aibu to refuse to pay £3000 for my 16 year old daughter to go on a summer holiday?(82 Posts)
An association with my daughters school takes the 16 year olds there on a month long trip around America for the summer. No bursaries are offered and most kids go on this tour and most have wealthy parents. If you could afford it would you allow your child on this? It would be a struggle for us to afford to pay and I don't want her to think that this.is what normal people can afford to do as many of her friends are multi,millionaires
No- we don't even spend that much in a family holiday
Both my children go to private schools & these ''life changing' trips are very common but mine will not bw taking part.
Does she want to go?
How would she feel if she couldn't go?
Is it a private school? Asking because if it is, you / dh have chosen to send her to a place where her peers are dc of multi-millionaires. If that is her peer group, and most of them are going, I'd send her if I could manage it.
Perhaps you could get her to do some odd jobs / babysitting /etc to contribute (even if a small amount) so she understands what a special treat this is and how your family won't simply be blithely writing a cheque out of a huge bank account.
Well it totally depends on your budget and how many dc you have.
If you mix in circles with multi millionaires, then this doesn't sound too bad value for a month, tbh, but if it's outside your budget then it doesn't matter if it was 10x that amount - it's irrelevant if you can't afford it. It's not a case of if YABU or not, it's a case of if you can afford it or not.
My friends daughter is the same age and at private school. She knows not to even ask. Her out of school hobbies cost enough already. Although she is schooled with some rich children once the bell goes that's it.
Mind you, another friend paid over a grand for her daughter to go to Iceland for a week. Not a private school either. It makes three grand not sound so bad for a whole month!
I'm torn. You're absolutely not being unreasonable to think £3000 is a huge amount of money, but, you did choose to send her to private school, knowing she would be around kids whose parents can easily afford this kind of thing, and I think that's what a lot of people forget when they send to private school.
You don't just pay the fees and that's it, you have to think about expensive school trips, music lessons, etc. I think you do need to consider sending her - if it will absolutely bankrupt you and lead to you struggling to pay the mortgage/bills, then tell her no, but if it just means cutting back on luxuries for a few months, I think it would be worth considering - it sounds like an amazing experience and £3000 for a trip around America including flights and accomodation is actually pretty good value.
I disagree with the idea that because you sent her to a PS you need to keep up with everyone else.
It's a good lesson in life that you can't get everything, my 8 year old would have his own ipad/mobile/bedroom/xbox if we tried to keep up with his bestfriend.
I grew uo in a pretty rich area, but we weren't, I survived, and more importNtly I reaslised that y can't have everything in life, unless you can afford it.
Rich kids who think that they are entitled to everything grow up into adults who think they are entitled.
I think that you are setting an ideal boundary here.
YANBU. I know lots of teens, many privately educated, who have earned for trips like this. You could consider matching every £ she raises towards the trip, or asking her to earn and pay you back. But it's a lot of money and there will be other trips (many with more cultural/charitable/adventure potential than a trip to the US).
I agree with Disco. I was privately educated and although I did a fair amount of extra curricular stuff including music lessons I didn't go on the big trips because we couldn't afford it. Yes it is a shame to miss it but that's sometimes how life happens. YANBU.
I went to a private school under a scholarship scheme. I knew my parents couldn't afford to send me skiing or on all the trips, but they did send me on work-related trips (I have that all important A* in Latin to show for a trip to Rome...).
Three grand is an absolute load of money, and maybe it could be better spent on a family holiday? You could go to the states a few times for that much... I don't think your daughter will be hurt forever because she doesn't go - I'm sure that she realised just how much money it is for the family.
that is certainly a huge amount of money - but whether YABU depends on what your available budget for a family holiday would be, and whether you have other DC. also on how much she wants to go.
