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AIBU to be upset at friend charging us to visit?

(357 Posts)
snoozy2straws Fri 21-Jun-19 00:35:00

Old friend and Godmother to my DD, we arranged in Jan to visit her and her hubby who live in Southern Italy with our 2 DCs. We are staying for 5 nights. We spoke today to make final arrangements and she has asked us to pay her £800 plus food for the stay. I’m shocked and deeply upset as it seems so callous and commercial, not the visit to friends we had expected, besides which we really cant afford it. I would have been happy to pay £100 p/head plus food but this seems a lot. I feel like not going but what would I tell DD she is so excited. We are staying in their house so not even an annex or separate apartment! I should have got this clear at the outset but I did not expect this 5 days before we go!
What would you do? AIBU? Is this a fair deal for a summer holiday in the sun with the use of a pool but in their house with them?

MovinOnUp Fri 21-Jun-19 00:36:50

When you say 'arranged to visit' did you ask or were you invited?

Goodlookingcreature Fri 21-Jun-19 00:36:52

4 people staying in her home for 5 days? I think she’s trying to let you know she doesn’t want you to stay. I am going to say you’re unreasonable in this scenario, sorry.

Confusedteacher Fri 21-Jun-19 00:37:38

YANBU! I wouldn’t go. It’s a visit to a friend, not a stay in a hotel, she is being very cheeky.

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Jun-19 00:39:35

It sounds as though they're sick of people using them as a holiday home?

Would it be fair to say they feel that way about you and your family?

Walnutwhipster Fri 21-Jun-19 00:40:07

Did she invite you? Have you done the same for her before?

lifeinthedeep Fri 21-Jun-19 00:40:11

That’s beyond cheeky. I’d be very upset. I would never dream of charging friends to visit, especially as they are the ones paying for travel, etc.

Even if this is a result of her not being keen she is still being unreasonable as she should have given you more notice.

Whoops75 Fri 21-Jun-19 00:40:40

5 nights isn’t a visit it’s an invasion!!
You visit for one night then move on.


Friends don’t owe you anything

daisyboocantoo Fri 21-Jun-19 00:41:30

Erm, no!
I live abroad and am always happy when visitors contribute to food/drink but it isn't expected and I would never charge for lodgings!

katewhinesalot Fri 21-Jun-19 00:42:10

Find an apartment somewhere nice within reach of the airport and have a proper holiday. She is bvu, especially springing this on you this late in the day. She knows it too, or she'd have mentioned it before. It might be because she didn't want you and is hoping to deter you. Well it has. I wouldn't want to go now. The resentment will completely sour the holiday.

Unburnished Fri 21-Jun-19 00:44:35

It very much depends on the circumstances:

- how long have you been friends
- is the arrangement reciprocal?
- what was said when she invited you?
- how often have you done this?
- are they struggling financially?
- is your friend generally a cheeky fucker?

Gillian1980 Fri 21-Jun-19 00:44:44


We often have friends visit for several days and vice versa and would never charge them! If they wanted lodgings they should have been upfront about it from the start and if they didn’t want you to visit then they should have said so.

Kisskiss Fri 21-Jun-19 00:47:37

Did she invite you or did you invite yourselves? Does she normally rent out the spare rooms to holidaymakers? It’s a bit weird to charge a close friend to visit otherwise

Pipandmum Fri 21-Jun-19 00:47:53

I’m shocked. I have family friends come stay a few times a year. Parents and kids. If they were here for five days I might expect them to bring a few bottles of wine and maybe take us out for a meal. I would never ever expect them to pay anything else! They might volunteer to do a grocery shop but I wouldn’t ask. They are friends and they are guests. I’m not running a commercial enterprise!
I would reply to your ‘friends’ that you have had to reconsider the trip. It’s up to you if you want to tell her why, though you could say ‘in light of our conversation we’ve had to reconsider visiting you and have decided not to’. She must then realise why.

ClanMcLeod Fri 21-Jun-19 00:48:02

YANBU Doesn’t matter who invited who, and for how long. If an agreement was made then that’s it. If she’s wanted money for the stay, she should have mentioned it right at the start.

thethethethethe Fri 21-Jun-19 00:48:18

Find an Airbnb. They obviously feel you're trying to exploit them.

TheSmallAssassin Fri 21-Jun-19 00:48:24

I would just not go, how can anybody charge friends to visit?! You must have been close at some point if she's your daughter's godmother? It all seems very strange! I think you are just going to have to make an excuse to your daughter. When did you last see them?

