How Much Money Would You Give/send?

Updated on August 20, 2013
S.E. asks from Landenberg, PA
20 answers

My 11 year old has been invited by her best friend's family to go with them for three days two nights to stay at the beach. She is super excited and I think it is fine except I am at a loss to figure out what I should send money-wise for her. Do I give her enough for all of her meals and entertainment? How much would that even work out to be? But I would not think they would expect her to handle the meal transactions, so do I offer the money to the mom to "handle?"


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So What Happened?

Thanks for the input all! I was laughing to hear those who don't spend any money at the beach, I hate this beach because there is a huge boardwalk with arcades etc and they'll be staying in a motel so every meal will be out! I think I'll send her with money and then offer the parents a gift card so "she can take them out for a meal". But, I'll be talking to the mom tomorrow. Thanks for all the insight it really helps to see how other people view things!

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

If my child invited someone as a guest we would pay all food, lodging, and planned activity expenses. I would only assume the child would bring money for souvenirs.

Just call the parents and ask how much money you should send.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

$0-I wouldn't dream of inviting someone to the beach, to my house, or anywhere and expect them to pay for anything.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

My conversations about this usually go like this:

"Thanks so much for offering to bring C to the beach, she's so excited to go! I'm figuring out how much money to send with her - are you planning any outings that we should factor into her spending money?"

Some families always respond with an unequivocal "please, we're happy to have her and anything that we do is our treat, don't send any money!" in which case I send along $40 with the child. I have a rule for these kinds of trips that the first $20 in true spending money (not covering an outing) is a gift, anything after that it a loan. That way they have money for incidentals but don't spend it just because they have it.

Some families will say "yes, we're going to the amusement park one day and admission is $35 it would be great if you could cover that, thanks for offering" and in that case, I give that money directly to the parent and then give the child some spending money.

There was only one case where I really couldn't get info in advance on whether or not they were doing something expensive and they're the kind of family who does impromptu, expensive things but can't afford to treat another child/doesn't expect to treat another child, so for that one I did send a lot of money ($200) and gave that to the parent. They did end up staying mostly at the house/beach so most of that did come home.

So just ask - most families won't take a child's money for a meal like dinner but if they're at the beach all day and get lunch from a vendor or something from the ice cream truck, it's nice for older kids to have cash. And most will assume that they are paying for activities for guests but with more expensive outings, it's nice if the guests can pay their own admission.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Ask the parents.

When we take one of our kid's friends somewhere with us, we pay for everything just as we would our own kids. My friends all operate the same way, but I know others do not.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

ask the mom how much she thinks you should send with your dd. i imagine they will cover everything, hence the invitation, but just in case, it's good if she has some money with her. i would think 200 bucks.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I agree with a couple hundred dollars. Chances are that she won't spend all of it and you'll get some back.
As an alternative, a friend provided a $100 gift card to a popular restaurant at the beach when we took her 15 year old along with my older daughter (then 16). The 15 year old treated us to dinner out on the last night. We paid for her other meals and she bought her own trinkets.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

Just call up the parents and ask.

They'll probably feed her so I would assume pocket money. In most cases the people who invite expect to pay for the bulk of the vacation, but it's not going to hurt to ask.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

ask about meals etc with the mom.
But send spending money for souveniers and beachside treats. I do expect to cover meals and stuff, but not always every little whim or souveniers. But check with the parents, I know extra mouths can really add up.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We have had many trips and taken a friend of our daughter along.

Most of the time, a family has just asked us about expenses.

The way we always did it and made it clear to the family... We paid 100% (airfare, hotel, food, amusements, etc) everything with exception to personal souvenirs the guest might purchase to bring home. My thought process on that is if I invite, I pay.

One 1 occasion, as a thank you, the parents insisted on giving $100 to hubby and me to use to go out to dinner which was very thoughtful. Other than that, I received some very thoughtful thank you notes soon after we returned home.

