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to think that this won't be a "holiday"?

(137 Posts)
DataColour Tue 10-Jan-17 11:21:05

I'm completely prepared to be told that IABU as I'm really torn about this and I probably am being completely unreasonable. I just need some honest opinions (hence braving AIBU) to decide what to do.

Right, my country of birth is in Asia. I have lived there for 13yrs and I have lived in England for nearly 24yrs.
I have 2 DCs 8 and 6. I have never taken them to my birth country. My parents live here and have been for the last 24yrs. My aunt and uncle and my cousins also live here and so I only have a few relatives left in that country.
Last time I went there was 12 years ago after I got married (DH is English).
My parents are in their 70s now and I'm their only child. They want me to take the kids to this country for a holiday and show them off to their extended families and friends and also show them the country.

Now under normal circumstances this wouldn't be a problem but my concerns are that..
1. No direct flight there unless we travel down to Heathrow which would add on a few extra hours to the already long flight.
2. Cost would be nearly £4K for just the flights for four of us, but my parents offered to pay half, but it's not about the money really, we do have the money.
3. DH is not keen (but would go if I insist) as he spend much of his time there on his previous visit with a tummy bug and was pretty ill and he worries the kids will suffer from it.
4. There is no proper place to stay. My parents have a small house, but it needs to be cleaned and prepared for all of us staying (my parents idea of clean is different to mine..that's a whole other thread), even then there might not be enough room. Otherwise we will have to pay for accommodation, adding to the costs.
5. We would have to hire a driver for our entire stay. The public transport is very basic and nothing much to do by just walking, and driving ourselves is out of the question as the roads are very chaotic. Kids car seats might be not available as nobody uses them there...(the last time I went, might be different now).
6. It is HOT there. The kids complain on a hot day up here in the North and it will be nearly 40degs there. Even I would find it completely exhausting. You just can't DO anything in that heat.
7. I don't want to go round visiting relatives.
8. Holidaying with my parents is hard work. I can just about manage a weekend away.
9. Kids like the idea of going of course, but in reality they will take little interest in my relatives and friends of my parents, and I don't think they'd be that interest in ancient ruins, religious architecture, and lush forests (ok maybe that bit) and there would be a lot of travelling (they get bad travel sickness...bit better with the pills, but still not that great) involved to see these things. It would be monsoon season in the summer and most beaches are not safe.

If it was a 2 week break in that country, staying in a lovely hotel by the beach, half board, just the 4 of us that's a different thing (but it would cost a LOT and there are many other places I'd rather visit that I've never been to), but going on holiday with my parents and negotiating their needs and the kids needs would be difficult and that's what's mainly putting me off.
I would take my DCs to visit the country, but not now, in a few years time when they are able to get more out of it and not be so vulnerable in case of food poisoning etc. But my parents think they would soon be too frail to go around with them if we leave it much later and they keep asking me to make a decision.

So please, am I being previous and cold hearted towards my elderly parents who just want to take their DGC to show off their country? I think I am being unreasonable, but this is not a holiday I am looking forward to in the least.
Thanks for reading the mammoth post!

eurochick Tue 10-Jan-17 11:24:19

It's not a holiday but I think you should do it for your parents. My best friend is Indian and does this sort of visit every couple of years.

DataColour Tue 10-Jan-17 11:31:07

Thanks eurochick

I also have friends who do this, but when they go over they stay in nice comfortable houses, either theirs or with close family and they have hired help like cooks, cleaner and even babysitters. We have none of those things. My parents have good intentions always and love the DCs, but they are not at all hands on with them, mostly because of their age I guess.

Lagirafe Tue 10-Jan-17 11:32:16

I totally agree it won't be a holiday but I think you should try and make it work for both your parents and DC.
Would you be able to do 1 week with parents and then 1 week family holiday in a nice resort to "recover"? If you fly via another holiday destination (Dubai maybe?) you could even do your week there.

HardofCleaning Tue 10-Jan-17 11:34:46

It won't be a holiday for you but it might be an interesting trip for your kids (something to look back on anyway) and it would be kind for your parents. I think with the expense it's more of a once or twice in a lifetime thing to do as an act of kindness for your parents.

mrsplum2015 Tue 10-Jan-17 11:34:54

I know it sounds terrible but I wouldn't. I would offer to go on my own with my parents for ten days as a compromise.

Robinkitty Tue 10-Jan-17 11:36:08

Your parents have offered to pay half the flights, could you use that money for accommodation instead.

Seeline Tue 10-Jan-17 11:38:02

It certainly wouldn't be a holiday.
I think you have real concerns about the safety of your children. 6 and 8 are still young to cope with that sort of expedition, for all the reasons you have stated.
I don't think YABU to say no. I can understand that your parents may not be able to do the trip in a few years, but I don't think it's worth putting your children (and DH!) at risk.

RogueStar01 Tue 10-Jan-17 11:41:39

i would not say no, i'd either arrange it for a year or two's time, or try and mitigate some of the downsides as far as possible. Your parents are old, they are proud of their dgc, it sounds likely a one-off thing to me.

RebelandaStunner Tue 10-Jan-17 11:43:46

I wouldn't. Because it sounds more like hassle than a holiday and I don't bother with things like guilt and trying to please everyone but me/dh/dc anymore.
If you want to take them to your birth country do it when you and DH decide to.

ijustwannadance Tue 10-Jan-17 11:44:06

If the only direct flight was from heathrow, I would rather the extra travelling here than at the other end after the long flight. Even if it meant a hotel the night before.