LadyRannaldini Fri 21-Jun-19 00:49:24

I missed a trick when we lived abroad it sems!

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Jun-19 00:49:47

I wouldn't charge friends either

But if I thought they were taking the piss...for example only contacting me when they wanted a cheap holiday abroad, then I would probably do something similar.

I can't help thinking there are two sides to this story and that the other side might shed some light.

MrMeSeeks Fri 21-Jun-19 00:49:48

*It sounds as though they're sick of people using them as a holiday home?

Would it be fair to say they feel that way about you and your family?*

I’d normally agree, but this is the child’s godmother.
I’d be hurt.

TrixieFranklin Fri 21-Jun-19 00:50:20

Find cheaper lodgings elsewhere and tell her you've made other arrangements because you can't afford her last minute rates! Maybe even tell her that before you commit to elsewhere and see what she says..

NewAccount270219 Fri 21-Jun-19 00:51:46

I don't know why people are saying it depends on circumstances or whatever. That would have been absolutely true if she'd said she wanted this money when the trip was first mooted - then it would massively depend on whether you were invited and so on. Five days before you go there's just no possible excuse for introducing this charge.

BasiliskStare Fri 21-Jun-19 00:53:02

That is very awkward - I would say £800 for 5 nights for 3 people and pool & essentially self catering - is probably a fair price for a holiday but it depends on how nice the house is, the area & would expect more privacy for that i.e. a separate apartment or such. but not really the point when you thought you were going to be "invited" . I think paying for food is absolutely OK ( and food shopping in Italy can be lovely ) - at 5 days notice that is hard. I assume you have booked the flights etc.

As to what to do - If she is the type who could tell you this at 5 days notice , could you say to her - Oh - that is more than we had thought over and above paying for food etc we had thought of ( e.g. £300 / £400 - insert number of your choice) & see if there is some middle ground)

I realise that won't make for the happiest conversation , but the only other option is to pay it or assuming flights are cancelable , have a quick google tomorrow and see if you can get a better deal so DD not disappointed.

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Jun-19 00:53:59

I’d normally agree, but this is the child’s godmother.

True, but that doesn't always stop people taking the piss.

You read it all the time on MN. "I'm godparent to my friend's DC and the only contact is when they want Birthday and Christmas presents".

HepzibahGreen Fri 21-Jun-19 00:54:46

If they don't actually want you there, and this is their way of letting you know that, then they are the most passive aggressive people on the planet! 800 quid plus food is shed loads as well. Cancel. I couldn't go after that, honestly. It will only get worse ..

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Jun-19 00:55:46

I agree 5 days to go is utterly shit.

That's why I think there must be more to it.

For example, could the OP have arranged the 'holiday' 6 months ago and not bothered with contact since?

I don't know, I'm just clutching at straws as the OP hasn't answered questions.

Hopeygoflightly Fri 21-Jun-19 00:56:25

YABU! What the hell? Is it a hotel or something? No, I have never charged a friend to stay in my house ( live in a ‘resort’ town) or ever would.

LoveYourHome9 Fri 21-Jun-19 00:56:43

As people have said, it really depends on the circumstances surrounding you going and how long your friendship has been.

I live abroad and have had relatives and friends visit for up to 2 weeks. We have a lovely spare room in our house with its own bathroom. I would NEVER ask for money for staying. I usually have enough food and drinks in for the first 3-5 days and after that if we do a grocery shop I’d split the cost with them or they’d buy a meal out or pay for a day trip etc.

I’d be inclined to get on with it now it’s been arranged and DC are looking forward to it. Could you say, Ill give you so much money now and so much later as I wasn’t expecting this cost and will need to budget accordingly.

CTRL Fri 21-Jun-19 00:57:10

I think it’s abit cheeky honestly. If I were living abroad I wouldn’t expect visitors to pay me to visit me.
I personally wouldn’t go. Or would just book a hotel as it may be near enough the same price.

Tigger365 Fri 21-Jun-19 01:02:16

So £40pppn, plus food, to share a house with someone close enough for you to have potentially entrusted with your child’s physical and spiritual wellbeing... Tell her to fuck off and try again 🙄

Notanidiot Fri 21-Jun-19 01:03:41

The OP has said that the person is an old friend who is a godmother to one of her children.

So for said friend to charge her for staying her for visiting is very unreasonable.

