Anyone else on a trip home being driven mad?

(52 Posts)

I seriously wonder why we do this..... We've been abroad forever and have 2 dds aged 5 and 9. We go back to the uk every year, normally me and the dds to England, then dh joins us after a week and we spend the last few days (10 in total) at my dads house. Then we all troop up to Scotland to stay 10 days with dh's family. Then we try to get in a break in Europe just the 4 of us for a week or just more.

I am sick of the packing, travel, jet lag, present buying, dog to kennels, securing the house, etc. I've just been told by dsis that this weekend is inconvenient for us to visit because it's her birthday (yesterday, she's 39) and term time. She lives 2 hours from df and has come down to see us with her dh and dds. I have no idea why she can't celebrate another weekend. While I'm paying the ticket, I'll chose the dates thank you very much. I've half a mind not to visit next year, my df will come to visit us in the USA anyway and I'd rather spend the money on a couple of weeks somewhere really nice. Do home visits bring out the worst in you too?

Unexpected Sat 19-Jul-14 00:23:28

So why bother? If you are happy to come home less often and you will see your df anyway next year, why not give it a break and take a more relaxing holiday somewhere closer to home? Your dc would probably like it too.

Isthiscorrect Sat 19-Jul-14 07:56:15

To be honest as ds has got older we have been back less and less. Sending him by himself, to be fair PIL have no interest in seeing me although they are always polite as I am but you just know don't you ;-)

Really, if you go make camp in a rented house somewhere and tell people to come to you, much easier with small children.

I know what you mean - UK trips work out more expensive than a "real" holiday, people are too scattered to see the people you'd actually like a face to face catch up with, snd the intensity of a visit can highlight the fact some family members are not actually people you want to spend time with...

Luckily we are in Europe, so kids and I are going for a very brief visit this year, and not even trying to fit much in, so hopefully that will not ne stressful. Lovely as a holiday cottage sounds, it would be so expensive on top of travel it would rule out the static caravan in Italy we also manage to fit in for half the price, virtually no stress, better weather and more relaxed fun (and more like minded kuds for ours to play with)

mrsnec Sat 19-Jul-14 08:15:47

I have refused to ever do them for all of the reasons mentioned here!

scottswede Sat 19-Jul-14 08:48:53

I agree, it's too expensive to have a vacation the UK. I always think "I could have gone X,Y or Z for that amount".
I always think it's a lot of hoo ha for nothing really. Kids don't really remember any of their 'baby' friends (my friends kids) the oldies just want to sit and drink tea and talk about who has died since our last visit.......
We didn't go this year and I feel a little guilty that the older relatives didn't get to see the dcs, but it has definitely been more relaxed not going.....

mrsnec Sat 19-Jul-14 09:18:20

Our inlaws live here too. Most of the people we'd want to see visit us. We can give them a better holiday than they can give us. Having said that there is a branch of the family that have refused to visit and I know dh's family misses them. In the UK they live miles away from everyone, have no room for us to stay and not in a particularly nice part of the country. DH is now considering paying for them to come and visit us as a solution. Which annoys me since they both work and earn more than we do but I'm thinking it might be an option just to get it out of his system. For anyone else with this problem is that an option? Dh thinks it may even work out cheaper for us.

I'm thinking if I have to do it though id go for a base rather than travelling around. dh wants to just do the airport travelodge thing. I'd rather do butlins or centre parcs!

Mrsnec have you been to a UK centre parcs recently? I remember them feom when I was a kid and suggested it one UK trip - extended family, 3 houses. It was pretty hideous, so ridiculously crowded all the time. I even got up and went out at 6am with the kids one morning for a walk and it was already busy with joggers on all the paths! The pool would have been good with about 1/10 the number of people, but as it was with a (then) 4 and 2 tear old it was the most stressful swimming pool experience of my life (I regularly take my now 3 kids swimming on my own and don't usually find it stressful). It was school holidays, but it had to be.

mrsnec Sat 19-Jul-14 09:34:08

Not since my childhood trips to the Sherwood Forest one but your experience sounds pretty hideous and I may need a re-think. But for us too we can have a long weekend in Lake Garda for the same price as the Gatwick Travelodge or any trip to the uk for that matter and I know what I'd rather do! I just thought centre parcs would be a compromise.I was going to go for the Longleat one.

Sorry for hijacking the thread everyone! Sounds like I'm doing the right thing by staying put but I might add I don't actually like having guests here that much either!

Bonsoir Sat 19-Jul-14 09:54:25

You are quite wrong to think you have the right to tell your sister when you will be visiting.

mrsnec Sat 19-Jul-14 09:58:52

I do kind of think the op is right though. If people didn't visit me and I was travelling a long way to see them I would expect it to be on my terms or I wouldn't bother going.

Bonsoir she's staying with her dad, not her sister, why can't the OP tell her sister when she's visiting hmm unless sisteunreasonable be forgiven for not dropping her plans against her will to drive over to her dad's and see the OP of course - that would be unreasonable. You plan around the people you really want to see, and of course the people you stay with, and have to accept other people having other plans if you don't consult them.

