“Ooooooooh, let’s go on holiday! I know, we’ll stay with my friend in Sunny Spain!”
IF YOU UNDERSTAND A FEW RULES
Your friend will probably jump at the thought of seeing you, after all, living so far away is not a holiday, it’s their life so the chances of them returning to their home country other than to see parents is relatively rare as during their precious holiday time off work, naturally they won’t want to spend it touring the old country, like you, they want to see the world! They invited you or accepted your request to stay so they could spend precious time with you. They did not expect you to take the piss!
- You are visiting and staying with your friend IN their home. treat it well. Tidy up after yourself. Don’t just leave your plates and rubbish lying around. This Is NOT a hotel.
- Respect that your friend may need to work whilst you stay there. Don’t hog the bathroom. In fact ask, “Is it ok if I jump the shower now or are you in a rush?” BE OBSERVANT! Oh and Care too!
- The towels usually provided are so you don’t feel awkward searching one out or wondering if sharing is acceptable. Don’t just use a new towel everyday, would you do it at home? Of course not after all, you pay the electricity for washing at home right?
- If there’s something you forgot to bring and you would like to borrow something, ASK! For goodness sake, when you are rooting around someone elses home looking for their hairdryer without consent (and not returning it) imagine 2 things…a. Your friend will wonder what else you may have taken and b. how would you feel if a relative stranger was going through your cupboards at home?
- When going out for drinks etc. Who picks up the bill? Well it’s not your host. I can guarantee you this is not normal behaviour. It’s ok to say you’ll go dutch and it’s also ok to treat your host by picking up the tab or planning a special thank you meal out for example.
- Days out involve time and money, don’t let your wallet rot in your pocket and grumble about paying towards the outing in fuel and food, especially if it was your idea.
- Do not go shopping for yourself, fill the trolley then stand back and let your host out of embarrassment actually pay for YOUR shopping! If you want to be an arse, pick out the items you deliberately decided you needed and pay for them.
- Don’t sprawl over the sofa making the owner of the house have to sit on a hard chair because giving in to your selfishness is easier. Imagine you coming home from work to feel pushed out of your own home!
- Borrow the phone and call overseas? Chat to your Mum for half an hour?? Really?
Staying at someone elses home is not free,it costs them to keep you, don’t have them regretting you coming to visit. They are not your parents! Don’t behave like a brat!
Staying at a couples home, it’s likely you know one person better than the other and you should respect this is their home too and if you think you’re ok sponging off your friend because he/ she is too embarassed to challenge you, don’t sit around moaning about their partner when you have been behaving as though you were dragged up yet bragging that you aren’t skint!
If you ever suggest to a friend that you are planning a visit to their area and you get the response of “I hope you have a great time, if you’re staying nearby it would be lovely to see you” then you can bet your last euro that they have experienced a guest from hell and dread the thought of a repeat.
Have some manners. If you want to treat your holiday like it’s a hotel holiday, book and pay for a hotel. Clean up after yourself. Don’t be cheap. Don’t be greedy. Don’t be a cheeky cow. Don’t eat all their food and drink all their drink. Don’t replace it and make it clear it’s for yourself! Or worse, wait for them to replace and do it all over again! Quite literally don’t treat someone elses home any different to how you would expect yours to be treated unless of course you actually were dragged up in a skip! In which case you should stay at home.
nb. If I had the above hypothetical guests, they WOULD be on the beach, back at the airport or …… tbh, i wouldn’t care but they would not be staying a minute longer than dropping the 4th towel on the bathroom floor or the second full sink of washing up left as I got in from work in the kitchen I left tidy on my way out the door this morning.
Tomorrow: Staying cool