The friend should have said upfront she didn't want the OP and her family to stay, or reduce the time spent there.

I doubt that the OP expected a hotel style experience or expected to be taken on excursions or ferried around. So to demand a payment and at such a figure from the OP is not something she should expect from a friend.

I think the OP should see if they can get alternative accommodation elsewhere within travelling distance of the airport and keep her distance from her 'friend'.

PregnantSea Fri 21-Jun-19 01:08:45

I would take that to mean that she doesn't want you there.

Book yourself a villa or a hotel so you haven't wasted the flights.

What a bitch. I wouldn't be bothered about arranging to see her while you're over there, she has obviously decided that you aren't friends anymore. I'm sorry OP, that is shitty news. Hopefully a week of Italian sun will lift your spirits!

Breathlessness Fri 21-Jun-19 01:09:58

We’re you invited or did you suggest ‘coming to visit.’ You’ve said you’d be fine with £400 plus food. Why? We’re you expecting to pay ‘board’?

snoozy2straws Fri 21-Jun-19 01:13:48

Thank you everyone for your responses, I can’t sleep worrying about it and if I have mis-read the invitation/situation but i don’t think so. At least twice a yr she has asked us to go and visit and whilst I understand that it must be tiresome to have constant guests if you live in a nice place not to mention the expense, I did not expect that amount and DH is furious. I always said I was happy to ‘contribute’ we were not looking for a ‘freebie’ but....!!!!
I have looked around for other options but there is nothing any cheaper at this short notice so I think I will just have to tell he we can’t afford it all at once and see what she says.
If I had known we could have gone to a hotel in Spain for less! To be fair to her we have lost touch a little since she went overseas but still stay in touch on fb etc. I thought this would be a lovely treat for DD to spend time with her Godmother and get to know her better now she is older. Hey ho, live & learn!!

0DimSumMum0 Fri 21-Jun-19 01:14:26

If you arranged visiting in January why would she tell you 5 days before you fly out? That is so strange and totally unreasonable. I would be tempted not to go. No matter what you do it's going to be uncomfortable anyway.

noenergy Fri 21-Jun-19 01:16:34

Surely you can find a hotel or air b n b even in an area slightly further away for that amount. That's a ludicrous amount to pay to stay with a friend

noenergy Fri 21-Jun-19 01:17:53

If you tell us the general location someone might be able to help as I have found mumsnetters are excellent at finding accommodation

notangelinajolie Fri 21-Jun-19 01:18:43

We visited SIL in Spain once. I wish we'd booked somewhere else to stay - she gave us jam sandwiches for tea and hid all the toilet paper. DH was appalled at how unhospitable she was - especially as her DH lived with us rent free for 6 months when he was working in the UK.

We neither charged or expected anything - he was family and he was very welcome. Some people don't think that way sadly and it sounds like your Godmother/friend is one of them.

Book yourself a hotel or B&B or something. I'm sure it won't cost you £800.

Breathlessness Fri 21-Jun-19 01:20:09

It sounds like you were always going to pay to stay but her idea of contributing is different to yours. Maybe you could discuss it with her and meet in the middle - £500? It must be a nice little earner for her if she has people to stay regularly.

honeygirlz Fri 21-Jun-19 01:21:50

£800 is ridiculous! So did she ask you to visit? You need to ask her why a charge wasn't mentioned until 5 days before visit!

Don't be a mug and pay. Offer £200.

Coyoacan Fri 21-Jun-19 01:22:04

Now sad for you. She is not a friend. I've had relative strangers stay with me for months free of charge and enjoyed it.

I do think you should take advantage of the flights and find somewhere nicer to stay.

And cancel the godmother status.

PotolBabu Fri 21-Jun-19 01:29:39

But if you have lost touch with her except for the odd bit on FB, then she might not have expected you to take her up on this invitation. She says, every 6 months or so, you must come. But it’s the kind of thing one says: oh we must catch up for coffee etc. And sometimes we will and sometimes we won’t. Especially when we are not in constant contact. It’s a social convention it may not be an invitation. HOWEVER to ask you to pay this much with 5 days to go is not on. Maybe she was waiting for you to offer to pay?

Could it be read like this: I am godmother to X. I send presents but the mum and I are not much in touch since we moved abroad. I have always said they are welcome to visit but they have taken that literally and booked a 5 day stay. I was waiting for them to offer to pay for food/expenses but so far nothing. WIBU to charge them 800 pounds for the 5 days for 3 meals a day/accommodation etc?