I hope your daughter has a wonderful time!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

When we go to the beach we do not eat out every day and for every meal, but if this family does eat out a lot.. I agree, ask the mom about how much she thinks she will need or give the mom the money. I was thinking $60. per day is more than enough for meals. So give her $200

Or send her with less and tell the mom when they get back to let you now if you owe her more.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

When we took along an extra kid I paid for everything. That's the cost of doing business with a single daughter. Cruises, flights, hotels, meals, theme park tickets...everything. I remember even paying one of her friend's luggage fees a few times to send her back home. Conversely, when my daughter traveled with friends I sent her with money to treat the family to dinner or buy goodies.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I would ask the parents how much they think she will need for activities and such. Most likely they will not expect her/you to pay for admission to places. If I invited my son's friend I would assume I would pay for him, but you should offer.

I WOULD send along a bit of money for souvenirs (or have her take money she has saved) even if they are planning on paying for activities. Even if they would buy her something, kids like to be in charge of their own money for things like that, you know?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

$150for three days. Chances are they will pick up everything food related. Anything on the boardwalk etc. your daughter should take care of.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I assume you are close with the family if you are letting your daughter go on a trip with them. Ask them. Though I assume everything minus souvenirs would be covered.

If you don't feel comfortable asking, send her with $200.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I would just ask. They might assume you'll give them some money for her and be wondering why you haven't asked how much she'll need. Then they may also expect to cover all her expenses.

I'd want her to have some money to have though. Just something in her pocket if nothing else. If they do have diet preferences she'll need to understand that.

For instance, if they don't allow their kids to eat candy then it would be rude of her to go spend some of her money on candy and eat it in front of them. Same with pop, desserts, anything that the mom or dad don't allow she needs to stay away from that.

My granddaughter went on a road trip with a friend. She packed some Barbie's and other stuff to play with on the trip. The mom freaked out because she says Barbies are offensive and blah blah blah.

She took the Barbies from my granddaughter and put them in a box to send home with her when they got back. The other kids had toys and my granddaughter didn't have anything to play with and she was miserable. They didn't bring enough to share due to their limited packing space.

So be aware of any differences between the friends family and yourselves so that everyone can have a great time on this trip.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Just to add - maybe send a gift to the parents too. (Flowers, etc)



answers from Boston on

It's just 2 nights. Maybe $50 though mom might decline. I would send juice, snacks n fruit.



answers from Harrisburg on

We just took my daughter's friend to the beach with us for a week. I told the mom that she was our guest. If we were going out for a meal (which we did most nights for dinner) - we would pay. If we were doing something for entertainment as a family - we would pay. We would go to the grocery store and buy food for breakfast, lunch, and snacking, and we would pay. I would never invite a child and expect the parents to pay for her food or entertainment. daughter is a bit older than yours (14), so I told the mom that if the girls were going out without us for ice cream or whatever - the girls would be paying. I also told her my daughter would be paying for any of her own souveniers so that if he daughter wanted some, she should bring money for them.

Every family operates differently though. My daughter's friend's mom asked me straight out. What will she need money for and how much should I send. I think it's important to have an open conversation before the trip so that there are no misunderstandings.

Some have mentioned a gift for the parents. Would have been nice...but we didn't expect one...and weren't offended that we didn't get one. It was a nice treat for our daughter to have her BFF at the beach with her. The girl's family won't reciprocate. They don't have the money to go on vacation themselves, so they would never be able to. We did it because it was something we wanted to do for our daughter. And it was a nice treat for her friend to be able to go on a week long vacation. I don't think her family has ever done so before.


answers from Grand Forks on

Check with the parents. When we go to the beach we do not go out to eat or pay for entertainment. We cook all of our meals ourselves, and entertainment is being at the beach, or going for walks/hikes, playing at the playground etc. We might go out for ice cream or rent a boat or canoe, but I really wouldn't expect a guest to pay for that. I don't know any families that go out to eat when at the beach, or spend money on entertainment. I usually send my boys with $20 and tell them to treat the host family to ice cream if they go out.



answers from New York on

I would ask the family - but consider that if they go to a snack bar or grab some lunch she will need spending money. I wouldn't send her with less than a couple of hundred. Since she is 11, I'd ask the mom to handle the money for sure.

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