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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:
Loveislandaddict · 21/06/2019 07:30

Very cheeky. You wouldn’t expect people to pay if they are visiting in the U.K. so no different abroad, especially if the friend is close enough to be a Godmother. We paying less for a week in France in The summer holidays in gite.

Lougle · 21/06/2019 07:31

Do tell us the area you're going to. When we went to Spain, we searched Airbnb, then googled the name of the accommodation and found a direct website to their apartments and got an apartment considerably cheaper than on Airbnb. We saved over €100 on a 5 night stay.

calpop · 21/06/2019 07:31

wow, im stunned at this if its as you describe. Please get alternative accommodation. £800 is excessive for 5 days (not even inuding food!)

Walkamileinmyshoesbeforeujudge · 21/06/2019 07:31

I would assume she means you are uninvited.
No way can you go now. It won't be a holiday with a friend. She has become a landlady......

rookiemere · 21/06/2019 07:32

YANBU- nasty behaviour on her part and so close to the stay. Good email further up to question why it's so high in cost, friends don't do that to each other.

sandgrown · 21/06/2019 07:37

My best friend lives abroad. We stay at least once a year and they collect us from the airport. She never asks for money but we pay for petrol and a big shop plus we take them out for a nice meal. We also have a kitty for drinks, coffees etc on days out.

LostSoul69 · 21/06/2019 07:37

I’ve been going over it all night and I actually remember offering to book somewhere nearby so as not to impose as I wasn’t sure how much space they had and knew they would both be working but she def insisted we stay with them. The only reason I thought of contributing £400 was out of respect for her hospitality so she didnt think we were being cf. we have had loads of messengers txt chats planning this and it was never mentioned until a vague suggestion last week backed up with the price yesterday. I am not aware of them running their home commercially and it has never been mentioned.

Junowhat · 21/06/2019 07:40

I live in a touristy area and used to get fed up with family and friends arriving for a week or more free holiday and especially when they then complained that this was the only holiday they could afford! I bought a new house with separate holiday accommodation which I rent out so there is mostly no availability in season, they still come but not for such long stays and have to let me know way in advance so i can block off the accommodation. We are also so busy during summer that it piles on the stress. That's just an idea of maybe where your friend is coming from but I would not ever charge my guests! 5 days is a lot, I think three should be a maximum (1 is too few for all that effort!).

Please try and find somewhere else and be independent otherwise you will not enjoy your holiday. If you do manage to find a hotel even for two of the days she will surely charge less. Her prices are very high!

dustarr73 · 21/06/2019 07:41

@LostSoul69 Name change fail

SofiaAmes · 21/06/2019 07:42

Have you ever looked into doing a home swap. Try I have done this many times and it's a cheap way to travel and lots of fun. It helps if you live someplace nice too. Might be worth taking a gander and seeing if there is by any chance something last minute.

CrotchetyQuaver · 21/06/2019 07:44

It's very unreasonable to spring this on you at the last minute. You need to have a full and very frank discusssion with her. Those are commercial rates! I don't see how this can end well actually. Please look into air b&bs in that area and see if you can salvage the holiday. Not sure I'd want to see the friend when I was over after she's pulled a stunt like this TBH. Fair enough if she'd mentioned a financial contribution at the outset, but she's asking a lot and then food on top and all at the last minute.

Nousernameforme · 21/06/2019 07:45

Meh I think there is a lot more than is being told here.

Reading between the lines the op is a cf who arranged the holiday and lost contact with the property owner. The PO fed up with being used as a cheap getaway for an "old friend" The god parent thing is neither here nor there.

rookiemere · 21/06/2019 07:45

Tell us where it is OP and you'll get the collective power of mumsnet looking for good alternative accommodation for you. Your F is CF unfortunately.

Herefortheduration · 21/06/2019 07:46

When I lived abroad I had two friends phone me to say they'd arrive in 2 days time, no other notice. I was actually going away myself so I just gave them my house keys and left them to it, I saw them for 2 days after I arrived home before they left again. They were angry at me as they had no transport and I've never seen them since. I still didn't charge them. CF though they were.

TatianaLarina · 21/06/2019 07:47

CF of the day. I’d cancel and go somewhere cheaper.