I still think leaving it this late is shitty of her. And 800 pounds is too much.

Notanidiot Fri 21-Jun-19 01:33:37

So the friend keeps inviting the OP to come and stay and when the offer is finally taken up she issues a huge charge at the last minute?

Words fail me. Please OP do not stay with her and hand over £400 nevermind £800.

PotolBabu Fri 21-Jun-19 01:36:02

She doesn’t keep inviting. She says so once in six months. Probably a line at the end of an email or a text. ‘Would be lovely to see you guys here someday!’

The 5 days and 800 pounds is not on.

BritWifeinUSA Fri 21-Jun-19 01:39:40

What are you getting for your 800 pounds? Is she picking you up from the airport and taking time off to show you around everywhere/drive you wherever you want to go? Or are you just flying there, getting a rental car and using her place as somewhere to sleep whilst you do your own thing? I can kind of see her point if she’s going to be out of pocket of, for example, she’s self-employed and will have to turn down work to entertain you and drive you around. But then she shouldn’t invite you if it’s going to be too costly or inconvenient for her.

escapade1234 Fri 21-Jun-19 01:45:01

“You must come and visit” usually means if you happen to be Italy some time come and have dinner, maybe even stay over so we can have a few drinks.

It rarely means plan a holiday JUST to see us and stay with us for almost a week.

So you’ve probably been a bit presumptuous but the friend had the chance to stop the whole thing and didn’t.

It’s outrageous to charge guests to stay with you. Just appalling. And how would it ever come to £800 anyway? The whole thing is making me cringe for you.

I would say “Oh gosh, I’m don’t quite know what to say. Charging us to visit you makes me feel very uncomfortable. We would have chipped in, of course, but this feels transactional and cold. To save further awkwardness we have decided to make alternative holiday plans. I wish you a good summer and hope we can move past this and stay in touch.”

And then I wouldn’t mention it to anyone or contact her again. If she doesn’t contact you either, then you’ll know she just wasn’t that into you.

JamAndCreamBiccies Fri 21-Jun-19 01:45:25

I think it's outrageous...and to tell you 5 days before you go hmm

BasiliskStare Fri 21-Jun-19 01:45:49

I think not discussing any money before now is the problem - if you said you were happy to contribute that might have been the time to suggest what you were thinking of. But I still think 5 days is too short notice to suggest an £800 bill to someone. Does she rent things on a commercial basis usually? I would phone her and say I was going to offer you £X - would that and us buying food work ? I am sure you and your husband aren't happy - but they may be a bit teed off as well so a conversation may help. It isn't really the £800 is it if you thought £400 for four of you - it surely cannot be beyond the bounds of negotiation. And so much better to speak and see how it goes.

My DC's godparents bought him a pewter mug and a book about space ( for context) grin

HennyPennyHorror Fri 21-Jun-19 01:48:58

I live in a very beautiful part of Australia and I've had 3 different relatives come to stay and utterly take the piss.

One I barely ever saw anyway but she stayed for a week, ate like a horse and never paid for any food or wine.

They use the water (EXPENSIVE here) as though it were free, make messes and annoy me.

I would like visits if people contributed something....even a bottle of wine now and then or some flowers. Not one of them did.

HermioneMakepeace Fri 21-Jun-19 01:49:37

WTF? No! YANBU! We used to live in a nice place and occasionally people came to stay with us. We would NEVER dream of asking them for money, no matter who they are. They are our guests and we treated them as such.

This really is disgusting behaviour. I would find a hotel in another part of the area and stay there. And I would not contact them.

How old is your DD?

NeckPainChairSearch Fri 21-Jun-19 01:52:21

"I've had relative strangers stay with me for months free of charge and enjoyed it"

That's exceptionally accommodating of you grin

I don't know OP. I agree with PP that your friend might post a very different AIBU. You say that you've lost touch apart from a bit of FB. Your friend must have been consulted about flights etc. Did you sense a bit of reluctance creeping in?

It does seem odd to do this - do you think you might have not twigged any hints or something?

LagunaBubbles Fri 21-Jun-19 02:11:26

With not long to go this is our of order, she should have mentioned money before this.

Winterlife Fri 21-Jun-19 02:44:48

I would not go. I agree with PP that your vacation will be soured by this.

Tell her something has come up and you will have to reschedule.

