Debating Whether or Not to Cancel a Family Vacation?

Updated on September 23, 2017
M.R. asks from Brooklyn, NY
19 answers

Hi ladies, I'm having a bit of a dilemma about an upcoming trip... My family (aunts, uncles, cousins) live across the globe and I've made plans to go visit them for a week in November, however due to finances my husband can't come along and will be staying home with our boy.

I'm already dreading flying alone, knowing how much I'm going to miss my boys and all I keep thinking about is how the money I spent on the flight could be going to something else like growing our savings, for example.

I haven't seen my cousins, aunts and uncles in a long time and I'm due for a visit, so my biggest issue with cancelling the trip is knowing how disappointed they're going to be when I break it to them. But as much as I miss them and want to see them, my priority right now is my family here at home. I keep telling myself that a week isn't long and I'll be back home before I know it, but really thinking about it's a long time to be so far from home. I just don't know what to do here... Is cancelling the trip a good idea?

Any thoughts?

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So What Happened?

Rereading my post I guess I really should've worded it differently and definitely added some more detail.
I think I made it out that my biggest concern is missing my husband. Of course, I am going to miss my family at home a lot but when I said "my priority is my family at home" I mean that in a few different ways.
No, we aren't broke or anything like that, but the flight was $1500 and I keep thinking that this could be going to savings, and to be more specific we are hoping to buy a home sometime next year and I know 1500 may not seem like much but it would be a big help in the long run. This is not going to be like a vacation for me, the streets over there are not very safe so I won't be able to be out and about very much, I'll just be staying at a cousin's house for the week, and unfortunately my company will not pay for the days I am off so I will be losing out on a week's salary. Seeing all the replies saying that family is so important and you never know what will happen tomorrow gave me a lot to think about!

Thank you all for all the great answers, I decided it might be best to go and get it over with since I already got the ticket.

More Answers



answers from Miami on

No. Cancelling your trip isn't a good idea. There is more to your life than your husband and children. One week isn't going to destroy your family.

Your extended family is important. You have a relationship with them. There are so many families out there who don't. All you have to do is read Mamapedia to see that. Go spend time with them.

The day that comes that someone in your extended family passes away is the day that you'll be so glad you spent some time with them.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Sometimes it is good for you to get away from husband and children and recharge. They are not and should not be your entire life. You are an individual!

Most plane tickets are non refundable so if you cancel... you just wasted the $$ on a plane fare. You already spent that money so consider it gone.

Your family will be fine. Do you not trust your husband to hold down the fort? It is not going to hurt your children to have you gone for a week. You'll likely come back recharged and energized.

I don't understand your dilemma unless you just decided you don't want to go anymore. The $$ isn't the issue anymore because you are already out the airfare.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You are with your husband and son 51 out of 52 weeks a year. That is literally 98% of the time. This trip will not only help you maintain your relationship with your global family, which is incredibly important, but will also give your husband and son a week together having "guy time," which is a great opportunity for bonding for them too. Go and see your family, trust that your husband is perfectly capable of holding down the fort at home (what he doesn't know he'll figure out), and enjoy the break.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I see you have decided to go, so I'd like to respond to the idea of flying alone. I flew once to Hawaii from Massachusetts, which is a fairly long set of flights. I too was hesitant. But once I got to the airport, it all seemed so much fun. I was on my own, just like when I was a teenager! No one to get to the bathroom, no one to help with their things. If I made a wrong turn, it didn't upset anyone else! I had a great book and some snacks for the flights and honestly loved the solo experience. In fact , I found myself looking forward to the flights back. Me time! Who knew?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Ok - just reading your response where you said "Just go and get it over with" changes my response.
If you're just doing this out of obligation or whatever - then I'd rethink it. I guess it would really depend on why you booked this in the first place .

Original: Why did you make the plans in the first place? It's because you wanted to see them.

So - given that, cancelling now because you feel you will miss your husband and son, is a wee bit irrational. Of course we miss people when we're away, but it's one week. I used to travel for weeks straight at a time when I worked and left my young family and husband home. You can do it - trust me. They will be fine, and time apart goes quickly (super quick).

When I have traveled (recently I saw my extended family) my kids didn't even notice I was gone. Instead of being disappointed (not saying you would be, but I kind of thought they'd notice I wasn't there) I was relieved. I have raised somewhat resilient kids. I think that's important. My husband also feels strongly I need to do things on my own - to replenish my soul to speak - so that as a woman, and of course mom/wife, I have my own things/experiences to contribute. Do it for yourself. I'm sure your husband would agree.

As for keeping it for savings, etc. Well - I just lost a family member. You never get that time back. I am happy I made the time along the way to visit. I don't think that should be your ultimate reason - but family is family - if you care about them, and they add a positive element to your life (your interactions with them) then by all means fit them in. And yes, they would be disappointed if you cancelled.

Is there some underlying issue here - perhaps anxiety or something that's nibbling away at you? I get that a bit at times. I would just realize it will all be ok - more than ok, it will be fun and a great opportunity for your husband and son to bond without mom there :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

This is a good lesson in finances - deciding what is impulse spending and what is valuable.

