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AIBU to be upset at friend charging us to visit?

356 replies

snoozy2straws · 21/06/2019 00:35

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?

OP posts:
Hopeygoflightly · 21/06/2019 00:56

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 · 21/06/2019 00:56

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 · 21/06/2019 00:57

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 · 21/06/2019 01:02

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 · 21/06/2019 01:03

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 · 21/06/2019 01:08

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 · 21/06/2019 01:09

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 · 21/06/2019 01:13

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!!

OP posts:
0DimSumMum0 · 21/06/2019 01:14

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 · 21/06/2019 01:16

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 · 21/06/2019 01:17

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

notangelinajolie · 21/06/2019 01:18

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 · 21/06/2019 01:20

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 · 21/06/2019 01:21

£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 · 21/06/2019 01:22

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 · 21/06/2019 01:29

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 · 21/06/2019 01:33

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 · 21/06/2019 01:36

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 · 21/06/2019 01:39

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 · 21/06/2019 01:45

“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 · 21/06/2019 01:45

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

BasiliskStare · 21/06/2019 01:45

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 · 21/06/2019 01:48

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 · 21/06/2019 01:49

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 · 21/06/2019 01:52

"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?

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