Your daughter will recover.

thirdfiddle Fri 21-Jun-19 02:56:07

Does she in fact run an airB&B? Maybe you thought she was inviting you and she thought she was advertising her business. No excuse for last minute mention though.

stanski Fri 21-Jun-19 02:58:38

I wouldn't go. It's out of order

imnotcheryl Fri 21-Jun-19 03:04:58

£800 is a lot to stay in someone's home! What exactly are you getting for that? What is costing her £800 pounds? She's not a hotel with cleaner cost, insurance, repairs, etc etc. I wouldn't go either, she's got some cheek!

SeaSidePebbles Fri 21-Jun-19 03:06:43

OP, Southern Italy is cheap.
Find your own accomodation, and end the friendship sad

Amylight Fri 21-Jun-19 04:00:44

I would be offended if a friend even felt like they had to offer money in exchange for my hospitality.

However an 'old' friend kinda sounds like she may have said you'll have to come and visit and the next thing she knows you've gone and booked 5 nights for 3 people and messaged, "we're coming". Err no that wasn't an actual invite it was a peasantry. A genuine invite is worked out in advance.

In your situation I would think it's best to say, "oh sorry no I didn't mean we were actually going to stay with you with you, we've arranged accommodation"
It sounds like she's been the cheapest holiday option rather than your going all the way to Italy to re-connect DD with a god parent. She sees it as your coming to free-load. If there hasn't been a build up of messages prior to the stay in anticipation it doesn't really sound like you're good enough friends to just go a stay and you may have taken advantage slightly. £800 is a big "please stay somewhere else and just visit while you're here". This isn't a negotiation type of thing.

ShanghaiDiva Fri 21-Jun-19 04:05:33

I also live overseas and I think 800 is a ridiculous sum and she should have mentioned it earlier. I do think some kind of contribution is appropriate, but for 5 nights I think meal out, bringing a gift from the UK (favourite chocolates, jar of marmite, type thing) and a bottle of wine at the end is fine - not 800 and food!
I have had some visitors who take the piss - no contribution towards anything, not even a bottle of wine when they left, so the next time they wanted to stay we unfortunately had other plans!
I think I would either cancel or look for alternative accommodation.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Fri 21-Jun-19 05:06:22

£800 is a lot to find all at once. I agree that people are CF (sometimes) but that is for them to deal with and your friend hasn't been upfront at all by the sounds of it

Monty27 Fri 21-Jun-19 05:13:46

Does your friend run a business as in renting out rooms?

kalinkafoxtrot45 Fri 21-Jun-19 05:14:42

That’s ridiculous! If she invited you to visit then surely you wouldn’t be expected to pay. It would be decent of you to take them to dinner, and chip in for food and wine, but €800 quid is a fucking liberty. Sounds like she doesn’t want you to come. Can you get Air BnB, or cancel the flights? I don’t think I could get past this personally.

We also live in a popular destination and often have guests, we wouldn’t dream of charging them.

Wallywobbles Fri 21-Jun-19 05:19:51

Does she run her hone as a commercial affair? Holiday rental or B&B? Because having you to stay in the winter would be fine, but in high season it could represent a serious loss of income. And WAY more than 800€.

If she doesn't then fair enough SIBU.

Topsecretidentity Fri 21-Jun-19 05:19:56

I think it's not on... at least not with such late notice. I would email and explain to her that unfortunately you cannot afford such a charge sprung at such late notice although you were planning on paying for food/ making a contribution to her bills that week. I would also suggest a rain check and not stay in their house (your friend is clearly is uncomfortable with you staying so even if you pay her it still might be awkward to stay). Personally I wouldn't risk my holiday enjoyment like that so why not book a local airbnb and ask your friend what days she'll be free to meet up/ go for lunch.

It can be really affordable. For example, assuming you are going to Naples next week there are so many houses/ apartments available at this short notice.

For a cheap one there's this 2 bed, 2 bath apartment for £40 a night and it has great reviews by families ( £200 total for 5 nights):

Alternatively you could live in relative luxury house with a swimming pool for just £80 a night (£400 for 5 nights), which is still less than your friend is charging but would give you complete autonomy and privacy:

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 21-Jun-19 05:20:50

I’d find somewhere else to stay. Preferably in the opposite direction of her house. This is a horrible bombshell to drop on you. At least you can pay for this accommodation on finance so I’d try to find a zero rate credit card company if you can. The only thing is you’ll also need to factor in how to get to the place and shop for food. Then depending on the age of your dd you either tell her the truth or say she has some kind of infectious disease.

