One woman was recently taken aback when her pal demanded that she pay over $1,000 for food and lodgings for an upcoming five-night stay with her husband and two kids at the friend’s home in Italy.
Taking to an online parenting forum to voice her woes, many commenters agreed that proper etiquette hinged on whether the mom had been invited – or invited herself – for the getaway.
Last week, @snoozy2straws took to Mumsnet seeking advice for the awkward situation.
She began by detailing that she and her family began planning in January to visit her “old friend" and friend's husband, who live in southern Italy. The Mumsnet author and her family planned to visit their host, who is also the godmother of the woman’s daughter, for five nights in late June, The Sun reports.
“We spoke today to make final arrangements and she has asked us to pay her $1,015 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 can’t afford it,” @snoozy2straws lamented.
“I would have been happy to pay $125 per head plus food but this seems a lot. I feel like not going but what would I tell [my daughter,] she is so excited,” she continued.
The Mumsnet writer added that she and her family would be staying in the friend’s house – “not even an annex or separate apartment” – and wondered if she was being unreasonable to cancel the summer vacation for financial reasons.
Hundreds of comments soon poured in, with many wondering who had done the inviting for the exotic trip.
Some agreed that the host was “very cheeky” in asking for money to cover the stay.
“I wouldn’t go. It’s a visit to a friend, not a stay in a hotel, she is being very cheeky,” one user offered.
“That’s beyond cheeky. I’d be very upset. I would never dream of charging friends to visit, especially as they are the ones paying for travel, etc.,” another chimed in. “Even if this is a result of her not being keen she is still being unreasonable as she should have given you more notice.”
Others, meanwhile, were more skeptical, with one commenter pointing out that the proper proceedings “very much depend on the circumstances,” arguing that a five-night trip was lengthy.
“It sounds as though they're sick of people using them as a holiday home? Would it be fair to say they feel that way about you and your family?” one cynic asked.
“5 nights isn’t a visit it’s an invasion!! You visit for one night then move on,” another charged. “Friends don’t owe you anything.”
Fortunately, the varied opinions gave @snoozy2straws the clarity she needed.
“Thank you everyone for your responses, I can’t sleep worrying about it,” she wrote online.
“I have looked around for other options but there is nothing any cheaper at this short notice so I think I will just have to tell her we can’t afford it all at once and see what she says.”