You should be able to get a good last minute Airbnb deal.

AnAC12UCOinanOCG · 21/06/2019 07:49

Don't go. Don't fall for the sunk cost fallacy and waste £800.

I do think your friend's version of events would be very different.

TatianaLarina · 21/06/2019 07:50

Reading between the lines the op is a cf who arranged the holiday and lost contact with the property owner. The PO fed up with being used as a cheap getaway for an "old friend“

You’re inventing your own narrative.

In actual fact the OP states the friend asks her to stay regularly.

I have friends living abroad who are always asking people to stay because they like to stay in touch with their friends from home.

If there was to be any money involved, it should have been discussed from the outset.

NewModelArmyMayhem18 · 21/06/2019 07:51

Maybe she's had a change of circumstances and can't afford to accommodate you unless she charges?

rookiemere · 21/06/2019 07:52

£800 is not a proportionate cost for 5 days board even if she is hard up

SmellMySmellbow · 21/06/2019 07:52

Ludicrous charging a friend without saying so from the off. Especially that much - she'll be making a hefty profit from you! If she didn't want you she wouldn't have invited. If it was a polite invite she could have said 'no' when dates were proffered, said she was away or something. If I was having guests for 5 days I'd expect them to tidy up after themselves, take us out for a meal one night or cook for us, get some drinks in etc - not bloody charge a hotel rate! See if you can get a cheaper airbnb or eurocamp, or change your flight to a cheaper destination so you all still get a holiday without lining her pocket.

cannycat20 · 21/06/2019 07:54

Good grief. She doesn't sound as if she wants you there, to be frank, as others have said.

We've just come back from a week in Crete at a five star resort, half-board, for not much more than that for the two of us, when you factor in fares to and from the airport, cattery fees, and travel insurance. The only reason it cost us more is that we decided to do excursions and things; we could equally well have stayed in the resort or just got the shuttle bus to the beach every day which wouldn't have cost us a penny extra.

I agree with a previous poster, either cancel; or, if you definitely want to go ahead with the trip, let mumsnet know where it is you're headed (just general area even) I'd be surprised if collectively we weren't able to come up with an accommodation solution, even if it's just a camping park or something. And if you do end up going and paying her, I'd be tempted to take a receipt book and make a real point of paying for everything....

I've lived in many different places, some in the UK and some overseas, and have friends who come from/have lived all over the place too, and none of us have ever charged friends or family for staying - we'd do something like pay for the groceries (offers often refused), or take our hosts out for a meal or two, or to a show or something, or buy a really nice gift. Admittedly I do choose to stay in a B&B or Premier Inn when I visit family at the other end of the country but that's more to do with sibling politics and the fact most have small houses. Although funnily enough the ones with the small houses are infinitely more welcoming than the ones with 3+ bedrooms and children fled the nest long ago, but that's my family...friends always offer even if it means sleeping on a camp bed in the living room. And yes to a previous poster, that even includes stays of 5-7 nights and longer... ;)

ginghamtablecloths · 21/06/2019 07:54

When people live somewhere beautiful they get lots of friends using them for cheap (or even free) holidays and only you can decide if you want to pay this price.
Telling you this charge just days before you leave is not very friendly - are you sure you want to keep her friendship?
The realistic thing to do is to say that you can't afford it and are therefore staying at home.

legolimb · 21/06/2019 07:55

I would cancel your stay and find an Air bnb or a hotel in the area. Don't waste your flights.

There are some well written messages to send to your friend upthread- choose one of them and take a step back. She doesn't sound all that keen to host.

Ninkaninus · 21/06/2019 07:55

I think this really does depend. ‘You must come and visit’ doesn’t usually mean, come stay in our house for the duration of your visit, unless that’s explicitly stated. They were probably a little taken aback to find that that’s what you’d planned for. Usually I’d take that to mean, come see us, maybe stay a night whilst you’re here and we can catch up. But as part of a holiday where you’re staying in a hotel! Did you check with her what she meant or did you just invite yourself to stay at her house for the duration? Because I can see how that could be problematic,

Ninkaninus · 21/06/2019 07:56

But I agree that she’s been really thoughtless only telling you this with such short notice.

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