If she would otherwise be coming with you on a family holiday, which you therefore have without her while she is away, you could calculate what you would otherwise spend on her if she didn't go (including costs of flights and other fares, the saving that you'll make having smaller accomodation, all food (including food for the weeks when you'll be at home npt on holiday) and any day trips, theatre trips etc you might normally do over the summer) and consider giving her that - maybe that might be an appreciable chunk of the cost, depending on what normal is for you - IF it would be remotely feasible for her to earn the rest between now and the summer, or perhaps over the next 18months/2yearsifits that impprtant to her and you can loan it to her.
however, if it wouldn't be feasible to reach the required amount between now and then in this way, YWNBU to say no, and she will survive.
i think what i'd resent about it most would be the stupidity of spending that much money on a group trip that would/could only be artificially 'life changing' or genuine iyswim. it's like a very expensive travel simulator.
save the 3k for when they're older and have several months to spare re: between school and uni or the end of first year at uni. 3k is a lot of money for a travelling experience, don't waste it on a month in america i'd say. they could do several months in south east asia or africa or south america on that kind of money and have a far more 'life changing' experience.
It sounds like a once in a lifetime trip. I would want her to go if at all possible because of the experience she will get. It's something money can't buy.
I think she definitely needs to work for it though. That puts her in the driving seat and teaches her the value of money. Are there any jobs she could do locally?
I would argue £3000 isn't a lot for a travelling experience. You never remember the money once you have had a life changing travelling experience. It is always worth it!
My friends daughter is the same age and at private school. She knows not to even ask. Her out of school hobbies cost enough already. Although she is schooled with some rich children once the bell goes that's it. Ugh, that sounds brutal, joyless and grim.
We sent my DD on one of these 'big' school trips (Borneo) and it was the absolute making of her. But then she is at state school. If we'd beggared ourselves to pay school fees, she couldn't have gone.
As someone who goes to the US regularly and doesn't have to pay accommodation (I stay with family), I think £3000 for a month is a bargain. I spend quite a bit whilst I'm there, usually In the region of £2000 but I'm not paying for a place to stay and a lot of my food is paid for.
That being said, you have to decide if this trip will be worth it to your daughter and if you can afford the funds.
No it is not always "worth it "
These expensive trips breed a sense of entitlement and are not necessary.
A few weeks volunteering or a few weeks camping/hiking would be much much cheaper and still great fun.
Plenty of time for luxury trips when they are older, and with their own hard earned money, IMO!
If I could afford it, yes. If it was going to be a struggle, meaning the rest of the family would do without, no. She will get over not having the 'experience' and there will be plenty of other 'experiences' in her life - she is only 16.
FWIW - be very wary of the thinking she can 'just' get a p/t job to help pay towards it. DS is 16 and he and his friends are all looking for p/t work that will fit around his school studies. They are rarer than hens teeth, despite having a really good CV for his age and living in a big city - they are all finding it very, very hard to get work.
£3000 woud go a lot further on a gap year and be much more of a 'life experience'
My DSs are both at independent school. The trips regularly run to thousands if pounds. My school mum friends and I have made a pact that none of us will cave and let any of them go. It ridiculous and imo wrong of the schools to run trips which could pay for a family holiday. The teachers get to go free of course.............
Disco I agree - I think I spent £5k on 5 months of travelling around 3 continents only a few years ago, and I earned all the money to travel so it made me appreciate every penny.
I travel to the States a lot for work. Depends on where in the US they'd be going but as life experiences go, I'd choose to spend £3k on visits to several other countries before I'd go to the US!
My DCs (state) schools regularly run v expensive trips (sorry, 'experiences') throughout the year costing several thousands of pounds, despite the school serving a socially diverse population - it's the same small group kids who go on all of them, surprise surprise. Those who don't attend don't seem too deprived.
The teachers get to go free of course.............
I assume that's a joke?
Do you really think teachers should pay for the privilege of caring for your DC for weeks on end way from their own families?
No, I wouldn't spend it.
But am probably a big meanie because am pretty sure my parents must have spent about the same to send me to Spain for a month when I was 16.
Bloody hell - if someone said to me "would you like to go on a 3 week trip to the States all paid for, during work time, but it would mean 3 weeks away from your family" I'd bite their hand off!
I joke of course
You sound great and I think it is good to consider whether it is worth it. If she really, really wants to go (she'd need to demonstrate why she should have the money rather than it being spent on other family experiences) then I would show her the value of money by getting her to raise a certain amount herself. She may not be that bothered?
