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Old 05-14-2018, 11:49 PM   #1
Bretz
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Default Vacationing with Friends - Do you split costs?

When you go on a vacation with a group of friends, I am curious how you split the costs.



Specifically, if you have a lake/vacation house or houseboat, do you pass on any of those costs to those that go with you?



We have been partners on a houseboat on Lake Powell for years. Our current boat is rather small (47'), and relatively inexpensive per week, and for the last 5 years I have just completely subsidized the vacation in that we divide up expenses (mainly fuel and food), and divide it out by the number of people that go. The last several years that meant a one week vacation turned out to be less than $300/person.



I looked at a new to us partnership, a boat that is much bigger and more luxurious, and that would also be significantly more expensive.I am wondering if it would be unreasonable to include at least some of the fixed costs of the houseboat into a group expense? That would likely be another $200 - $300 per person, for a total of $500 - $600 per person for a full week.



Does that sound reasonable? I am getting some push back from my better half because we would never consider charging people for use of the Malibu at the lake. But to me, the houseboat costs are different.



Thoughts?



And, since everyone likes photos, here is the potential purchase. Or something similar, as I am not 100% sold on this one.



And the current boat.

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Old 05-15-2018, 12:46 AM   #2
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Ryan, I look at it this way; if it is a day trip in the Malibu that you are going to do yourself anyway and some friends come along (invited or you know, the other), just bring some stuff to share and help with the boat at the end of the day. On the other hand, if it is a vacation trip in the Houseboat, that is a completely different animal. This is a communal venture and understood that all expenses shared by all. Remember, you are setting a precedence for future behavior with this group. Don't take on more than you can control, after all, it's your stuff. Every reasonable person should understand the cost and shouldn't need a sharp stick poked in their eye to get the picture.

When I go on a fishing trip with just my fishing buddy or a group of friends we roughly estimate the expenses, fuel, lodging, meals, etc. then everybody kicks in to a kitty to cover the expenses for the trip. A treasurer appointed and he/she handles the money for expenses. If adjustments needed they are split among the participants to finish the trip. No one gets hurt or disadvantaged.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:34 AM   #3
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Personally, I think it's very reasonable. I've been on several boating trips, since the mid 90's, where this has been the norm. Lodging, food and fuel. We've mostly rented cabins but there were 2 years we rented house boats at Table Rock Lake. Also, each family has always taken their own boat. There was a family that we use to boat with that took advantage of the fuel price sharing by filling up as he was leaving at the end of the week. Needless to say, we don't invite them any longer.

Day trips I've always treated differently. Those are free, unless someone is insistent and hides money for me to find later, which has happened.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ICT LPX View Post
Personally, I think it's very reasonable. I've been on several boating trips, since the mid 90's, where this has been the norm. Lodging, food and fuel. We've mostly rented cabins but there were 2 years we rented house boats at Table Rock Lake. Also, each family has always taken their own boat. There was a family that we use to boat with that took advantage of the fuel price sharing by filling up as he was leaving at the end of the week. Needless to say, we don't invite them any longer.



Day trips I've always treated differently. Those are free, unless someone is insistent and hides money for me to find later, which has happened.


On the gas. Depends if he started full for the trip. You should end the way you started and full is the most fair.



Ryan. I believe the boat cost should be included in cost of vacation if more that a couple of days.


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Old 05-15-2018, 07:12 AM   #5
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I'm with you Ryan and if the Malibu is also being used by all during that week I expect half of the gas as well. It's a vacation together that means split the cost. I wouldn't have a problem with that. I goon vacations with my brother every year and we split it.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:33 AM   #6
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Completely reasonable with the houseboat and I also think the Malibu should be included if used a lot on the vacation. I look at a day trip as being completely different and wouldn't expect help on the expenses. BTW....pretty sweet houseboat!! I don't have that many friends to fill up all of that space...LOL!
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:12 AM   #7
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I agree with all above. Split the total cost including the houseboat. You can't rent a hotel room or cabin that cheap.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:30 AM   #8
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Totally reasonable and the new/upgraded sweet houseboat is a great way to introduce this new plan to those that have been previous guests. Most people I know, including myself, offer to pitch in just on a daily boat ride.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:35 AM   #9
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I'm on the other side. I presume you get more use from the houseboat than this week during the year, right? so your decision to get a larger house boat shouldn't have an impact on the others costs to enjoy it with you, when you'd otherwise be enjoying it by yourself. Same on a lake house, if I buy a larger house, i wouldn't start charging for people to come stay because I'm buying it for me and my use primarily. Other expenses (food, gas, etc) absolutely, but not the lodging.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:04 AM   #10
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If it were a lake house, I would say split the costs of food, as you get the interest mortgage expense on your taxes. If you bought a larger house, they get to stay as your guests, it doesn't move, they bring food, treat you to dinner out one night, etc.
On the houseboat, I say the split of the costs of the houseboat is reasonable. Besides, if you go somewhere for 7 days and you're paying less than $100 / day per person, sorry, but I think that is a good deal---and yes, I would make it clear---guys, newer house boat, bigger size, bigger expenses, but still, it is a good deal. We split houseboat gas and food expenses. Besides, it is a depreciating asset and you'll still have to pay for outdrive service, engine service etc. If you price out a Cruise (even a 4 day from Long Beach to Mexico)---you'll not get by for less than $100/day for the trip---with an inside cabin. Then you start paying for drinks, tips, etc. I think your costs and cost sharing for the house boat is fine.

On the Malibu--you're going to bring it along. Very considerate, long term friends / good family will know to offer to kick in for gas--it's up to you whether to accept. On my boat, when I invite people along for a day of cruising, I normally don't expect anything--it is my treat. I invited some college classmates that I hadn't seen in 33 years out boating last weekend---at the end one offered to pay---as I said, "Guys, it was my treat." Close friends always offer to bring food, beverages, adult beverages, etc. My brother has paid for gas---he knows what a boat truly costs as he owns a small one---and he and I normally split the dinner tab when we take the families out. My sister never has offered and has even said, "Wow nice boat! You must be doing really well." She's never been invited back as her implication is "you can afford it." She's like the individual in the post above that took advantage of have their gas tank filled before they departed for home to have the group pay for their expenses.
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