Given the ongoing economic slump, there should be no stigma in telling your children that your finances aren't as secure as they once were. If you're having trouble handling expenses, don't expect your kids to figure that out from subtle signs, like saying you'll take the bus for your next visit, not a plane.
Instead, advises financial planner Jonathan Pond, author of Safe Money in Tough Times
(McGraw-Hill), talk frankly about how you're struggling. If you need some temporary help, and they can afford to lend a hand, ask. It's better to be open about your financial situation with family than to agonize internally about it, or worse, to keep it a secret until you're really facing a crisis.