Topsecretidentity Fri 21-Jun-19 05:22:57

I'm not advertising airbnb by the way I just have found it a lifesaver and it's made holidays a reality for us when money was tight. So long as you only book places with great reviews and select the "entire home" filter, then it's great.

TruffleShuffles Fri 21-Jun-19 05:24:26

I live abroad and often have people come and stay and I have never ever charged them for their accommodation, all we ask is a contribution towards food and petrol as we always pick up guests from the airport. We really appreciate people spending money to come out to see us so don’t mind the extra few pounds on top of utility bills a few extra people in our home cost.

£800 is a huge amount and as this doesn’t even cover food she is making a lot of money out of you. I either would lose the cost of the flights if the weren’t too much or find other accommodation, I would even pay slightly more that the £800 if I had to as I would not be happy paying it to my supposed friend. Any chance you would be able to put the cost for other accommodation on a credit card and pay over a few months?

Itwouldtakemuchmorethanthis Fri 21-Jun-19 05:24:40

Just phone her and say you can’t afford to give her £800 to stay in her house and will have to look for cheaper alternatives, but if you can find accommodation close enough you’d love to meet for lunch one day while you’re there.
Then find somewhere else.
Tell dd that there’s been a muddle up and you will stay at xxxxx instead. Annoying but what else can you do?

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 21-Jun-19 05:28:24

Those places are amazing for the price!!

Itwouldtakemuchmorethanthis Fri 21-Jun-19 05:30:18*@35*.00180595160804,11.457856718936227,44.2677579868333,19.697602812686227,6z/maxNightlyPrice/100?petIncluded=false&ssr=true&adultsCount=2&childrenCount=2&view=l

BlackCatSleeping Fri 21-Jun-19 05:38:28

That's really shocking!

Don't worry about upsetting your daughter. She will be ok.

There's no way I'd be paying 800 pounds. That's utterly outrageous. I'd book an air BnB, if I could afford it, or just cancel the trip and do something else with your daughter instead. Kids are easily distracted.

redcarbluecar Fri 21-Jun-19 05:43:45

Another one wondering what you’re getting for your £800, as your OP suggests it doesn’t even include food.

I don’t think you’ve been presumptuous at all- she said you were welcome to visit; you were entitled to see if you could take her up on it, and any costs or reservations should have been made clear at the outset.

Longdistance Fri 21-Jun-19 05:51:01

When we lived in Oz we had a revolving door of visitors. I only found one of them cheeky that stayed two weeks rent free whilst he sorted out his family situation. I never thought to charge anyone. Could have been the reason why I thought Oz was expensive as we were subbing everyone else.

Cobblersandhogwash Fri 21-Jun-19 05:56:24

You don't charge your guests!

Bang out of order. If you can't afford guests, don't invite them.

A friend of mine did this to us. She kept inviting us to her holiday home.

We had been a couple of time before and had taken her family out to supper, paid for groceries for all of us during our time there.

I felt we had been a couple of times and that was enough. But dh wanted to go again and then when we accepted, she decided to charge us.

I told her to get lost. Turns out she'd had other guests who didn't contribute anything and that had pissed her off.

TigerJoy Fri 21-Jun-19 05:59:06

I agree with @Topsecretidentity

I have been invited, and stayed with, friends and family friends for 5-7 nights and never been charged. Then again we always had at least one conversation where I said its a long time, I dont mind staying in a hotel for all or part of it, and they insisted it was fine. In each case i turned up with expensive champagne and treats and paid for our own food. I would have been horrified if I had been asked for that sort of money and 5 dags notice and I agree with others that it sounds like perhaps your host is either not keen on your visit or perhaps thinks that £800 isnt much (is she loaded?).

However I doubt it is the latter as southern italy is cheap as chips, I spend lots of time there.

I think you should still go, but have an honest conversation and find somewhere else to stay. As @topscretidentity has pointed out, you can find something much cheaper and more importantly within your budget.

I would book somewhere near her, and get in touch and say something like "we are all reallly looking forward to seeing you, but I think there have been some crossed wires. When we offered to pay something towards our stay we werent expecting anything as much as £800 plus food, and I am really sorry but we just can't afford it. We have booked an airbnb nearby which is more within our budget and we are looking forward to spending some time with you"

If she is a good friend you can have a chat about it when you are out there and check that she didn't feel you were using her like a hotel. Alternatively you can stay with her for 1 night, but it might be easier just not to!