DataColour Tue 10-Jan-17 11:44:58

I think you have real concerns about the safety of your children. 6 and 8 are still young to cope with that sort of expedition, for all the reasons you have stated.

This is my primary concern. How do I deal with it if a DC gets food poisoning? My DH was careful and he still got it. Even having to be ultra careful would be a stressful thing. Being on the road, travelling to tourist sights, eating food in places that you find whilst travelling, what if they get ill? Combined with the intense heat!

Thanks for all the replies. It's so useful to have somebody else's perspective.

SilenceOfThePrams Tue 10-Jan-17 11:45:44

Stay near Heathrow the night before.
Take your own car seats with you.
Accept your parents' help towards the flights, and then use your own money to tack a holiday holiday onto the end of it.
Take Imodium and dioralyte, alcohol gel and fans.

Jointhejoyrun75 Tue 10-Jan-17 11:50:20

I would go to for your parents, and for seeing the extended family and introducing your children to your and their heritage. Is there any way you can tag a 'fun' trip specifically for you and the kids on the end of your visit? At 8- and 6-years old they should be able to cope and they'll quickly get used to the heat. We have family in India and I would take my two are the same age as yours if we could. But then, we would be staying in our own accommodation - is there any way you can manage this? I would love to know your country of birth!

DailyFail1 Tue 10-Jan-17 11:50:43

Dh is from India. Last time we stayed there had to sleep on the floor because his brother didn't want us to stay in hotels (but also made no effort to get us even a basic bed). I got a tummy bug, insect bites from being on the floor, and on top of it all was expected to help with the housework then ridiculed when I did the housework in a way they disagreed with. I have now told dh to pay for his mum to come here as and when he wants to see her or go there alone. I'm not interested

WonderMike Tue 10-Jan-17 11:52:26

Just because your parents want you to, you don't have to do it. Even if you can mitigate all the risks you can think of - your parents want to show off two DGC who at best will be hot and bored and at worst will be hot, bored and shitting everywhere. All while you try not to be irritated and shouting I TOLD YOU THIS WAS A BAD IDEA.

Have your parents got travel insurance? Would the cost put them off?

DataColour Tue 10-Jan-17 11:57:21

Jointhejoyrun75 It is Sri Lanka smile

Staying in our own clean and spacious accommodation is a completely different ball game! My small house my parents have there is unlikely to be either and it'll be me and DH cleaning up after everybody as usual.

mydietstartsmonday Tue 10-Jan-17 11:57:22

What Silence say. A great opportunity for your children to see where you are from and your heritage. It is an adventure but also make sure you do something nice and stay in a good hotel by the beach. But make it work for you. Be firm with the family & stay in hotels where ever possible.

MoonfaceAndSilky Tue 10-Jan-17 11:59:14

It's not a holiday but I think you should do it for your parents

This ^

Jaxhog Tue 10-Jan-17 11:59:45

I think it would a shame not to go. Consider booking decent hotels with a/c for as much of your stay as possible , and eating there. Pick your time too, to minimize the risk.

Or make it a grand event and wait a couple of years until your kids are slightly older and will appreciate it more. I was 10 and my sister 8 when my parents took us to Canada for the first time (my mums from Canada). We were there for 6 weeks and still remember it vividly.

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 10-Jan-17 11:59:54

Slightly off topic but...I was chatting to a few of my children over Christmas (they are in their 20's) about a holiday I took them on when the two youngest were around the ages of your children. It wasn't quite as long haul and/or exciting as the one you are proposing, but bearing in mind we rarely went on holiday it was pretty exciting.

And they had no memory of it at all. A couple of the older ones vaguely remembered, and the eldest (when asked later) could remember more, but he was 13 when we went. So I'd say wait until the children are old enough to remember enough about the trip to make the expense worthwhile. Even a couple of years will help. Because there is nothing more galling than using practically every penny to give them an 'experience' only for them to deny all knowledge ten years later!

By the way, it was a brilliant holiday, so there was nothing for them to have 'blanked out'...

Roseformeplease Tue 10-Jan-17 12:01:33

Can you kick the can down the road a bit? Suggest that you want to do it "in comfort" and that you are planning a trip in (say) 2019 when the children are a little older and you have saved the money to make the trip really comfortable. And then get your parents involved in the planning so that it feels more imminent than it is.

FWIW we took 2 children aged 7 and 5 to Sri Lanka and had the driver, nice hotels etc very cheaply and they absolutely loved it. But, we always stayed 2 nights somewhere. We always stopped somewhere for a long lunch with a beach / pool and we had saved hard to make it as comfortable as possible.

ATailofTwoKitties Tue 10-Jan-17 12:03:54

My take would be:

Don't go for too long for a first try. Even though that sounds worse, economically (and for jet lag), I'd make it 7-10 days so that the end is in sight.
Do book your own accommodation for some or all of the trip.

Then see how it goes, and excitedly/resignedly plan the next trip in a few years to keep your parents happy.

LaPharisienne Tue 10-Jan-17 12:04:13

YANBU that it might not be a holiday, but I think you should do it for your parents but also for your children - the trip might be dodgy and irritating for you but, I suspect, will be fascinating and magical for your kids.

Even if they do spend a couple of days with diarrhoea.

What do mean by "beaches aren't safe"?

LexieLulu Tue 10-Jan-17 12:05:06

We looked at holidays in Sri Lanka and you could fly from Manchester if this is any help. You will need to check if this is still the case as that was 5years ago x

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