How do I tell our daughter that we can’t afford the school trip?

Your Question

Our daughter wants to go on the school trip to Paris. How do I tell them that we cannot afford it?


Hi there and thank you for getting in touch with Ask Robyn.

It sounds like you’re unsure of how to tell your daughter that you cannot afford to let them go on a school trip to Paris. It’s understandable that this is a hard conversation to have with your child, it may bring up many feelings for you as well and it is important to be kind to yourself throughout. We are currently in a cost of living crisis and it can be really hard to have any conversation around finances in such a stressful time. 

Firstly, it’s about finding the right time and place when things are calm to have the conversation with your child about their desire to go on the school tour. Allow time for this conversation so that there is time to listen and respond without feeling rushed.  It’s important to acknowledge and validate your daughter’s excitement and enthusiasm about the school trip and let them know that it’s understandable to be disappointed when they learn they can’t go.   

Be honest with your daughter about the family’s financial circumstances. Use age-appropriate language to explain that due to family constraints, it is not currently feasible for the family to afford the trip to Paris.  Emphasise that it is not their fault.

Explore alternative options that may be more feasible within your family’s budget. Discuss the possibility of planning a more affordable family trip or activity around the same time. This could be a day out or even a fun evening in. 

School’s sometimes have supports in place for special circumstances relating to financial support for such school trips. It may be helpful to discuss this with the teacher organising the trip. 

Remind your child that you understand their disappointment and that you are there to support them. Express your love and help them to focus on the positive aspects of their life, remind them of other enjoyable activities and experiences they can engage in.

Every child and family dynamic are unique, so it’s important to tailor your approach to the specific needs and sensitivities of your child.

If you would like to talk more about this, you can contact our Support Line which can be contacted by email to [email protected] or by phone from Monday to Friday 9am – 1pm on 01 522 4300

We hope this has been helpful for you and thanks for getting in touch.  

Take care,  


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