I wouldn't have too much of a problem with that. DS has been on several sports tours costing nearly that much and for much shorter periods of time.
SirCh: Same Shit, different country & somebody else's children.
14yo DS punched an old mate and gushed floods of tears on last 2 day trip he went on. Don't think his teacher really enjoyed sorting that one out. And that's without kids who try to sneak off to have sex with each other or get drunk.
Lottiedoubtie no I didn't mean that the teachers should pay to go on the trips. I meant that the teachers who arrange the trips don't have to pay to go on them and at the DSs school all consideration for cost and affordability go out of the window as they arrange the most expensive trips imaginable £9k five day ski trip anyone?
lljkk - I've got friends who are high school teachers. Some love school trips, others would rather cut their own arm off. Each to their own
I really value being able to travel and experience different things.
If you can afford it I would send her. If you are teaching her the values of work, effort and reward then she wont develop a a strong sense of entitlement.
You cold really get on board and chat about where she would be going/doing/seeing. Get her to keep a travel diary. That is a long time to be away from home and she will gain a perspective about herself, family that is hard to achieve in everyday settings/routines. She'll have the opportunity to develop a greater sense of independence purely because you are not on hand.
If you do decide to send her I would put it to her easy terms she will understand that that sort of money would pay the heating or food bill for 'X' amount of months so she can appreciate ow much it costs in relation to wider living costs - things they dont think about. But I would give the trip your blessing (if you go ahead). There is nothing worse than being told you can have something but having it rammed down your throat about how difficult it is and you really lucky (my own mother used to do this about xmas presents to the point of spoiling it through the guilt she induced seperate story)
My old bosses children went of 'life changing' trips organised by their church. The kids went to amazing far flung places, building wells, digging fields, teaching english. They raised money to go and only had to pay a very small amount/raise funds themselves via sponsored bakes, walks, babysitting etc.
I'd rather kids did that than have their hands out for a rather nice jolly.
DH is Mfl teacher and loathes school trips.
hordes of teens trying to get drunk/drugged /sex whatever is not a fun. "Experience " for a teacher.
There is always a few trips to the hospital, one psychologically unbalanced child, one very drunk child, bad behaviour in the hotel/hostel, sorting paperwork in foreign hospitals, etc etc (one girl self harms, there is a boy who brings dope)
It is HARD work. Not a jolly.
I'm not sure a month in the US is particularly cultural or as valuable as trips to other places IYSWIM.
My brother runs a US company that organises these trips for US kids. They all come to Europe and do London, Paris, Venice, Rome, Madrid etc. they experience different languages, cultures, history, architecture etc.(and yes, it's only ever rich kids.)
If it's going to be a one off trip, I'd be more tempted to wait and see what will be on offer at 6th form or put the money towards more of an experience "gap" type thing.
hordes of teens trying to get drunk/drugged /sex whatever is not a fun. "Experience " for a teacher
Bloody hell - why on earth aren't they sent home? Our high school makes the parents and the pupils sign a behaviour clause before any trip, and it's made very clear that they will be sent home at the parent's expense if they try any of that (and they are).
If I could afford it and DD wanted to go = theyn yes, I would let her.
If it was a struggle or would mean us not being able to go away on a family holiday as a result, or if DD wasn't bothered - then she would miss it.
I have no issue with these kind of trips. But I would only go ahead if it was right for our family and istuation at the time.
if I could afford it and if she wanted to go, then yes of course.
In your OP, you ask "if you could afford it", so yes, I would send her if she wanted to go.
My DD also attends independent school and so I'm familiar with eye watering trip costs and I must say, £3k for a month doesn't strike me as that bad tbh. The rugby tour at DD's school last year cost £6.5k per head, parent/s were expected to travel too and it was only for 2.5-3wks, so your 3k looks bargainous!!!
