Real life MMD: Should we tell relatives "we're not a free hotel"?

edited 1 May 2012 at 6:16PM in Money Saving Polls
87 replies 20.3K views


  • Yes, tell them. I don't know your circumstances but I have two suggestions. 1- swap houses so when they 'use' yours, you have a break and stop in theirs. 2- most people are not bad and will respect what you say. It's not just the money, it's the running around, not having time for yourself and having your life taken over for however long. You might suggest shorter stays but try to be honest. Some people will say, oh, it doesn't matter, I'll help you, etc. and still come and be a burden. At the end of the day it's for you to balance how much you want to serve? others against how much you want your place to yourself and the freedom to be rather than do.
    Good luck and happy holidays
  • bouncydog1bouncydog1 Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Similar issue with friends - next time they asked we said we were really sorry but didn't have any room as we were using it for storage. However we would be happy to recommend a local hotel for them. Strangely they didn't take us up on the offer!!

    With family you can either ask for contribution to keep or restrict time down to a couple of days.
  • lesmartinlesmartin Forumite
    3 Posts
    I know the feeling. Either tell them when they ask to come, or put up a sign saying, first two days free, but that contributions please.
  • mann-banksmann-banks Forumite
    15 Posts
    I would guess that for you asking for money or help would be awkward and I know it would be for me, these situations just seem to snowball and you reach a point where you feel you can then never broach the issues. I think you have to fib and say someone else is staying or you are decorating and don't go bother going into detail. Maybe after you make the excuse several times your guests might think about there own behaviour, though this could be wishful thinking.
  • caxiacaxia Forumite
    59 Posts
    Visitors are like fish... lovely but they go off after a couple of days. Tell them you are really busy this summer and they are welcome to come but only for a max of 2 or 3 nights. I think you have been very generous and hospitable.
  • edited 2 May 2012 at 8:52AM
    anniebeeanniebee Forumite
    2 Posts
    edited 2 May 2012 at 8:52AM
    You must have previously given the impression that you were happy to be abused in this way so I can understand that it will be very difficult for you to be honest about how you feel now.
    Firstly you must decide whether you actually want these people to visit you. If not tell them now that you wont be providing any accommodation this year and suggest a variety of self catering and B&B alternatives. You don't need to give excuses or lie.
    Secondly, if you do want to see your relatives, tell them now that you want to see them and that they are welcome but that you will need a fair contribution to food and bills (work out what that would be) and that everyone will have to help with household tasks. Explain that on previous occasions you may have given the impression that you didn't want or need help but you now feel that this is an unreasonable way to carry on as you need time for yourself as well so you will work out a rota on the basis that 'Many hands make light work'.
  • MadMomMadMom Forumite
    113 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker Photogenic
    duchy wrote: »
    Or just stop running around them when they come to stay ?

    Let them make their own meals (maybe clear a shelf in the kitchen & fridge and tell them "you can keep your groceries here"); don't do their laundry etc etc.
    Give them a map to the nearest laundromat, supermarket, takeaway joints etc.

    I would willing let them have a bed to sleep in IF they didn't treat my home like a 5 star hotel.
    Still waiting to win a dream holiday...
    2017 wins: Family ticket to Jay Miller's Circus. Family ticket to Day's Out With Thomas (Watercress Line)
  • BNTBNT Forumite
    2.8K Posts
    If you have invited them, then you should not charge them (unless it was a commercial arrangement from the start). Of course they should offer something and if they don't offer, I can't imagine inviting them again.

    If you haven't invited them, then I don't understand why they would be there in the first place.

    However the situation arose, you now have the problem of dealing with it and getting it back onto a normal footing. I suggest a combination of tact and honesty. If you tell them you are decorating and the place looks the same next time they visit, or if they find out from other relatives that you been untruthful, that would create more illwill than being truthful up front. Something along the lines of "we've had a lot of people stay recently and we feel we need a break this year and we're not sure we can afford it right now". If previously they have been invited (as aooposed to inviting themselves) then it probably hasn't occured to them that you are not comfrotable with the costs and work involved.

    Or tell them that the beach is closed because of the hosepipe ban.
  • joehooverjoehoover Forumite
    146 Posts
    100 Posts
    Judging by dilemmas here I must be the only person in existence with "normal" friends and relatives

    When I have people to stay, they offer to treat me to a day out, a dinner, bring me treats as a thank you for staying. And I do likewise, this is normal is it not?

    I would hate to go down the road of working out a fee they must pay, you can't quantify that. Most people know how to repay someone in other ways for their kindness, so it's amazing that so many people don't bother, this must be ingrained in thesm, as anyone with an ounce of decency would make an offer to contribute.

    I don't really have an answer for you, if they don't offer off of their own back I can't imagine asking them to cough up will go down well with these spongers.
  • dannahazdannahaz Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    It's not easy to deal with this, especially as it has been going on for some time and the people probably genuinely have not considered that they are one in a line of people doing this

    I;m assuming that the outcome you want is for people to only visit for a couple of days, or else stay in a B&B (rather than you actually wanting people to reimburse you)? I;m also assuming that you don't really want to make people feel stupid, and that you still want to see them?

    If so I suggest you write a letter/email to *all* offenders - email is good because you can have a long string of email addresses to demonstrate the size of the problem, but the problem with emails is that people skim read them and may miss what you say.. It must be the same to everyone.

    I've tried to express things so that you get to the end point you want without upsetting people any more than you have to.

    Hi everyone

    We're writing this to everyone who regularly spends time with us over the holidays.

    Over the past x years we've been really lucky to have you all want to come and visit us in the summer, ranging from overnighters to two weeks.

    We love seeing you all, and I hope you know this from the time we spend with you when you come, showing you around, looking after you etc. We do understand that you like having a bit of a holiday by the beach while you are with us.

    What you probably don't realise is that we have a
    succession of visitors. Your visit is one in a whole long line of people coming to stay and enjoy the beach.

    We love seeing you all. What we do find a bit difficult is that it feels as though we spend our whole summer looking after one set of visitors or another, showing people around, and catering for extra people for a total of several months a year. It's not just the extra cost, it' s also being on "host duty" so much - it's starting to feel like we're running a hotel.

    I'm a bit embarrassed to be writing this letter, but I've done it because we just can't afford to have another summer like the last couple of summers.

    We'd still love you to visit us. This letter isn't asking you not to come and stay. What we are askingsuggesting is that if you're planning to be here for more than a couple of days this year. we'd be happy to recommend a good local B&B/hotel that you can use.

    We hope you aren't offended by this letter. It's been very difficult to write, and I've no doubt I haven't expressed myself as well as I could.

    Love to you all, and I hope to see you soon
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