Disinviting friend on vacation
About a year ago, I made reservations for a trip. At the time, I didn't think anyone would go with me, so mentioned it to a number of friends, who were all non-committal. Then, about five months ago (once I had all my permits), four friends (one of whom is my boyfriend) all decided they wanted to go. It wasn't a big deal to me then, since I figured at least 1-3 would drop as the date got closer.
I'm now trying to make final reservations, but there's a bit of an issue...there are just too many people.
One friend (and the partner of one of the other people - let's call her Alice) essentially doesn't want to be crammed into hotel rooms/cars with four other people (one of whom she doesn't really know) for a full week, so has refused to go if friend 2 (let's call her Beth) goes. Again, I don't blame her - Beth doesn't really know anyone in the group other than me + 4 people is a tough squeeze into hotels (that max at 4) and cars (which generally require bigger cars to comfortably fit 5 large adults).
If Alice doesn't go, her boyfriend will be annoyed. (Since he wants Alice to be happy.) Alice has also done a lot of the trip planning + taken the week off work, so it feels unfair that Alice not get to go. (Although she could go and be squeezed in. Just she's not able to do some aspects of the trip and I think the idea of dealing with cramped quarters/deal with someone who's essentially a stranger is the straw that broke her back, if you will.)
Meanwhile, Beth doesn't really know anyone other than me + has been really noncommittal about everything since she met her new girlfriend. (i.e. she hasn't shown up at any planning meetings, helped plan, commented on the Facebook invite, etc.) I don't want to tell her "sorry, you can't GO!" to a trip that she's was super excited about (well, prior to meeting her girlfriend, anyway...)...but I'd prefer Alice, and know everyone else would *far* prefer Alice to Beth. (Mostly as one is her partner and the other one knows/likes her better. Again, no one really knows/likes Beth other than me.)
I'm looking for advice as to what to do. Is it horribly cruel to disinvite Beth? How do I do so in a way that sounds as non-mean as possible? (Again, I don't want Beth to not come because I dislike her - otherwise I wouldn't have invited her! - it's more that 5 really is too much for the rooms/car and Alice has already stated her refusal if Beth comes, which will annoy everyone else in the group.)
If you made the reservations and you planned the trip, then you need to let all know that there's only room for 4. Your friends will have to work it out between themselves and make a mature decision as to who goes and who doesn't. It's not your responsibility to choose who goes, nor should you have any say as to who will make the best traveling companion/s. Further more, none of your friends have the right to refuse to go if someone else goes but if they insist, then so be it.
You planned this trip 12 months ago and invited non committed friends then, at that time. You now need to let them sort it out while you go ahead and make the final preparations for your trip rather than be embroiled in a dilemma which is not your making.
Eh, Beth and Alice don't know each other, so *won't* work it out between the two of them. (And it's been near impossible to work things out with Beth as she's been very non-responsive. i.e. she'll say she wants to go, but won't agree to meet up to discuss details, respond to texts asking about preferences on things, etc.) Alice will bow out if there's not room, but it also feels rather unfair for her to be forced to do so since she's put in a LOT of time planning/preparing while Beth isn't even responding to direct questions.
What I may end up doing is saying that Beth can come along if she's able to find her own ride/accommodations. Among other things, that would relieve the pressure on Alice while simultaneously demanding that Beth either commit to the trip or not. (Part of the concern right now is that she'll bow out too late for Alice to re-join, which would suck for everyone.)
Sounds to me like Beth is messing you around a bit, not committing, not turning up to meetings/planning, not answering your questions etc whereas Alice has put more effort into planning this trip with you. Beth also sounds preoccupied with her new girlfriend.
You could say to Beth that it was first come first served and unfortunately there's not room for her, but suggest she tags along separately (as you've said) perhaps even with her new partner? Is that an option?
If she is annoyed, point out that others have turned up to meetings and have been proactive in planning whereas she hasnt so you assumed that she wasn't that interested.
If she's this unresponsive in the planning of a trip like this, does this reflect on how uncooperative she'll be on the trip itself? Just a thought.
Alice has earned her place, Beth hasn't.
FWIW, I don't think that Beth is *deliberately* messing with us. I think she's just preoccupied with her new girlfriend and this has fallen by the wayside. (Which is fine except, again, that there's not really space for 5 people, so I really need to get some kind of commitment from her which has proven close to impossible due to said preoccupation.)
The new partner will be moving that week, so new partner won't come along.
I don't think Beth would be uncooperative on the trip, per se. But I could definitely see her not really interacting much with the rest of the group/spending more time on her phone texting new girlfriend (or something along those lines). Which would isn't THE WORST THING EVER, but does rather remove her from the rest of us (who've been actively engaged/intend to be really engaged on the trip).
Thank you again! (and MANALONE) for the advice!
Thanks for the advice!
FWIW, I met with the friend yesterday and she seemed almost relieved to be sort of disinvited. (I told her that she was welcome to come along if she handled her own arrangements. I don't think she will, but I think that took some of the bitterness out and made it super not-personal. I also planned other stuff to do in the future.)
Mostly I think Beth was just SUPER busy and kind of looking for an escape from the trip, anyway, so it all works out. (And now everyone else is happy because they can plan.) Yay for things working out!!!!