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Parents in law and holiday bill - please tell me who is in the wrong!

272 replies

spandauballet · 27/04/2022 17:28

Husband and I get on well with his parents (mum and step dad). They live in Cornwall, we go down regularly, they come up to London to see us etc. They are lovely, generous, very hands on with our kids etc.

In Jan we agreed we'd all go on holiday together this year. We went to Majorca together in 2017 which was lovely, so decided to go again this July and also include my dad who gets on well with them too. In March MIL found 5 accommodation options and sent them to us, saying we can choose out of those, they don't mind. We chose a 4-bed apartment, consulted everyone, and I booked and payed (£2400), with us all agreeing to split costs (40% us, 30/30% parents).

Over Easter we went down to Cornwall for a week and whilst there DH had a disagreement with his stepdad. Nothing to do with holiday whatsoever but ended in very heated discussion and MIL getting upset. (Neither were right or wrong just different opinions and they should have just agreed to disagree). Without consulting us MIL booked separate accommodation for July, saying she needs “somewhere to go should things kick off whilst we are on holiday”. She also decided without discussion that what we had booked is not big enough.

When asked, she stated they would not pay their share of the one I'd already booked. This leaves us with £750-ish added to our holiday bill without any consultation. I am livid. Neither of them seem to think this is bad since we are "getting use of an extra bedroom". I don't need an extra bedroom - our kids are 5 and 2 and will share.

AIBU to think you can't just decide not to partake in an agreed holiday without paying your share? If I had already got their share, she would not have booked a new place! What do I do now?

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Momicrone · 27/04/2022 17:30

That is very cheeky and petulant, are you able to change?

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FieldOverFence · 27/04/2022 17:30

I'd be cancelling as you wouldn't be able to pay that extra cost ...

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Toponeniceone · 27/04/2022 17:31

Bloody hell, that's awful of her.

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WeDontShutUpAboutBruno · 27/04/2022 17:32

If it really is just an 'agree to disagree' situation then they are in the wrong here.

Are they usually so dramatic over a minor disagreement, or are you downplaying it? It seems like a pretty extreme reaction.

I think I would try and cancel the accommodation if possible and get somewhere cheaper, and not go on holiday with them again. If you do I would get the money upfront before booking anything.

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sillysmiles · 27/04/2022 17:33

If possible, cancel and book somewhere else for you and your Dad.

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tryingtosettle · 27/04/2022 17:33

Can you cancel without fees?
Other option is can you invite other people, family members from your side, your dads friends etc.

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ManyATime · 27/04/2022 17:34

They are behaving terribly. Can you cancel the whole thing?

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TiddleyWink · 27/04/2022 17:35

Cancel the holiday. It’s bound to be a disaster. She has committed and pulled out leaving you out of pocket. The consequences is no holiday with her grandchildren.

Have you got a text or email where she offeeed up this accommodation and said she was happy? I’d be pulling that out to wave at her when I told her exactly why the whole thing was cancelled.

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Quartz2208 · 27/04/2022 17:35

What happens if you cancel? Get somewhere else or is there somewhere else

But they are at fault

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PatchworkElmer · 27/04/2022 17:35

Can you not just cancel and find something else? Has MIL contributed to the deposit?

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I8toys · 27/04/2022 17:35

Cancel and use the money to go somewhere else without them.

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Discovereads · 27/04/2022 17:36

You have time to rebook, have you contacted the accommodation to see if you could switch to a smaller place they manage or do a no cost cancellation and book elsewhere?

You also have time to invite another relative along? Any brothers or sisters, or aunts or uncles or close family friends who might want to join? I recently had to do this on a holiday my adult DD and her boyfriend backed out the month before so I invited my brother in their place.

I can see your MILs point, if there is a tense atmosphere now in the family. However, if you cannot rebook or invite another party along I would then tell her that you’ve gone to every effort to plug the hole she’s left, and ask her to pay her share as the bedroom they would have had will sit empty. She should pay the 30% she’d agreed on.

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Theunamedcat · 27/04/2022 17:36

I woukd see if I could change the accommodation and possibly the dates as it woukd be too awkward now

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Theworkhouse · 27/04/2022 17:36

I'd cancel i'm afraid. It's a lot of money to have suddenly added, when presumably you have budgeted. I'd book a smaller place for you and your Dad. Whether you still include them in your plans is up to you, but you don't want bad feeling on your looked forward to holiday. Very childish behaviour.

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namnamnam22 · 27/04/2022 17:37

Agree with @I8toys

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JackieQueen · 27/04/2022 17:38

That's terrible behaviour! How could she do that to her son! It's not like it's £50, where does she think you're going to find £750 from?!. I'd be telling her to book her new holiday in another country!

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Montuaklighthouse · 27/04/2022 17:38

That’s pretty outrageous tbh.

On the other hand if your DH / FIL have form for kicking off and causing drama I can see why she wouldn’t want to stay in the same house.

Irregardless if the above, MIL committed to the booking and can’t just not pay for it as it’s leaving you with £750 to pay! It’s hardly like £50 or £100 which would be really annoying but possibly doable for some people.

I would probably cancel the whole trip and not go now as it would feel like it’s under a cloud of potential drama ahead.

Or, MIL is using this as an excuse to get out of the holiday - perhaps she felt railroaded into joining the hols originally…

There has to be more to it than just a random disagreement.

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BungleandGeorge · 27/04/2022 17:38

Can’t you still cancel as it’s more than 8 weeks away? Would that be cheaper than their share? They shouldn’t have pulled out at this stage, no. It might be for the best though, might have been a bit much

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SolasAnla · 27/04/2022 17:40

You do nothing.

You leave any discussions to your DH and his parents. They started you don't need to be dragged into it.

If there is a cancellation policy you should cancel your current place and rebook for yourself and your DF.
If not, write off the amount and you don't get involved in looking for the money. Leave that to DH.

Your MIL will back her DH over DH but will forgive DH faster than you if it is all resolved before the holiday.

Yes his parents should pay the money to him (and you) but you can't control or infulance that.

Make a note to never ever to spend your money on a joint agreement again. If you book it you get the money paid directly or transferred to your account first.

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titchy · 27/04/2022 17:40

Two separate issues. Perfectly reasonable for them to book elsewhere in case of arguments. NOT ok to expect you to pay for it though.

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tortadicarote · 27/04/2022 17:42

Cancel and book a smaller place, if possible. If not, I'd be sure she knew I wasn't happy to be paying more. I'd think long and hard before agreeing to holiday with them again, and I'd never book without getting payment first. It's a shame, but she's being very unreasonable.

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Momicrone · 27/04/2022 17:42

I'm guessing it's the husband demanding it

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bellabasset · 27/04/2022 17:42

I'd be furious and in fact not want to go with them in view of her very childish behaviour. I'd try to cancel and rebook in another venue, possibly selling the accommodation on.

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Gazelda · 27/04/2022 17:42

Does she really feel it's OK to add £750 to your costs?

What does DH say?

I think your DH should handle this one.

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KarmaStar · 27/04/2022 17:43

I think mil acted in the heat of the moment.
Before you decide about the holiday you four need to sit down together and talk things through and see if the men can agree to disagree and you can get your normally happy relationship back to how it was hopefully.🌈
Then perhaps she can cancel what she booked (she may have only said she had,you never know😀).
It's so easy to have a knee jerk reaction but we have to think things through and see how it will affect relationships going forwards.
Good luck.

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