If she wants to go - and not all do - could she fundraise / get a Saturday job and you contribute what you would normally spend on a family
Bloody hell - if someone said to me "would you like to go on a 3 week trip to the States all paid for, during work time, but it would mean 3 weeks away from your family"
That's the point though these trips generally aren't in work time. They are usually in the holidays, or if not certainly involve evenings and weekends.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy school trips as a valuable part of my work. It would however be overstating it an awful lot to suggest that I go for fun or organise them for a bit of free travel for myself!
Bloody hell - why on earth aren't they sent home? Our high school makes the parents and the pupils sign a behaviour clause before any trip, and it's made very clear that they will be sent home at the parent's expense if they try any of that (and they are).
With respect this is a classic case of parent believing the party line. I'm sure that there have been a couple of extreme cases where children are sent home . (This in itself generates hours of work for the staff involved). This has sent the message that 'children must behave or else' to parents.
Which has probably improved behaviour on trips.
It certainly will not have eradicated the every day 'small' stuff the staff will be doing. And I bet you and I have a different tolerance for what would be counted as 'small stuff' on a school trip.
In short, obviously your teens tell you they were well behaved. Of course that's echoed in the school newsletter/ magazine.
The staff room walls would tell you a different story.
But OP, in answer to your question. Yes, if I could afford to send her I would.
It won't be 'once in a lifetime'- very little is.
But it will be a blast and will probably have a positive impact on her. So yes if you can afford it
Ok, I exaggerated.
But stuff happens every trip. Hospital at least once every trip (hypochondria, sudden fainting and feeling weird. You have to take it seriously obv! )
My dc's bog standard comprehensive also run very expensive trips ( Mongolia for Â£4k anyone?), including a trip to Peru in Year 10 which costs a fortune. What is amazing is that loads of parents seem able to afford this.
I don't necessarily think that a trip to the USA is that educational, depends what they are going to be doing. If you would struggle to afford it then don't do it. My children have done some of the cheaper school trips, have never done the very expensive ones, and don't seem to have suffered.
Whatever you do, please don't do what a group of mums did a couple of years ago when their dcs were going on the annual yr 11 trip to South Africa. They organised a sponsored event and put a lot of pressure on other parents to sponsor their dc to go on holiday!!! Made them somewhat unpopular....
It cerainly puts my secondary school trip "experience" of tramping around WW1 battlefields into the shade! That was actually a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.
When did school trips become so extravagant? What next, a trip into space?
My DD went to Mongolia in year 12. A fabulous trip for her and almost totally self funded. She worked waitressing, cleaning cars and putting on other events for 18months prior to the event. Christmas and birthday money went towards it. The funding of it was as life changing as the actual trip. She would tell you herself how proud it made her feel to have funded it, almost to a point of rejecting help from me.
It sounds like it might be a great trip. I think you just need to decide whether you can afford it and whether you want yo afford it. There will be plenty of kids not going so I wouldn't worry too much about peer pressure.
If you have other kids you need to work out what you will do with them - if they don't go on a holiday will you give them the cash ?
what association? If this is PeopletoPeople or similar, they are very expensive.
It will be a rushed tour with lots of time on the road, and probably wasted on most of them. Let them pay for their own big trips when they are older.
Wow, I'm obviously stingy! I thought £250 for 5 days on a tall ship was reasonable value, but I didn't realise it was a total bargain! £3k is WAY over my budget for a family holiday and about two month's net family income, so there would be no question of it for my DC... That's the sort of amount I'd hope they'd manage to save by the time they're 18-21 for a back-packing trip round a continent or two!
I really don't understand schools - especially state ones - organising trips that are so expensive. They must know that that sort of cost is beyond most families' means, and will inevitably therefore be just for the privileged minority.
You wouldn't be unreasonable not to pay for one member of your family to go on a holiday. Of course you wouldn't be.
However, the second part of your post asks if we would if we could afford it. Yes, I would pay for it if we could afford it.
If yuo can raise the money, i still probably wuoldnt do it. Given that she is 16, I think she could get more bang for her buck waiting a few years and travelling independently.
