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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:
Belenus · 21/06/2019 06:58

My parents live abroad and, being retired, are on a very tight budget. They did get fed up with people staying with them and contributing very little. Even those who did contribute didn't really cover the cost of their stays so mum and dad cut back on having visitors. They never asked for 40pppn with 5 days notice!

It's not asking for money that's the problem IMO, it's asking for so much with so little notice. If she'd said back in Jan "I'd love to invite you to stay but I can't afford to accommodate you all, could you stay locally and visit every day?" or something like that it would be different. But there's something going on here. Talk to her OP and tell her you cannot afford that much with so little notice.

TarragonSauce · 21/06/2019 07:00

Presume flights are already paid for.
I'd frantically shop around for a villa/apartment/Airbnb and book that.
Then tell her you won't be staying with her as some old friends have offered you their holiday home as it's vacant at the moment.

yearinyearout · 21/06/2019 07:00

I'm sure you could find an air bnb apartment for less than that so that your flights aren't wasted! She is being massively unreasonable.

Skittlesss · 21/06/2019 07:00

I would just write back saying that I couldn’t afford it and that I’ve booked an air bnb (the £400 one with pool) and that we could meet up at some point if she likes.

Blumtre231 · 21/06/2019 07:00

You can probably get an Airbnb for less than that, do that instead. That’s a hell of a lot of money and she should have told you way before now if that’s what she wanted from you. I wouldn’t consider this a great friendship

IndieTara · 21/06/2019 07:00

Op if she invited you then you are not BU.
My parents live abroad in a lovely area and often have friends and relatives to stay for over a week.. They have never tried to charge any of them, I usually go once a year ( it's also the only way I could afford a holiday for me and DD )
While I'm there I borrow the car and fill it up, go grocery shopping while I'm out. That kind of thing. They'd be horrified at the idea of charging

Dieu · 21/06/2019 07:02

Cheeky, tightarsed cow. YADNBU.

Stompythedinosaur · 21/06/2019 07:04

That's really shocking behaviour. I would def see.if you can get an airbnb for less.

fedup21 · 21/06/2019 07:05

so I think I will just have to tell he we can’t afford it all at once and see what she says.

I do not think that’s a good solution.

She’s telling you she wants £800, which I think really means she’s telling you she doesn’t want you to holiday at their home for 5 days. As far as I can see, your choices are to go and pay or not go. You can’t go but say you can’t afford that all at once!

I think her offer was meant as-‘if you’re ever in Italy, come and see us (we can have dinner)’ not ‘use our home as your holiday house this year’.

W0rriedMum · 21/06/2019 07:06

Could they be hiring cleaners and cooks? Admittedly I'm clutching straws here.

It's clear they don't fancy the idea of hosting as much as they did when it first came up. I'd be upfront and tell them you can't afford it and that while you expected to pay food and electricity, you didn't think it'd be £800 for 5 days.

I'd look far and wide on AirBnB as I'm sure you'd get something within 3 hours drive of them for the same price. Then visit for a day - which is what I suspect they wanted but didn't articulate.

Ihatehashtags · 21/06/2019 07:07

Hmmm it depends and I’m sure there are two sides to this story. I invited my friends to come and stay with me in Japan. Well my apartment was tiny so I moved out and bunked in with another friend. They overstayer their welcome, used an absolute fortune in power and hot water, expected me to pay for activities etc and never shouted me a single thing. Except for a $10 lunch. Honestly I was pretty pissed off because at that time I didn’t have much money.

W0rriedMum · 21/06/2019 07:07

@fedup21 and I crossed posts but agree.

They had a lunch/day trip in mind. They just didn't say that.

AppleDump · 21/06/2019 07:09

If you are able to find the £800 I'd be looking at a cancellation somewhere else. You might get lucky and find something really nice.

I'm with your DH on this and tell
her no thanks fuck off

MerryMarigold · 21/06/2019 07:13

I think what everyone who is implying OP is a CF is missing, is that the 'friend' has known about the 5 days since JANUARY. She could either have said,:

  • Actually I was thinking of a night or two
  • I'm really sorry, we are so busy at that time
  • Just to be upfront, we'd like you to pay £800 pounds towards it?

Especially if OP did mention paying some costs and not expecting a freebie, that was the time to mention £800 to stay in their house.

The 'friend' is being massively unreasonable to charge this at such short notice. Massively.

OP, I'd just say: I'm sorry, I didn't realise the costs would be so high and we really can't afford it, so we'll look at making different plans.

The only way forward on this is to be direct and honest without passive aggression.
CherryPavlova · 21/06/2019 07:14

Completely lack of communication and quite an aggressive stance.Friends talk to each other and iron out problems. It should have been suggested when the holiday was first discussed.Very poor form to do so after flights are booked.
It would be far too awkward now whatever. Book a little apartment of villa. Airbnb is a good idea. My children never get charged for staying with friends abroad. Generally, we prefer hotels or separate accommodation as we like our own space.

Lollypop701 · 21/06/2019 07:18

That’s not a guest visiting, that’s a business transaction. You’d get a nice enough hotel with breakfast included for 3 people for £800. I would get options , hotel/Airbnb/cheap week in Spain and then have a frank conversation and see what she says. The friendship is going nowhere at this point anyway so might as well find out where you stand.

Atalune · 21/06/2019 07:21

Have you exhausted your search?? I wouldn’t stay with her, £800 is exorbitant!

MLMhun · 21/06/2019 07:21

Perhaps spending time with your DD isn’t actually an attractive option to her, I mean who really is enthusiastic to spend time with a young child of what sounds like now a distant friendship? I’m sure she didn’t invite you for the whole 5 days either and I think you have crossed lines here and are imposing yourself on her. Think she’s got the message across clear enough now so find somewhere else or cancel the entire trip.

LolaSmiles · 21/06/2019 07:21

There has to be another side to this. I'm wondering if when they've offered to come and see us or stay it means 'if you're on holiday we'd love to see you for a weekend (One night)' so you've taking the mick a bit.

However, they could have said no when you were making arrangements and shouldn't be asking for almost a grand at short notice.

SinkGirl · 21/06/2019 07:22

However, they could have said no when you were making arrangements and shouldn't be asking for almost a grand at short notice.

Exactly this. Even if OP is being an imposition and you don’t want her to come, this isn’t how you handle it!

IceCreamAndCandyfloss · 21/06/2019 07:25

You say it was to spend time with her god daughter but in the same sentence say you would have gone to Spain instead for the money. So it's obviously more about the holiday and less about the link to your daughter.

Maybe she thinks five days is way too much especially given all you have contact wits now is FB.

katewhinesalot · 21/06/2019 07:26

“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.

I disagree. I'd take that as come and stay with us, from a someone I know well enough to be a godmother to my child.

katewhinesalot · 21/06/2019 07:28

It doesn't matter what she thinks the reasons for them going is. If she'd been upfront about the cost the op could have decided whether they would like to go. 5 days before has put them in an impossible situation. It's dreadful.

Star81 · 21/06/2019 07:30

I think it’s really strange she never mentioned her ‘charges’ until now. I think you either book somewhere nearby or just be honest and explain you don’t have that level of money.

ElectricLions · 21/06/2019 07:30

snoozy if you tell MN the area you are visiting then the lovely nest of vipers will help you find accommodation to stop you paying your friend

£800 for staying in someone's house is ridiculous. You can stay elsewhere and still visit your friend.

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