Each year, my parents and my in-laws try to plan a family vacation. Right now, I am in grad school and have a mortgage to pay, so our vacation budget is rather sad and does not allow us much money to play with. Being that I'm a teacher, I'm also pretty much restricted to the summer months, which tend to be a bit more expensive around here.
My parents rent a beach house each year and invite us down. My DH gets 2 weeks of days to be used as sick or vacation each year. Typically we try only to use 1 wk of his days as there are occasions when he might be sick, need a personal day, etc. His parents sort of change up what they're doing each year.
Here's the thing: my parents invite us, and basically won't take money from us. I offer it each year, and they turn me down. So usually we bring them a nice hostess basket, buy groceries for the house for the week, and take them to dinner to make a contribution. This, admittedly, leaves some money to play with for family vacation.
His mom finally got the hint last year that we don't have money for vacation and it becomes this big issue for her-- she had planned a multi- thousand dollar Hawaii vacation, and we had to be totally honest with her that we didn't have that budget. My parents actually want to invite them down this year, and I thought this would solve our problem. They're renting a home with a detached cottage so there would be some privacy, and everyone would get to have vacation together.
When I brought this idea up to his mom earlier she told me that it wouldn't count as a family vacation for her family, as it is a house my parents are renting. Now I am sort of at a loss. The home rental is for a week-- we really don't want to use any more days. She already seems offended, and I am just unsure of what to do with a meager budget. When I offered a weekend trip (trying to avoid taking too many days) she got even more offended. I've decided to give it some more space, but just want to get your take on this.