Once she is 18, £3k would get a round the world ticket, she could do a tefl and teach English to kids in a hill village in Annapurna ( like my mate did) She could go WWOOFing pretty much anywhere or do a bunac Work New Zealand or Work Australia for that kind of money. I did 3 years travelling on working holiday visas and with tickets and stuff it probably cost about that upfront. The bulk of the rest of the trip was self funding by picking up seasonal work as I went.
Our high school makes the parents and the pupils sign a behaviour clause before any trip, and it's made very clear that they will be sent home at the parent's expense if they try any of that (and they are).
Yeah, that hugely puts me off ever sending DC on anything.
But that clause tends to only work if you're within a reasonable driving distance.
When DS punched the other lad the group was 16 hours away from starting coach trip back, so no sensible way to send him home any faster. And you can't really send a 14yo home on own nowadays, anyway. So some adult would have been detailed to mind him until we arrived, in theory.
the logistics only get trickier if travelling in another country.
Dd has a 4.5 day trip to London for £365 next yr; she's paid £60 of own money towards it plus she has to do 20 hours of work for us. We ARE meanies, I guess! I'm glad OP asked, though.
I'd be more generous if DC went to another culture/language experience. As I am American, not too novel for DC to travel to USA.
My daughters school was offering a very expensive trip to India. It was also crammed in to a half term holiday.
I attended the briefing meeting and it was very obvious that the male teacher running the trip just wanted another free holiday to a far away place. His kids are grown up.
We just told DD it was far too expensive and she couldn't go.
Interestingly very few of the women teachers organise school trips abroad. They are too busy at home with their own families during school holidays.
Also remember that most of this overseas trips are organised by a professional company who take a big cut for booking flights, hotels etc.
My friend (not a teacher) is about to go on a three week school trip to china along with his wife (a teacher) which also coincides with the grand prix. They are not paying a penny....
Last year they went to Borneo.
My DD went to Mongolia in year 12. A fabulous trip for her and almost totally self funded. She worked waitressing, cleaning cars and putting on other events for 18months prior to the event. Christmas and birthday money went towards it. The funding of it was as life changing as the actual trip. She would tell you herself how proud it made her feel to have funded it, almost to a point of rejecting help from me
^ this- would make me very proud. She sounds amazing.
There's no way i would or could pay that on a months school trip.
You could travel far on that sort of cash and experience a whole lot more living than on a month's supervised trip to the US.
agreed wakemeup - i don't see how being herded on and off a bus following a regimented schedule you have no control over and doesn't allow spontaneity is a life changing experience or 'the chance of a lifetime'. that's a pretty low bar to set.
i wonder if it is parents who never really traveled themselves independently and that therefore don't understand where the real life changing stuff comes in that shell out for these trips?
and america fgs - how is america life changing?
i went to a private school and often felt left out as all my friends would go on these trips, they would talk about it and i wouldn't be able to join in
But surely your life wasn't too slummy, compared to most?
To me it is not even about being able to afford it or not.
I really object on principle to spend that much money on something like this. I just picture all these blase teens, who have been to far flung places yet never seen Wales or Scotland or historical sites in England.
Visit the UK, then Europe, it is sad if that is seen as " not exciting enough", as there is much to see and do.
People can go to faraway places once they are a bit older.
Having lived in South America, I would seriously worry about the busloads of spoilt western teens ( who do not even know they are spoilt) with their Nike shoes and logoed clothes, flashing their smart phones... In Peru a few visiting school buses were held up at gun point in recent years.
Sure, teachers read up on safety, but if you have never lived in a third world country it is hard to grasp the level of poverty, and the extravagant value of a pair of branded trainers to the poor and/ or criminal minded. Let alone the smart phones all the kids carry along, which are unheard luxuries and worth the rob someone for, let alone a busload of kids with them.
Ludicrous, these trips.
A girl in my village did lots of fundraising to semd herself to africa to teach for a year.
she did sponsored runs and.things like tgat amd raised over half the money she needed to go.
could your daughter do something like this?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I could not afford or be able to raise 3k for a trip to america so dd would need to raise the money herself I didnt let them go on a £800 ski trip it was for 5 bloody days , I dont think these experiences mean much in later life maybe i am just stingy and mean
Traveling is my biggest priority in life. I hope I will be able to continue this once I have children so that they can be a part of it too. There is nothing else I would rather spend my money on.