Personally, I think families and children are strengthened by finding out that their mom is a real person with real feelings and a love for family. It's good for them to learn that they can survive on their own for a week and that Dad is perfectly capable of taking care of things. It's good for them to appreciate all you do and to miss you. It's wonderful that you have this large group of relatives whom you love. It's very sad that you would say you were coming and then back out.

But I suspect there is more going on here. You have issues about flying, and you have emotions about being away from your kids. You need to address why you're unable to be alone or function alone because it's going to come up in other situations.

I think you should also look at the finances - what sort of penalty will you pay for cancelling the flight? And what other things do you plan to defer in the future because you want to grow your savings? Savings for what? I would think that visiting family and keeping that connection would be a great priority. But only you can decide.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

True, you could take the $1500 and save it for something else. But, you won't get to see your family and they are not getting any younger. A break from your immediate family to enjoy other family members is good for you. Enjoy your time with your family and take lots of photos of all members. Take a walk in the country side and enjoy the views.

A week is a short time to see family on such a trip.

I do not have family in Europe that I know. But I do miss the country side from when we were stationed there. Some day in the future I plan to go back and see how things have changed and stayed the same.

Good luck in your decision to go. Money comes and goes. It is what you do with it. Make a memory.

the other S.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Go Mama, See your family! I get that your priority is your husband and son. On behalf of them, take care of yourself and your extended family relationships. The more balanced you are the better mom and wife you will be for them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Personally, I think I'd jump at the chance to spend a week away from home with the blessings of my husband

Sorry, does that sound like I don't love my husband and our boys? I do love them very much, but sometimes I really could use a break.

I've been away from my boys for that long before twice. I did miss them, and I was really excited to see them at the end. But that break was also really, really good for me.

Life is a balance, right? Moms need time away, and I love seeing my extended family. I would go and have a great time! You'll miss your family, but you can call them and video chat at night. You will also very likely be super excited to see them when you get back. Hopefully they will also really appreciate you more when you return.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Cancelling the trip is NOT a good idea. If you have already acquired your airline ticket, then put your big girl panties on and go see your family.

Life is way too short and you don't know what the future holds.

You would feel way worse if the last time you saw one of them was the last time it's because you cancelled this opportunity to grace them with your presence.

Don't let your fear of flying get the better of you or the fact you will miss your husband and son. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Pack your bags and go. While you are there be very present with your family, focus on how good it feels to spend time with them and not how much you miss your husband and son.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

If things were so bad that you needed the money to keep a roof over your head - then under THAT circumstance it would certainly be reasonable to cancel.
One week really isn't a long time - and everyone needs and deserves a break.
Take this time and this trip to recharge your batteries.
You'll come back and feel a whole lot better for it.
It might be a long time before you can do this again so allow yourself to enjoy yourself.
It will be good for Hubby and son to miss you a bit for a week too - because they'll really appreciate you all the more once you come home again.
Take your trip, have your adventure and leave your doubts behind.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I agree with what others have said.

In addition, is your ticket even refundable? Most airline tickets aren't.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Most likely the plane tickets are at least partially non-refundable so that money is gone. But even if you could get your $ back - GO. You have no idea if/when you'll get the opportunity to see these relatives again, and the father-son bonding time will be great for them while you are gone. Yes, you will miss them, and they will miss you. But I still think you should go.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

i don't ever get to see my cousins. and i hate it, if i already booked a trip to go see them i would go. i see my husband and kids every day, i can take a week out of that time to go see other family.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Go see your family, it might be the last time you ever see some of them. It's a wonderful trip and it's normal to feel anxious. I suggest you go and enjoy it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

If you can't afford it, that's one thing. That can be a logical and practical reason to not do a thing.

Dreading missing 'your boys' is another issue. Potentially a crippling one. It is sometimes good to get away from spouses and kids to remember that we are individuals, not just wife/mom.

Because this is your primary worry, I think you need to keep your plans and go on your trip. Focus on your extended family. Don't be calling and texting your husband all day. He shouldn't initiate contact at all unless someone is bleeding on fire. You can wait until the end of each day to talk to him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I think you should go. It's really hard to make time to do things like this and really easy to keep putting it off every year. I've been in this same situation and I took one of my kids with me. I took my youngest who loves loves loves old people and hugs them my older relatives really enjoyed her. If you can't afford one more ticket then you should go yourself. Go for just 4 days there (one day flying on either side)...that is the perfect amount of time. If you can't be away from your husband for one week because you will miss him too much that makes me think you might be codependent (?!).



answers from Dallas on

I understand you wanting to be with your guys. I don't think I have been away from all of mine at the same time any times. Mostly when I have been in the hospital. I would love to get away and have a trip either with or without them especially if I would be seeing family I don't see often. I think it would be good for you to go unless it's costing you a LOT of money to go and can't afford it. Your husband and son will have a great time together and your son may not even notice you were not there.



answers from Chicago on

I just read your So What Happened and am glad for you that you decided to go. Life definitely is the 'proverbial' will be good to see family again and having been around once or twice, you will make the money back.