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Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Vacation Costs with Friends and Adult Children


Hi Cynthia,  I am hoping you can help me out with this issue for our vacation this year. We are going with another couple, their son and his finance will be coming as well.  The adult children are out on their own and are both professionals.  We booked a house in the spring that is quite large.  When we were booking it was stated that the son would help with the rental costs. Now that the vacation is looming and the balance is due there is no more talk of the son's monetary participation and I not sure how to broach the subject of what amount is due for the rental.  Can you give me some advice on how to do so?  We are talking about 1000.00 if the 3rd couple (son) does not contribute....Thank You!  Barb

Dear Barb:
The best way to handle this situation since your rental plans included the son paying his share is to approach the son directly with an invoice in hand (or by email) and sweetly state that deposits are now due based upon his promises and intentions when last contacted about the vacation.  Make sure you tell him when the deadline for payment is due and who to send it to with address and phone number of that person (even it is you).  
Make sure you also tell him how much you are looking forward to spending time with him and getting to know his fiancÚ better too.

Most people wait for the planner to make all the overtures for the logistics including payment and that may be what is happening.  Also, parents may want to have their grown son act like a grown up and handle his responsibilities himself rather than getting involved.  

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Cynthia W. Lett


Proper manners with friends,family,colleagues,neighbors and everyone else you know.


I have been an etiquette expert teaching and consulting on the subject worldwide since 1983. I started and serve as the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and am considered a leader in the field of etiquette and protocol training and execution. I edited "Etiquette for Dummies" and have recently written "Lett's Talk - Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas and What to Do about Them". My book, "That's So Annoying:An Etiquette Expert on the World's Most Irritating Habits And What To Do About Them" was published in 2009 and is available wherever books are sold. I taught the Business Protocol class to Master's level students at the George Washington University, Washington, DC for seven years I served as Chief of Protocol for MCI Telecommunications for three years.

International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, ASTD, PCMA, National Speakers Association

I have been quoted over 700 times in the past 5 years worldwide. Publications include Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Washington Business Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, London Times, Newsweek Japan edition, Newsweek US edition and many many more.

I am a Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) earned by examination through ISPEP. I have a Master's degree in hospitality law and undergrad degrees in Restaurant & Hotel Management and Public Relations/Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University.

Awards and Honors
Who's Who Worldwide,Who's Who of American Women, Distinguished Darden Professor (Purdue University).

Past/Present Clients
World Bank, United Nations,US Dept. of State, US. Dept. of the Army, Pentagon, Barclays Global Investors,Accenture,Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, The White House, Dept. of State, AT&T,Bank of America,American Association of Clinical Pharmacies,Ritz Carlton Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels,Starwood Hotels,and many more.

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