Saturday, we had a pleasant afternoon on the beach at Casalbordino, there was a small group of us and we sipped prosecco and ate our picnic as the warm September sun shone down. No matter what time of the year it is, I cannot go near the sea without wanting to swim in it, so we also took a dip. Being blokes we naturally couldn’t resist the urge to pee in the sea which was disguised as swimming. We were chatting when the subject of house guests came up, those friends and family wanting to come out to stay. As some of our party have self-catering accommodation, they have to explain to those friends that want to come for a ‘free’ holiday, that they must come out of season. The point that was raised, was that when visitors do come, they expect their hosts to show them the sights, take them to the best restaurants and spend days lazing on the beach. Is this unreasonable, was the question asked of our group and we all said, although we’d expect to indulge our house guests, they on reflection never consider that. 1. You have to do this for every new guest, and 2. you’re not on holiday and have to continue with your daily routine.
Early evening at Casalbordino
The biggest issue apart from the disruption to daily life is the added expense. Is it appropriate to ask house guests to contribute towards their stay, especially if you have to take time off to look after them? In my case, days out with guests would eat into my writing time and eventually would cost me my income, so I guess it would be acceptable to ask for a contribution. Most people said that their house guests would often take them out for a nice meal to say thank you. But when you add up the cost of petrol, utilities and lost revenue, is a meal really compensation? I had friends come over to stay for a week and they were the perfect house guests. I collected them from the airport and the first thing they said was, “We don’t want to disrupt your routine, we’ll fit in with you.” Throughout the week they insisted in paying for the petrol used to take them out, they contributed 50% to the weekly shopping and during the day when I was working they did their own thing, either around the local area or by borrowing the car to explore further afield. When I wasn’t working we enjoyed local sights, the beach and pizza at the local pizzeria. At the end of the week as I dropped them off at the airport they slipped me an extra €100. saying “Put this towards our stay,”
One of our party said after she noticed how much it was costing her in time and money when guests came out; fired up in holiday mode, she set a fixed price per person per day, and that has worked for them. One thing guests don’t realise is, that the previous week another set of guests had been staying and you have to repeat the previous week’s activities for them.
After packing up, we strolled over to a new cocktail bar that had opened and after perusing the (IMO far too extensive) menu, we all sat and enjoyed our drinks as the light faded over Casalbordino and the only sound to be heard was the laughter of chatting Brits and the soft lapping of the waves.
Swanky sofas overlooking the sea