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Friends, holiday - it seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I wonder.

(43 Posts)
Earlybird Wed 27-Feb-13 20:52:13

Dd and I are going on our first ever skiing holiday soon, and we are very excited. Typically our holidays consist of visiting friends, so this is a big event for us.

Through a family connection, I was able to rent a self catering chalet at a very good price (less than a price of a single room in the area lodges). The house is larger than we need (3 bedrooms), but the price/location are more than ideal. I've also arranged free ski equipment rental for myself/dd through an old school friend, and we have managed to borrow all the ski clothes we'll need. So, we have managed some good deals to defray some costs, as I know ski holidays are expensive.

As we we will have more bedrooms than we need, last week I asked a dear longterm friend (who now lives in another city) and her dh to join us. We have talked about getting together for a long time, and this could be a good opportunity.

My friend and her dh are fairly frugal as both have not worked for several years (by choice - they own two properties outright and have savings, so are not penniless by any means). Friend and i have agreed that I will pay chalet costs and she/her dh will do most of the cooking as they will not contribute financially (they both enjoy cooking, and he even recently considered training as a chef).

DD and I have made plans to do lots of fun things - skiing (with lessons), ice skating, cross country skiing, etc. I'm not sure my friend and her dh will want to join us (the money aspect, and she had shoulder surgery about 6 months ago), but there are other things they can do in the village to occupy themselves.

It is (obviously) fine if they don't join in with what we are doing, but I don't want to feel guilty about spending money and/or leaving them behind. She has already been snippy about sharing car rental costs, so I dread a week of us spending the way you do on holiday, and them being miserly and counting every penny.

Any suggestions about how to keep it a happy and harmonious holiday? I had imagined that this would be a lovely break for all of us, but my offer seems to have raised issues about money and how resentful she feels that I am not on as strict a budget.

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 18-Mar-13 16:48:04

how did the conversation go inthe end OP - have been thinking of you.

Astelia Wed 06-Mar-13 13:47:16

Good move OP. Sadly it will be worth every penny not to have them with you.

Your friend sounds like an old friend of mine. She wouldn't stop in a cafe and pay for a coffee, she would rather wait four hours until she was back home or at mine for a free drink. It was no fun and I soon stopped going out with her. Money wasn't an issue, she was a lawyer, but she hated spending.

givemeaclue Wed 06-Mar-13 13:12:12

She won't be able to get a refund on flights so this could end up costing you a lot op?

It was already going quite badly. I think you are right to wriggle out of it now. Your friend sounds so bloody selfish!

samuelwhiskers Wed 06-Mar-13 10:38:48

I read your post and didn't answer at the time but really pleased that you have seriously rethought your holiday with your friend if she is being that tricky already. I had a fantastic bonding ski holiday with my DD, we got on so well, had such a laugh and did exactly what we wanted without anybody interfering, it was the greatest memory bank holiday. Don't let them ruin your holiday with your DD. As you say, it it means refunding their airline tickets, well that is a small price to pay for you two to have a great time.

AMumInScotland Wed 06-Mar-13 10:28:36

I'm glad you've decided that - and it sounds like you've come up with a reasonably polite way of crying off, which she will hopefully accept without getting snarky about it all. You might manage to continue the friendship, though tbh it sounds as if it has run its course and you no longer have enough in common for her to actually be a friend any more.

Either way, at least you won't have a miserable and tense holiday!

ImperialBlether Tue 05-Mar-13 23:40:13

I'm so glad you came back to say that!

I was reading the thread feeling so sorry for you and your daughter. You were clearly so excited about the trip and it was so obvious that this couple were going to wreck it.

As soon as I saw they'd be cooking every evening, I wondered who would be paying for the food bill. If they are seriously frugal, the shopping trip for food would be very painful, given you want to treat yourselves.

I think you've realised the relationship is at an end anyway, so although yes, the cancellation will be the death knell of it, it's only hastening what was about to happen.

Think how awful it would have been if you were there and she was miserly and resentful. Cancel it and have a lovely time with your daughter. How old is she?

Gingerandcocoa Tue 05-Mar-13 19:26:44

Definitely the right decision!!!! Good luck with the conversation, I hope she doesn't make it too painful for you.

newbiefrugalgal Tue 05-Mar-13 19:21:29

I agree OP too many differences and problems now imagine once you actually arrive.

I hope you still go on your holiday??

WishIdbeenatigermum Tue 05-Mar-13 19:03:24

Good for you. I think you've made the right decision.
It may be the death knell for the friendship, but so would a tense holiday.

Earlybird Tue 05-Mar-13 18:37:32

Thanks to all for your advice.

I've purposely left this a few days to really think things through, and contemplate my options. I realise that since I invited my friend/her dh to join us, most of my thoughts have revolved around how to manage the situation so there is a minimum of conflict or upset. Rather than feeling happy that I can make something special possible for my friend/her dh (and we can enjoy each others' company), her comments and manner have made me feel anxious and apprehensive. And that is no way to anticipate a holiday.

I've played various scenarios through my mind, and know that an honest conversation about my concerns will not be received well. She will be furious/defensive/upset/hurt, and will lash out. I would gain nothing by going into the emotional side of this - and would be faced with an even more awkward situation with this concern 'out in the open'.

So, I have come to the conclusion that I will tell her that for various reasons, the trip is looking doubtful. I will say I am having second thoughts and can no longer commit. I will offer to cover any costs incurred if she is unable to get a full refund for the cancelled flights.

