More of a WWYD... For background, DP’s brother has lived abroad for the last 5 years (European mainland so reasonable travelling distance) and travels home roughly 1-2 times a year. He is 30 in January and his girlfriend rang MIL today asking her, FIL, DP and I to visit them for his birthday celebration. However, DP’s brother would like to visit another city where he’s never been before for his birthday which would involve additional travel and accommodation for all parties (brother isn’t aware that it wouldn’t be just him and GF). This seems reasonable however GF admitted she hasn’t looked at flights before asking us and hasn’t researched how much the proposed shared apartment would cost. Flights are only available once a day from our local airport meaning we wouldn’t get there until roughly 10pm on a Friday night and would have to be at the airport at 6pm on the Sunday to return home. Flights for DP and I are £350!
So as not to drip feed, MIL has been very poorly recently so DP now feels under pressure to say we should go as he doesn’t want to stress her even though he agrees we can’t really afford it in the run up to Christmas. AIBU to tell GF that she has put everyone under pressure by asking this and that we won’t be going? (Sorry for the long post!)
I wouldn’t go. I couldn’t afford it to be honest so for that reason I couldn’t. Do you have any kids? It’s just so much money and faffing about for not that long a stay really. Can’t you just arrange another time to see him that would be easier all round?
Tell her not to lump both things together. Yes of course you'd like to see him for his birthday, but the special trip should be just those two. Suggest everyone comes across to see them at home on another date for belated/early celebrations.
Could you not fly straight to the city where they'll go? Rather than breaking the journey. I think it's a bit mean to only think of the financial side of things - if the BIL lives abroad it's not like you see him all the time, it's a special occasion. Obviously if you are clearing debt then it would be silly to go, but if it's just a bit tight, then go and enjoy it for what it is. Your DH will likely be upset to miss out.
I hate when family turn their plans into plans for everyone. If you are going group family plans the first step is working out what suits everyone, and they haven't done this. You can't afford it so say so. Your mil can have a lovely time with bil and you can spend lots of time with mil at home.
Quack I think you’ve summed up how I feel. I didn’t mean it to sound as though it’s just the cost of flights, although it seems a lot for what is essentially a day and a half trip. It’s the hassle of the travel and potentially not being able to fully enjoy seeing a new city in the little time we would have there. To be fair to DP, his brother puts very little thought or effort into any birthday gifts, so it just seems a bit much to do so much arranging and spending at fairly short notice for this. I have suggested we go later in the year but GF is adamant that it must be his birthday weekend. He will be home at Christmas for a week so not much point chipping in for them to come back in January as I don’t think they’d see it as a treat as such.
tbh I don't see that it's your place to declare the gf's plans won't work when it seems your DP and MIL don't feel the same.Since your MIL has been poorly she may want to make the trip. If there's a vast difference in timescale and costs if you visited BIL's city instead of the proposed destination then suggest they host the birthday meal in their own city (citing the practical reasons) and that they go away the weekend before or the weekend after.
It's a lovely idea to surprise a loved one for a milestone birthday. If you can't afford it then say that and only that. If other can go and want to they should including your DH by himself if that's affordable
YANBU. Like you, I think that is a massive amount of money for 2 days away (just the travel - obviously accommodation and food and other expenses to be added on), and also a massive amount of traveling / waiting at the airport / making connections / etc., for the amount of 'relaxing time' you would get for your break. I wouldn't go. I would suggest going out for a week or even 5 days or something at Easter or in the Summer instead.