I do think that your daughter should work hard to make it happen though. Camp America might also be worth looking into if the 3k is too much?
everybodies priorities and financies are different
I would let her go if I could afford it (without causing hardship to the rest of the family), and if all her friends were going. But I would expect DD to raise at least some of the money herself, with a weekend job/paper round/babysitting/car washing/dog walking etc.
Would the school let them organise a fund raising event at school? I don't know the ins and outs, but at my DD's school the older girls (Y11 and Y12) ran a disco for the Years 7 and 8 to raise money for a similar venture. Think they charged an entry fee, sold drinks and sweets etc and also did nails and make up for a fee beforehand.
op...? Interested to know what you think?
DD went to a private school, but it was very mixed and while there were millionaires, there were also many who worked their arses off to send their children there with not much leftover!
Generally because of the nature of the school trips were not this expensive.
DD knew not to ask if things were extortionate. if she was desperate to go then she would have to contribute a lot or fund raise.
We had one issue with the ski trip. DD couldn't go as it was very expensive, all her friends did go though. It was year 8/9 so the age where they are super bitchy! They came back full of tales and made out they had made new better friends. DD found it very tricky but with time the 'amazing' ski trip memories faded and she was back in favor. It is difficult but all a learning curve and DD is far more grateful and resilient having had to miss out.
Talk to the school if your DD wants to go desperately. Or find a cheaper thing she could do with a company. Or come up with an arrangement by which she fundraises the money.
It is tough and I can relate how frustrating it is.
Relating to earlier posts- I agree travelling is an incredible experience but I also think you get as much from it whatever age you go. Parents should not feel guilty if their DC has to miss out.
Once they are older they can raise the money or pay themselves.
They will not miss out in life and you not letting them go aged 16 does not mean they will never go- they should have another 70+ years to make the most of these things.
An alternative, if she really wants to do something like this, is to wait til she's old enough to do Camp America. After the camp, you have I believe a month long visa to travel within the US.
She would also be helping at a summer camp and earning money while she did it, to fund the travel after.
Regardless of state or private school, if I could afford it without scrimping then I would pay for the dc to go. If I could manage say half then I'd offer the opportunity to them to earn the other half. Some of the schools here do the month long trips. Ds1 did and was sponsored by a local company, others raised money by raffles with prizes donated by companies or cake sales, car washes etc.
If I could afford it, and it wouldn't affect the rest of the family having a holiday, etc, then I would happily send my DC.....I wouldn't have an issue with them feeling entitled, etc. However, it's not the sort of trip where I would feel guilty about not being able to pay for if I couldn't afford it. It does sound like a bit of a holiday, rather than a trip to immerse yourself in the language, for example.
Save your money and when she's in university, have her get a J-1 visa to work for a summer in the US. You can give her some money at that point to get herself situated and she will have a far more educational time in the US.
DD1 and then DD2 each went on a school trip abroad that cost about $3,500 (separately, many years apart). They managed to fund half the cost. Even still, I don't think it was worth it except as an exercise in making and saving money (so quite useful but not as a foreign trip).
I'd never send my teenager on a holiday and especially not with school.
Because even for an adult being somewhere unknown with others you're very easily influenced to do stupid stuff. Like a lot do on holiday. And in mine experience schools are very good in doing stupid stuff with kids when on camp or holiday.
Teachers that drink and get drunk. Going in groups in unknown area and try to find your way over there. Not sufficient supervision over the teenagers.
I wouldn't go myself let alone send my kid with a school out on a holiday for a month!
If I could afford it as you asked in your OP, yes of course. I would make it very clear that this was difficult for us to do but that I wanted her to have the experience and expect her to save any pocket money or earnings towards it.
If you couldn't find the money of course not.
TBH I'm not a big fan of refusing things just to show a lesson ie as in this case not everyone can afford this holiday and that's what we are showing you by not letting you go even though we can afford it at a push. Ime most children realise exactly what their family can or afford and act and ask accordingly. I don't think we give them enough credit.
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