My brother is coming to my house for his vacations.

My brother is coming to my house for his vacations.

by Anonymous
(Brentwood, TN)

The thing is that we have not invited him and he is coming with his wife and 2 kids. We have no guest room nor a mini-van to accommodate all of them. He is not renting a car either. He just called me and said that he was coming to visit for 7 days with his wife and kids. Then he asked me if a date in June was okay with me I said okay and then he called me to tell me the airline, flight number, date and hour.....the only way I can accommodate them is on inflatable mattresses on the living room and I have no idea about how I can take all of us to any place because our car is a full size for only 5 people. What should I do or say....??

May 26, 2011
Brother and Family Visiting For Vacation
by: Kevin (Modern Manners and Etiquette)

This could be a difficult situation, but it is best to be honest upfront and on the phone. It will be less awkward to handle this via the phone instead of when he shows up and doing it face-to-face.

To some extent, you are on the hook because he asked you for your approval and you gave it. So, it is too late to back out now without offending him. There is a tactful, tasteful way to handle the situation.

I suggest calling him and having a conversation about sleeping conditions and travel arrangements. I would phrase it like this on the phone:

"Hi, we are excited to have you come visit and can't wait to spend some time with you. As we are getting things prepared for your arrival, I had a couple of questions for you."

(This will position the conversation that everything is fine and that you are just working out some "details" to have things ready).

Start with the car first as it is the lesser of the two issues. Let them know about the limitations of size on your vehicle and you can use seat belt laws as the bad guy as to why it wouldn't work. Ask him what he would like to do, and let him come up with the solution.

Then ask about the sleeping arrangements and let him know that you do not have spare bedrooms and ask if they don't mind floor mattresses. The reason you want to phrase it that way is because they might not have the financial ability to secure a hotel room for the family. This lets him know that there is a limitation but you are willing to work around it if they are. If they have a problem with it and they can get a hotel room, they will opt for it at that point and you will not have lost any respect in their eyes.

The sooner you handle this, the better it will be for everyone. Hope it works out!

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