problems than bunking four to a room. Fancy resorts have safeguards in place to stop non paying guests from using their facilities. The fact that your parents are staying there doesn’t mean the rest of you will have free reign of all the resort has to offer. The only amenity you maybe enjoying is the complimentary Courtyard waffle bar.

 I would sit your parents down with a sibling or two in tow and have a discussion about the realities of this vacation. As in, “Hey mom I don’t think we can crash the resort everyday.” Next, work through a solution that may involve family members either resetting their “gifted” vacation exceptions, offering to contribute some financially or not going (and not going may offer mom and dad some financial relief).

Your parents may have gotten in way over their heads by offering to pay for a trip for so many people or your mom might be doing a bait and switch. But I think it’s more likely that it could be one of those instances where they were caught up in the excitement of  “Yay family vacay on us!” and then when they did the math panic set in.  The bottom line is you’re family, be honest with one another and work this out with love and brutal frankness.


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