There are a lot of reasons it can be a wise move to let your teenager take a friend with you on your family trip to Disney World. It can cut down on the rolled eyes and discontented texting, it can give your teen’s friend a chance to experience something new, and it can give you a chance to spend more time with your younger kids who may be more enchanted with the experience. But there are a few things to keep in mind before you take off.
1. Make a plan to talk to the parents
Don’t let the details of your trip be left to information filtered between you and your teen. Set up a time to talk the parents directly. Ideally you’d do this before you even extended the invitation so that no one gets upset if the parents are uncomfortable with the trip.
2. Get everyone involved
The friend you’re bringing along should be as much a part of the planning as everyone else in the family. Get their ideas and priorities in regards to the various theme parks you’ll visit, where you’ll stay, and what you’ll eat. This helps assure everyone’s expectations are similar.
3. Be clear and upfront about the costs associated with the trip
Make sure you know what you’re comfortable paying for and make those expectations clear to the parents of your teen’s friend. Some families expect the friend’s parents to pay for airfare but handle the rest, while others request a specific amount of money to handle costs. Still others may pay for the room but want the teen to bring their own money to pay for their own meals. Make sure both families are on the same page and comfortable with the arrangement.
4. Keep the other parents in the loop
Remember that your commitment to keeping the parents involved doesn’t begin and end at the pre-planning process. Give them a detailed itinerary with contact information for both you and the resort you’ll be staying in so they’ll know what to do if there’s an issue.