Most people look forward to family vacations with an equal amount of excitement and dread.
On the plus side, there is the (hopefully) exciting destination everyone is traveling to.
But spending copious amounts of quality time with one’s family can prove to be both a blessing and a curse, depending on various circumstances.
Redditor Stock-Campaign8854 was looking forward to an upcoming vacation at a tropical resort.
Unfortunately, the original poster (OP)’s younger sister couldn’t afford it on her own and went to the OP for help.
While the OP was willing to help out his sister, he was only willing to do so under one condition.
Which proved to be an absolute deal-breaker for his sister.
Wondering if his solution was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not paying for my sister’s vacation because she won’t agree to babysit?”
The OP explained how he made an offer to her sister which would allow her to join the family vacation, but she felt it was asking too much.
“My (32 M[ale]) family is planning a vacation for this summer.”
“Both my parents, my older brother, and my SIL, my younger sister Camila (22 F[emale]) and my husband, my two kids (10 F and 8 M), and I are all planning to go.”
“We are planning to stay in a resort for two weeks.”
“This will obviously be a bit expensive (at least 2k USD per person, and that is an enormous amount of money in my currency).”
“Camila is in her last semester of university and will start a full-time job in August.”
“Right now, she’s not working and lives with my parents (not passing judgment on her for being unemployed because my brother and I went through the same at her age).”
“Camila called me last week to ask if we could pay for her ticket and accommodation (my parents would pay for food and activities).”
“My husband and I can comfortably afford our family, but adding Camila would put financial pressure on us.”
“I told her that I would discuss it with my husband and then I would call her.”
“So my husband and I agreed that we would be willing to pay for her if she would babysit our children on certain occasions.”
“Of course, not every day and without notice, but at least twice a week for two hours for two months.”
“She would basically be the replacement for our current babysitter.”
“Anyway, I texted her basically saying what I just wrote, and she replied, ‘Absolutely not’.”
“So I called her to ask why she was so against this arrangement, which I think benefits both of us: she gets to go on vacation, and we have a babysitter we trust and don’t spend more than our monthly budget.”
“Camila said that we were manipulating her into doing unpaid labor to us and forcing her to say yes because neither our brother nor parents could afford to pay for her.”
“She also said that she’s way too busy with her last semester of uni and finals.”
“I told her that she could do all of her school stuff in our house, my children are very well-behaved and need very little supervision, but she still said that she wouldn’t do it.”
“So I then told her that I was very sorry, but if she didn’t accept, then we couldn’t pay for her to go on the vacation.”
“So now she’s incredibly mad at me.”
“But now my mom is also angry with me because she wants to have a family vacation, and she knows my husband and I do have the money to pay for Camila, and ‘family helps family,’ which I agree with, but I believe that help must be reciprocal and right now Camila is not reciprocating that help.”
“My brother and dad just want to settle this down, and they are not taking sides.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for only agreeing to pay for his sister’s vacation if she also babysat his children.
Everyone thought that the OP came up with a fair compromise, agreeing that the OP’s sister shouldn’t have expected to be treated completely by the OP.
Though some people did question why the family was throwing such a costly vacation, knowing the price would be an issue for some.
“So, ‘family helps family’ only when it comes to paying for expensive vacations, but not for childcare. Gotcha!”
“Your sister is living on another planet Op.”
“Lol, ‘Unpaid labor’?!”
“Did she miss the part where her pay was a $2k holiday?”
“This is a win-win for both of you.”
“In fact, she comes out slightly more on top from the whole deal.”- floppybunny86
“NTA at all!”
“Your sister is a piece of work and spurning an incredibly generous offer.”
“Her labor is far from ‘unpaid.'”
“Looking at your arrangement, you are asking for approximately 35 hours of labor in return for a $2000 trip.”
“That is close to $60 an hour.”
“That would be an amazing offer for a 22-year-old in the US, and I am guessing from the ‘my currency’ answer that you live in a lower cost of living country than the US, where the offer is even more generous.”
“You are NTA at all.”
“Your sister sucks.”- Mountain_Affect3782
“4h a week, for let’s call it eight weeks for easy math, that’s 32 hours.”
“For $2k… and she said no.”
“I hope her new career is going to be as a highly paid neurosurgeon or something if that’s the sort of money she TURNS DOWN.”- gnothro
“Not an a**shole for not paying if she won’t babysit. That’s fair.”
“But I do think whoever planned this holiday is an a**hole for planning such an expensive holiday when it’s obvious that one family member is going to be unable to afford it and, therefore, will be excluded.”
“Can you offer for the deal to start after her finals?”- TheMightyKoosh
“It’s not free labor. It’s prepaid labor and at a great pay rate even.”
“She is free to turn down the offer if she doesn’t feel able to take on a job in addition to school.”
“But there’s no call to badmouth you for offering fair and generous terms.”
“That’s where she crossed the line over to AH.”- SearchApprehensive35
“Twice a week for a couple of hours for two months is a pretty good deal considering you get a 2k holiday out of it.”
“NTA. It is not your responsibility to pay for her, so this was a pretty fair deal.”- Puzzleheaded_Ant_543
“However, you say at least twice a month.”
“Do you also have a max?”
“Otherwise, why didn’t the family plan a cheaper vacation?”
“And this one after Camila starts working or next year?”- Ok_Possibility5715
“Babysit or have her sign a promissory note (legal and all) that she has to pay you back.”
“I bet she has to work more than 35-ish hours to pay off the note.”
“Family or not, she’s not entitled to your money for free, and your parents are also AH if they can’t see that.”
“You aren’t asking her to work for free.”
“Indeed, you can easily work out a $ per hour by dividing that $2000 by the number of hours of babysitting you have asked for.”
“The number of hours you’re asking for is also not going to interfere with her studying. That’s ridiculous.”
“Stick to your guns.”
“If your parents think someone else should pay for her to attend, let them.”
“If they can’t afford it, they should stop mentally spending other people’s money.”- YouSayWotNow
“Why can’t your parents pay for her, or split it between the six older adults who are going?”-stepintothefairyring
“You are paying her $2000.”
“That’s over $60/hour with the arrangement you are proposing.”- JustMeLurkingAround-
“NTA maybe ESH for the family.”
“The family arranged this vacation knowing Camilla is still studying and unemployed, so likely will need someone to pay for her to go, or she can’t go.”
“Was that thought about when it was planned?”
“Does that make her feel bad to start with?”
“She has asked you to pay; you are already spending enough and are entitled to say no as it would put pressure on you financially.”
“But you came up with a solution so you could pay for her, and she can work it off so she can go, and your finance are ok cos you will save them money.”
“It’s a nice solution, except for the normal babysitter losing money for two months.”
“I would want to know if Camilla is spoilt and used to getting her way, or she’s been put in a situation by bad family planning where she wants to go be with you but also has to study for her last semester and the babysitting feels like too much on top so is asking for help.”- No-Arrival4793
Two thousand dollars is a lot for just about anyone to fork over for a vacation.
Even so, asking someone to simply cover it without offering something in return is a rather presumptuous thing to do.
Nor does it seem like something which should fall entirely on the shoulders of the OP.
Perhaps if the family all contributed, it might be a little more equitable.