I want to enjoy myself with dd on this very special and long-awaited holiday, and don't want it to be spoilt. I feel tremendous relief that I will not be walking on eggshells all week. This whole experience has caused me to re-think the friendship.

hillyhilly Tue 05-Mar-13 11:10:02

Op, please come back and let us know how it went.
I'm just back from skiing - fantastic, I hope you can enjoy it as much.

assumpta Wed 27-Feb-13 22:19:51

I'm afraid I can't see this ending well. We went with friends when our dds were only little. We were blessed as our dd always settled well wherever we went and wasn't phased with new places. Their dd didn't settle so easy which was not a problem for us, but as her mother had come along for babysitting and was next to our room, every time our dd was settled and sleeping she would literally SLAM her bedroom door shut to try and wake our dd. she was, of course, quite successful with this set up. We tried speaking to our friends about it, but it was a disaster. There was built up resentment for a few years, and things are still not right. Never again!

MistyB Wed 27-Feb-13 22:04:08

Have a little song you hum in your head, when things become tense. Polish your halo at being so nice to offer someone a free holiday and bask in the glow. Don't let it be dimmed by your friends grumpiness.

Re car: send them the cost of ski transfer costs so they can compare the costs of the car.

Food: Could you stop off at a big supermarket on the way? Ask on the ski section and someone can point you in the direction of a supermarket between the airport and the resort.

FWIW, I think guest sometimes forget that you are doing them a favour and make suggestions / requests that are more appropriate to a travel agent than to a friend. It can sometimes help to make allowances for their thoughtlessness and hope they will be struck by their rudeness later. (Hopefully they will come to that realization before the holiday!!)

Have a stock phrase at hand (and perhaps a special face - 'are you fucking serious face' accompanied by an 'Oh, I don't think that would really work'.

Have a fab holiday and if your friends get into the swing of things, I hope they do to, if not, don't feel bad, it's them, not you!!

nkf Wed 27-Feb-13 22:03:56

It sounds to me as if you both resent each other. I don't see why you invited someone where you experience tension.

hillyhilly Wed 27-Feb-13 21:59:22

You won't need a car, you can get separate transfers from the airport and as they will be doing the food shopping, where they buy it and for how much, will be their problem. It is much cheaper to get down the mountain to a town to shop but that wastes valuable skiing time and it should be their problem not yours

nkf Wed 27-Feb-13 21:59:20

I wouldn't go if I were the friend. I think being with people on expensive holidays when there is an income discrepancy could be really uncomfortable. I'd hate to feel judged because I was "watching the pennies." I'd rather stay home.

deste Wed 27-Feb-13 21:53:40

Why should you change your flight, you are doing them a favour. If she wants to come on holiday she has to fit in with you. Either that they can hire their own car which you know they won't do. Have lunch up the mountain every day because you won't want to come all the way back, take your boots off only to set off again. Tell them what you have planned but tell them you will understand if they don't want to come. I would be falling over backwards if someone had offered me a holiday for the cost of a flight.

nkf Wed 27-Feb-13 21:51:09

I think, whatever you do, you've damaged a friendship. She's booked her flights. You're already feeling tense. I think calling her "miserly" is a bit mean.

NotGoodNotBad Wed 27-Feb-13 21:45:09

"although they are cheaky to think that you should coincide your times with theirs."

If your proposed flight times are so inconvenient for them, they should have checked with you first, shouldn't they?!

BalloonSlayer Wed 27-Feb-13 21:44:50

Tell her she doesn't have to worry about waiting in the airport for you... she can use all that fab public transport to get to the chalet.

I would say that if you were going to hire the car anyway though you might need to suck that one up. Just make sure it's only in your name, tell them it was more money to have them put on the insurance and as they didn't want to contribute, ah well < shrug >

teacher123 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:43:15

I would refund the flights. Worth every penny to me I think! Why don't they work (am nosey!)

theoriginalandbestrookie Wed 27-Feb-13 21:41:24

Well they have already bought flights so I think it would be the end of the friendship if you tell them they can't come now, although they are cheaky to think that you should coincide your times with theirs.

For car hire, it sounds like you will have to hire one anyway so I'd either bite the bullet and pay for it all yourselves or charge them the difference between what you would need to hire to fit your family and what you need for the extra two people and a proportion of the petrol.

You and your DD will be out during the day skiing so you can do your own thing at lunchtime. For meals at the chalet you need to agree who is paying for the food - seems from your first post that you will be paying for it all - is that correct ? I'd be a bit concerned about that, will they want to use gourmet ingrediants? Will you end up paying for their lunch stuff even if you aren't in?

I'd send an email listing the stuff you plan to do with your daughter as suggested by Ella then they are prepared in advance and can join or not, but if she has had shoulder surgery then probably won't want to do too many physical things anyway.

Future Note to OP and self - do not plan holidays with friends unless you have done it successfully before. It always backfires.

NotGoodNotBad Wed 27-Feb-13 21:39:55

"she thinks I have it 'easy' financially "
"She has not worked for 8 years, and her dh has not worked for 3 years. Both, by choice."

Ooh this would bug me - particularly if she wouldn't pay her way on the holiday, and made you feel guilty about doing what you wanted. Tell her if she's so hard up she can get a job!

Agree with the others - it would be better to get the discussions out of the way ASAP. You are very kindly offering them free accommodation - anything else is not your responsibility. And are you splitting food bills? The extra room doesn't cost you anything, but paying for their food would obviously.

"I emailed her to ask what sort of car we should look into renting, as I assume they might want to use it some if/when dd and I are off skiing."

Looks like if you go ahead, you ought to assume you are doing separate things and each paying for yourselves, and be specific about this. E.g. tell her, "We are renting a car for our family. If you want to use it as well we can split costs, if you don't want to, fine." As for the public transport issue - tell her to bloody well check it out herself in advance.

DontmindifIdo Wed 27-Feb-13 21:37:31

Mix up and now they can't come, you are very sorry and offer to refund their flights, it will be worth every penny....

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