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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:
LagunaBubbles · 21/06/2019 02:11

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

Winterlife · 21/06/2019 02:44

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 · 21/06/2019 02:56

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 · 21/06/2019 02:58

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

imnotcheryl · 21/06/2019 03:04

£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 · 21/06/2019 03:06

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

Amylight · 21/06/2019 04:00

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 · 21/06/2019 04:05

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 · 21/06/2019 05:06

£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 · 21/06/2019 05:13

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

kalinkafoxtrot45 · 21/06/2019 05:14

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 · 21/06/2019 05:19

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 · 21/06/2019 05:19

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 · 21/06/2019 05:20

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 · 21/06/2019 05:22

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 · 21/06/2019 05:24

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 · 21/06/2019 05:24

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 · 21/06/2019 05:28

Those places are amazing for the price!!

Itwouldtakemuchmorethanthis · 21/06/2019 05:30
BlackCatSleeping · 21/06/2019 05:38

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 · 21/06/2019 05:43

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 · 21/06/2019 05:51

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 · 21/06/2019 05:56

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 · 21/06/2019 05:59

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 · 21/06/2019 06:03

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

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