Of course in the nightmare that is adult extended families, the dad might have emotionally blackmailed the sister to drop birthday wedkend plans in irder to drive over and mope about at his house in order to tick family re-union boxes, which is very infair on the sister. Visits home from abroad do sometimes bring out the dictator in elderly parents who want everyone to play happy families...

*unfair, not infair, and many other phone typos...

Smartiepants79 Sat 19-Jul-14 10:37:22

I can't imagine seeing family (especially family I only get to see once a year) being such a chore.
Can you imagine how you'd feel in 15 yrs time if your DC turned round and said "I can't be arsed to come and visit you mum, it's too much hassle"
I'd be heartbroken.
I would never choose to live away from family so maybe I just don't get it......

marcopront Sat 19-Jul-14 10:40:54

I'm just back from three weeks in the UK, where I drove 3500 miles. It was exhausting, based at my Dad's but some nights in hotels. I didn't know how narrow a bed could be till I stayed in a travelodge.

pupsiecola Sat 19-Jul-14 10:42:02

I think smartie it very much depends on how your relationship is with your family. You are clearly very close to yours if you would never consider living away from them. But many people don't have that. When we moved overseas it was barely a consideration. Not because we're awful people but because we just don't have that closeness to either family. The four of us however are a very tight unit.

I can't imagine never living anywhere else in the big, wide, interesting world because of needing to live near family though Smartie - sounds stifling to me - people are different, you see wink smile

Smartiepants79 Sat 19-Jul-14 12:19:06

I do like to (and have done) travel extensively. Sometimes staying for months. But I can't imagine wanting to live permanently in another country.
Yes I am close to my family, we live all over the country but see each other often. It is important to me that my children continue to be a part of that.

ShanghaiDiva Sat 19-Jul-14 12:25:04

Have not been back to uk for 6 years. Have been expats for nearly 20 years and my kids have never lived in the uk. Am happy to pay airfare for parents/in laws to visit us, but prefer to spend my holidays outside the uk.

Living somewhere isn't the same as visiting for a couple of months though.

Lots and lots of people live in the same town as family members they never bother to visit, or deliberately avoid... it is not unusual not to live in your extended family's pockets, nor is it a trait specific to those who move overseas...

Most people who move over seas are guilt tripped about it to some extent by family every time they see or speak to them, which makes contact fraught in some cases. Often visits are a mix of tension and boredom, as older relations expect you to make a long, expensive journey to spend time watching Emerdale and keeping your kids quiet...

Many people marry somebody from another country - one of you then has to live overseas...

Sillylass79 Sat 19-Jul-14 12:43:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsnec Sat 19-Jul-14 13:26:29

That's another problem I have Tumbles, some of the people that expect us to visit them and won't travel here never visited us in our uk house ever and it wasn't a massive journey for them.

We run our own business and can't take time off very often so I'd resent having to use our time off for trips like this. I've put it off for the 3 years I've been here but I'm not going to get away with it much longer, unless I send Dh on his own!

It might be different when my parents get older and can't travel though but if I visit them I'd have the same issue as someone else mentioned above about them taking control and being forced to see family I don't get on with.

Shanghai, can I ask if it's specifically those relatives you'd happily pay for? It's DH's uncle he wants to fly over. Also if we do it once will they expect us to always do it? Considering his sister, my mil lives here too should she also contribute if she wants to see him?

It's funny how everyone has a different view about what a trip home would involve. Everyone who stays here always says they'll return the favour if im ever in the area but that would involve a night on their sofa and dinner in weatherspoons. Not worth a 5 hour flight!

mrsnec is your DH close to his uncle? (I guess its one sided if so)... Only people I'd sub to fly out IF they actually wanted to come AND I didn't know they were better off than us would be parents and siblings - but then I only saw my uncle once every 3 or 4 years in the UK, and then only if we co-incided at my parents, he never visited me, I never visited him and I've never liked him since he told me I was getting fat when I was 13 I offered to "lend" a friend money to come out a few years ago when she really needed to leave her husband... but not a weml of uncle who isn't interested enough in visiting to pay his own way and never visited in the UK either...

mrsnec Sat 19-Jul-14 14:05:54

He says he is. dh is an only child but his du is a similar age.They lived together as teens.We haven't seen him in 6 years and haven't met his kids. mil does go back to the uk every year and does visit him but it's always a long journey for her to do it and I thought he would have returned the favour by now since she's been here 8 years, visited her brother every year and he's never been here. They also use the heat as an excuse.

I don't like him thay much after I had an mc and the first thing he said was it was our fault for telling everyone so early. But I do feel sad that dh has little cousins he's never met. Offering to lend them the money might be an option though.

JewelFairies Sat 19-Jul-14 15:08:44

Yes it can drive me mad but there are positives for us. Our dc are young so this may change but I can honestly say I've loved our visits over the past few years. Staying with family for us has meant we had several wonderful holidays every year with full board and babysitting on tap- all for the price of a budget flight for 4 and a short train journey. There is no chance that we could have afforded that kind of holiday if we'd had to pay for accommodation, food and car hire so the issue of going elsewhere simply didn't come up.
In fact we like our trips so much that we'll go for five months shortly, including a term at local schools for the dc grin.

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