When a father posted his dilemma to Reddit, the internet was frothing at the mouth to respond. But not all may agree! You decide who the A-hole is...
AITA (Am I the A-hole) for making my kids pay for part of our family vacation?
My family and I hosted an exchange student from Prague a couple of years ago. Last fall, his family offered for us to visit and stay in their flat in Prague.
Free housing is always nice!
I researched airfares and asked my two kids if they would be willing to pay $1000 each to cover their airfare. At first, they declined but subsequently agreed. They are 16 (twins) and have summer jobs. They each already had enough in savings to cover the cost.
We are a middle class family (maybe more towards lower-middle class). My wife has a disability so we are a single-income family. We travel for vacations occasionally and I have never asked my kids to contribute to a vacation before.
The airfare turned out to be $775 each. When I let my kids know this, I was surprised that my daughter was nearly in tears. Her recollection was that I had told her the airfare was $375. This is the cost for the return airfare - I don't know where the miscommunication came in.
She is VERY fastidious with her money and this extra cost really upset her. I explained that the original amount I told them was $1000 and that this was a deal. I told her that she would have to pay the $775 or that she could not go. If I offered her a reduced fare, I would have to do the same for her brother. The trip would then cost me an extra $800.
My wife says that [I Am The A-hole] because parents shouldn't charge their kids to go on vacation.
A couple of her friends went to Europe with their families when they were teenagers and they didn't have to contribute financially. I feel that we wouldn't get to go otherwise and that most kids don't get to travel to Europe.
Reddit - What say ye?
Reddit screamed YTA (you're the a-hole) in perfect harmony.
YTA. If you cant afford that huge trip... dont go?
YTA - if it's a family vacation, parents pay. They are 16, not 26.
YTA based on age. High school kids shouldn't have to pay for a family vacation out of their savings! Let them save that money for college.
YTA for making children pay for a holiday. I get that they have dinner jobs, but those are usually considered to be for their own fun (shopping, video games, etc), for something they consider essential (laptops, phones, etc), or, and this is important, college savings.
I doubt that you're paying for college given that you won't even take your own family on holiday, so what do you expect your children to do about that? It's hard for a teenager to save $1,000, let alone the cost of an entire education. Your scheme here will see them both back where they started at the beginning of their savings. If you can't afford Prague, then don't go.
YTA and here's why. Your daughter is at an age where she is still going to feel very much left out of the family vacation if she can't go. She's not an adult who can take vacations in her own or with her SO and choose not to go with the family. She's not in her own house with her own adult life while you're all in Europe without her. She's sitting in the family home alone being excluded.
Or you don't exclude her but no one goes. Then your 16 year old has ruined it for everyone, and she had to live with that. Your kids should not have to pay you to be included in family life. And they shouldn't be blackmailed into spending their own money because 'if you don't go, no one can go.'
I find it infuriating that OP is putting this much responsibility on going on the vacation on his children. 1000$ is a lot of money for a 16 year old kid who is still in school. It's not surprising the kids wouldn't be able to get that much money together, either because they simply don't make enough money or aren't used to saving up yet- something OP clearly sucks at.
I’m appalled. I get that they are single income and middle class but like jeez- he’s basically saying “I bought me and my wife a ticket and we are going on this trip. You guys buy your own tickets to join along. Oh and if you dont, no one goes, so you ruin it for everyone”. This is first class emotional blackmail and I can tell OP just feels like “why should I have to pay the money for someone when my kids get to save theirs for themselves?” stomps foot