I let my family pay for my vacation. They can afford it. I can't. They want to see me. I want to see them.
I totally get that - I guess my shock just came from the fact that nobody's ever reevaluated how vacations get paid for. We started doing this 20 years ago, and based on a group of 15 and everyone's financial positions at the time, it made sense for my dad to pay for 1/3 of the house (his group of 5), my uncle to pay 1/3 (ditto), and Grandpa to pay 1/3. The 2 aunts and my cousin wouldn't have been able to come otherwise. We're a pretty close family, we wanted everyone there.
Not a big deal when Grandpa's working, all the cousins are 10 or under, and you're staying in a cramped little house a couple blocks back from the beach.
But when the house has ballooned to an extravagant monstrosity right on the water? When the group has expanded and grown up (half of the cousins are out of college and working now), and nobody is riding the line of destitution anymore... an even 3 way split doesn't make sense at this point
My dad approached me, my uncle approached 2 of his kids, and asked if we were willing to pitch in for our own share of the house. Granted, the 3 of us are splitting a single room with 2 sets of bunk beds. Each of us covering 1/3 of a single bedroom, in an 8 bedroom house, isn't huge money. Still, we're functional, working adults. It was actually a little surprising that we haven't been asked to contribute sooner (and after discussing it internally, the sanity of the older generation is now in question for letting this go on for so long).
I get that my cousin is needing to pay for multiple rooms (1 for her and husband, 1 for 3 kids), compared to my little portion of one room, but come on. The fact that she committed to the vacation, and then backed out the minute she found out she'd have to pay for it? And has since refused to talk to specific family members that she blames for shaking everything up? It's f'ing petulant.
Hell, maybe it's responsible that she backed out, and they really can't afford it. Better than putting it on credit cards, I guess.