Should you allow your children to invite friends on a vacation? Take our quiz to help you decide whether to let your kids invite friends on a vacation.
Before agreeing to allow a friend to come along, think about whether you want this time to be exclusively devoted to family bonding. Once you've decided that, then it's time to consider whether you have room in the car or hotel, whether you can afford the added expense and whether you're willing to have the additional responsibility of another child.
Together with your child, write a hierarchical list of your child's friend preferences. If your first preference isn't available, make sure not to mention to the others that they aren't first choice!
The ideal friend is the one whom you and your child know well. This way, you know the friend's parents will be comfortable with your family dynamics and parenting style.
Don't invite the friend on vacation this time, but invite the friend over for more play dates and get to know the parents for next time.
You must make it clear from the outset that you need the parents to cover some or all of the costs of bringing their child along.
How clear you are to the friend and his/her parents about your rules and the consequences for breaking them will make or break the vacation. A good idea is to have the friend's parents tell their child that you are in charge for the duration of the trip.
It's a good idea to ask parents to provide a letter giving you authority to make medical decisions, as well as a copy of the child's insurance card. A letter saying you have permission to be looking after their child for the dates of the trip is also a good idea.
You should provide the parents of your child's friend with a detailed itinerary and contact information for you while on your trip.
You need to clarify how much money the child will have and what it will be used for. If the child gets extra spending money, you need to decide who will be responsible for managing it -- you or the child.
You need to consider how well your other children will get along with the friend, as well as whether all of your children can bring a friend.