Even if you can't find an airbnb there are lots of affordable b&bs which are often lovely. Have you got a car or are you relying on her for transportation? Because I would definitely get your own car. That can be expensive at short notice but we haveused which was cheap and you can purchase the extra insurance from them in advance

Ohyesiam Fri 21-Jun-19 06:03:41

Is there no air bnb locally? Or near the airport?

FFSeverynameisused Fri 21-Jun-19 06:04:01

have you already bought the flights?

If so I'm sure you can find a hotel cheaper than what your friend is charging and have a much better time as it would be too uncomfortable to stay with your friend now.

feathermucker Fri 21-Jun-19 06:04:08

I would fully expect to make a contribution for food, or to take them out for meals etc.

However, that just seems bonkers. Is it definitely £800 PLUS food; is there a massive backstory here?

iano Fri 21-Jun-19 06:16:27

She's taking the piss! Have you looked on airb&b? Post the location and I'm sure people will help you find somewhere. Then cancel on her but make sure you tell her you were shocked and are sorry she felt unable to tell you she didn't really want to see you.

loveautum Fri 21-Jun-19 06:20:30

I'd missed the plus food part, I thought she was just asking for £800 which was bad enough. OP I couldn't stay now, to tell you this late as well she wants money.

Also how much would she try charge for food as well shock

I would try and book a cheap holiday and try to salvage this situation and to be honest, just say thanks changed our mind about staying and feel more comfortable booking into a hotel and let her read between the lines. I wouldn't make the effort meeting up with her, just enjoy your holiday.

SinkGirl Fri 21-Jun-19 06:27:54

I think there are very few circumstances where this is a reasonable / understandable thing to do (if you pounced on a vague mention and then made lots of demands, if she runs the property as an Air B&B, if you go often and take the piss, etc)

However, none of those seem to be the case, in which case she’s massively out of order. Especially since she seems to be charging you way over the odds, not even the going rate for an apartment (and personally I would always prefer to stay somewhere private now we have kids)

fecketyfeck21 Fri 21-Jun-19 06:29:31

did she ask you to stay with her or did you sort of 'invite yourselves' on the case of 'you must visit some time' ? several pp have asked this but you've not answered the question.
she def trying to deter you and i can't help thinking there is more to this than you are letting on, someone is being a bit of a cf here in any case.

orangesandlemon Fri 21-Jun-19 06:32:43

This is so strange. Since when did it become okay to charge for friends to visit. It's 5 nights. I went to see friends in Italy and didn't pay a penny (offered though, and bought flowers and wine and paid for things when we were out) this seems an insane amount of money. If she was asking for a £200 contribution that would be fine. I cannot believe people think £800 is okay to ask a friend.

NearlySchoolTimeAgain Fri 21-Jun-19 06:35:48

We have a house somewhere visit-able. I’d never dream of asking for money for guests visiting us.

Share the food bills - yes maybe. But for a longer holiday I think most people would do this.

Utilities are really really expensive here - 10x the UK, so visitors with extra AC and water could add up a little.

I did consider offering for friends to use our house when we were away, and then would probably have asked for a contribution to the utilities above the amount it costs when the house is empty. And maybe to pay for a cleaner to do a blitz afterwards. But we decided it was too awkward and so it’s easier just not to bother.

pictish Fri 21-Jun-19 06:36:34

I’m intrigued by this one. Seems a lot of money to ask from a guest!!

Are you brave enough to reply, “Was the £800 a typo? Of course I expect and and am willing to contribute to my stay but wasn’t prepared for that amount. I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t budgeted for it and I’m not sure I can afford it.”

daisyboocantoo Fri 21-Jun-19 06:40:38

Have you considered campsite and caravans?

Cobblersandhogwash Fri 21-Jun-19 06:42:24

Do not say you're embarrassed at all about not having £800!!

ArialAnna Fri 21-Jun-19 06:44:35

Gosh this is awful! I'd book something else OP. If you let us know the town or region I'm sure we can find you something much cheaper. Then you can just visit CF once or twice and enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Satsuma1234 Fri 21-Jun-19 06:44:42

I agree, don’t say you are embarrassed. That amount is expensive. I hope you get things resolved. I’d never charge,people I’ve invited.

BlueSkiesLies Fri 21-Jun-19 06:46:33

In my group it’s totally common for friends with properties to ask for some cash towards utilities and pool maitanance, and for cleaning and bedding changes.

