Dear Abby: My sister often plans vacations for us. The thing is … I don’t enjoy traveling with her.

DEAR ABBY: I have an ongoing dilemma with my sister. She often plans vacations for us to take together and springs them on me out of the blue. She then pressures me to say yes and becomes impatient when I tell her I need time to think about it.

The thing is, she isn’t a great travel companion and I don’t enjoy going on vacation with her. I have taken trips with her before. She is finicky and picky, and she often expects me to front the money for expenses. I have limited vacation time, and I’d rather spend it with my significant other and friends who are better travel buddies.

I can’t be honest about this with her because she is extremely sensitive and would take it poorly. On the other hand, I feel guilty dodging all her requests for vacations. She doesn’t have close friends because her attitude tends to repel others. I want to do the right thing, but I don’t want to feel used or guilted. How would you handle this? — PUT UPON IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR PUT UPON: I would handle this by telling her no and following it up with why — that although you love her as a sister, you do not enjoy having plans sprung on you and demanding an instant answer, fronting the money for expenses and spending time with someone who is finicky and picky. It’s the truth, and it may be the wake-up call she needs. Above all, remember that the truth will set you free.



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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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