Life Advice



Crowded vacation house leaves some exhausted

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Each year, my extended family takes a big trip with four generations -- The Grandparents, The Parents, The Kids and The Grandkids.

There are 15 of us, including spouses, in The Kids group. The Parents and The Grandparents make all the arrangements. We're simply told where and when.

The Parents find a large house to rent. The Grandparents, who are quite wealthy, generously pay for the rental. The Grandparents and The Parents' generations each get their own room, and The Kids make due with whatever space is leftover.

On the last trip, we arrived to find camping mats and sleeping bags on the floor for all of us. We've slept three to a bed, on couches, floors and hammocks. We always go home from these "vacations" tired and stressed.

The Kids are all between the ages of 28 and 37, and are almost all married.

My wife and I have suggested getting a second house, splitting the cost between The Kids, but The Parents insinuated that we were ungrateful and that we don't "prioritize family."


The other Kids all agree with us, privately, but won't bring it up.

Is there a better way to express our discomfort? We don't want to seem ungrateful or disrespectful. Or do we need to just make the choice between uncomfortable arrangements and uncomfortable arguments?

-- One of The Kids

Dear Kids: Next year, you should book (and pay for) a nearby rental for you and your wife. The Parents and The Grandparents are attaching way more value on the family all sleeping in one house than you do. But then again, they wake up each morning having slept in a bed.


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