Often like £20 per room used per night. Or a flat fee of £100 per person for a week stay.

But that is when it’s arranged up front as a holiday.

I’d feel pretty awkward if we arranged a visit to a family friends home to see them and they wanted £800!

To be honest Op there is something funny going on here. Several options - maybe the friend is a cF, maybe you are, maybe the friend is having some kind of issues. We don’t know.

I’d call her up and say:
‘We were quite surprised to get your message about £800 plus food. Obviously we had intended to pay our way and ensure you weren’t out of pocket but £800 feels like a commercial rental, and I’m sensing its to put us off visiting?
If you feel we have invited ourselves and are taking advantage, I’m sorry. I think we have had crossed wires about this trip.
It’s probably easier if I arrange alternative accommodation and keep that separate, - and hopefully we can meet up to spend a little bit of time together as friends.”

Bridget1983 Fri 21-Jun-19 06:47:36

We have always stayed with family and friends from around the world and in the UK and likewise host a lot.
Wouldn’t dream of turning that situation into a financial transaction! Family friends stayed last week, perfect guests, turned up with many gifts of food and booze. Friends arriving tomorrow for a longer visit, we bear in mind they have spent an awful lot on flights etc to come to a not very interesting part of the UK cause they want to see us! We will provide food, cooking etc, booze will get split and eating out will be shared costs! Surely this is normal ?!
We did know a family when I was a kid though where the DM used to charge teenage friends for sleepovers at the weekend apparently 😂

LoubyLou1234 Fri 21-Jun-19 06:48:36

Just playing devils advocate a little. Did she invite you to stay or visit? Did she give you any time frames if she invited you to stay or did you assume?
If she was the one to invite you all to stay and is now wanting quite a lot of money then she is BU. But if you've assumed you can stay then maybe she's peeved you don't really speak much these days and you are taking over her house for 5 days?
(Not saying you have just wondering btw)

maddening Fri 21-Jun-19 06:50:28

'Sorry can't afford it, why don't you come over here and you can stay with us for free' really would love to spend time with you and dd hasn't had any quality time with her godmother so it would be great for her. Let me know if you can come and what dates suit and we will get our diaries sorted. Xxx

Lochroy Fri 21-Jun-19 06:50:49

Wow - YANBU. Perhaps if you offered to contribute this is just how she sees it? I think OP's suggestion if 'we can't afford that in one go' is a good way to do it.

Of course you get piss takers. But five days in another country is not taking the piss. I'd be taking a couple of gifts and offer to pay for a meal out. I would have thought that sufficient.

floribunda18 Fri 21-Jun-19 06:52:08

several pp have asked this but you've not answered the question.

Yes she has RTFT.

Unless you are not being truthful about her inviting you and have been imposing on this friend's hospitality, SIBVU to ask for that amount of money. And just before you are due to leave! Do you think she is in debt and sees you as a cash cow?

pictish Fri 21-Jun-19 06:52:23

Oh yes you’re right. I wouldn’t even be slightly embarrassed not to have a spare £800 floating around. I used the term to politely introduce the notion that there’s no way in Hell I’d be paying it. I’m being British, not literal. I’m giving the friend a chance to backpedal or forge on with the bill.

“I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t budgeted for that amount” translates as, “You saw me coming you grasping cow. I’m not paying you £800!”

recrudescence Fri 21-Jun-19 06:52:57

I think you should go and then leave a very bad review on TripAdvisor.

ComeAndDance Fri 21-Jun-19 06:53:32

I wouldnt go and I wouod tell your dd why.
I suspect youmwill also loose a good friend in the process. But who on Earth is asking a friend to pay that much??

The cynic in me is wondering if this is the reason why she kept proposing for you to come sad

dustarr73 Fri 21-Jun-19 06:55:53

However an 'old' friend kinda sounds like she may have said you'll have to come and visit and the next thing she knows you've gone and booked 5 nights for 3 people and messaged, "we're coming". Err no that wasn't an actual invite it was a peasantry. A genuine invite is worked out in advance.

Thats not tehe ops fault though.She was invited ,so she accepted.Dont invite people if you dont mean it.

And £800 is laughable.I wouldnt go,but at least you know where you stand

Apolloanddaphne Fri 21-Jun-19 06:56:47

That's a bit cheeky asking for so much a few days before you go. I've just had relatives stay for 10 days and didn't expect any money from them. They contributed by paying for lunches and some days out. £800 plus food is taking the piss.

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