I kinda get a kick out of hosting my parents whenever they happen to be in the area. For most of my adult life, this hasn’t really been possible. I typically lived in small apartments, or once a one bedroom house, and just didn’t have the room/furniture/etc to host them. About a year ago, I bought a decent house, acquired furniture, etc. I can’t see sending them to a hotel now that I have ample room for them.
Likewise, if I have other relative or friends passing through the area, I’ll put them up for a night or a weekend…mostly because I can. Finally.
We have plenty of space and beds to host most visiting relatives, but I still prefer the hotel option. Hubby and I work weird hours, and I’m truly, truly not a sociable person when I first wake, so hotels are good. I also prefer to stay in a hotel when I visit relatives, again because of my weird sleep schedule and anti-social personality…
Unfortunately, this can lead to hurt feelings with my in-laws. Fortunately, I have good excuses planned: All of our dogs are more comfortable if they don’t have to share space, I have a weird schedule, etc. Plus, I work in a hotel, so I can take advantage of discounts - for 30 dollars per night, I can have a room for me, hubby, kids, and dog; plus breakfast in the morning and housekeeping service and unlimited hot water for showers. Really, it’s easier and cheaper than “imposing” on the in-laws, and my favorite brother-in-law always hangs out with me by the pool in the middle of the night, smoking and having a beer or three.
Friends, family, anyone - I would have them stay with me, and I’d be slightly shocked and discomfited if they said they’d rather stay in a hotel.
Or, for that matter, if I was in the area, and they didn’t offer to have me stay with them.
Now, if there are a lot of people coming for a specific event/gathering, yeah, of course. But really - I’d rather have a million friends camped out all over the house (at one point the sofabed and every square inch of the living room was occupied, so someone wound up sleeping in the kitchen) than make them go to the expense of a hotel.
Definitely houses if at all possible. I’m fortunate in that I really like all of my relatives. I don’t see them nearly enough, so I like maximizing time with them when they visit. Plus, in the case of my sister and her family, it enables them to stay longer when they don’t have hotel charges mounting by the day. My wife feels the same, although with her parents living in town, any extended family of hers coming for a visit will almost certainly stay with them instead of us.
My wife’s sister and her husband (actually, it’s primarily her husband) are the opposite, so we see them a lot less than we otherwise might, with hotel $$$ being part of the reason. (Other reasons, too, which would be a separate thread.) Even before they had kids, when they had a spare bedroom, we weren’t really welcome. My wife’s had a couple of conversations with SIL about this over the years, and basically BIL just feels weirdly territorial about his house and family and time. So, it’s hotel or nothing for us if we want to visit.
We have a spare room that gets used by family plenty often, about once a month or so. My parents retired and moved a few hundred miles and the rest of the family is still here, so for holidays or special events they come back and stay with us.
When we visit my family, we stay with them, even if it’s a big holiday and we’re all piled on couches and sleeping bags everywhere.
My husband’s family lives much father away and it winds up easier for everyone if they come here to visit instead of us going there. They always stay here with us, although if there’s a huge enough event that we’ve run out of room we’ll put some of them up in a local hotel.
We like having more of a relaxed open-door policy, no biggie to host here.
IMHO, it’s always best if you can stay in the same house - that way, you have enough to bitch and gossip about for months. I stayed for two weeks with my sister, her husband, and their two kids once and it was positively insane.
How long is the stay? A few days to a week and they’re welcome to stay here. Financial considerations are also important: if they’re skint, I’ll help them by letting them stay longer; other family members are helping me right now.
I’m a poor choice for hosting. I have a 1bdr/1ba apartment, no air mattress or sofa bed, only hardwood and cold tile floors, and a layout that would mean literally walking over people who sleep on the floor. I also have unpredictable, non-9-5 work hours, and at the heart of it, I don’t like hosting. I like having my quiet home to myself, as a contrast to my workplace. I could host one person who was independent and didn’t need to be babysat during his visit, but few people are like that.
When I visit my parents, I prefer to stay in a hotel, even though my room is still set up more or less the way I left it. Hotels are closer to the fun stuff I want to do, and if I stayed with my parents, it’d be free, but it’d require much more careful planning, which is counter to the entire vacation spirit of the trip.
I would hate to have guests or be a guest for longer than a couple days. My family’s the same way. We’re not big on family or friend get-togethers and we like our space and privacy.
When I go to visit family in the next nearest city I tend to stay at my Grandmother’s house. I’m pretty comfortable there, having lived there for three years and spent many vacations otherwise so its almost like living there again.
We’re flying out for a family reunion this summer. The first night we are there I’ve decided I prefer to sleep in a hotel then drive out to the family abode (this is for several reasons, one being I don’t want to be on strange highways for a couple hours in the evening right after a long flight, another because I want to go places near the city the airport is by but then I’d have to drive back that way so I may as well stay there a night and do what I want before moving on instead of making time to drive back before I leave. It’s such a short trip I want to cram as much as possible). I could stay with other family near the airport, and we very well might do that, but knowing myself… I’d prefer the peace and sanctity of a hotel room before thrusting myself into the family bosom.
Family that comes to visit us tends to stay with other relatives nearby or in a hotel room.
I kind of get what you’re saying here, but if I was related to you and you said I couldn’t stay at your house on my visit because the dogs would be uncomfortable, you would never have the problem come up again, because it would probably be a long time before I even talked to you, much less visited.
For the majority of my developmental years, I grew up with it being just my mom and me. As such, I am pretty fiercely private and territorial. I didn’t realize how much so until I got married. My wife was from a larger family, and she was completely used to people dropping by randomly and, of course, staying over if from out of town. I was never comfortable with that arrangement. Especially the part where I had to put on clothing when going to the bathroom because I might run into someone else.
On the other side of it, I’m even worse about having to stay with other people. Unless I can’t find another way, I’m staying in a hotel. Give me a place to go hole up at night, and be grumpy in the morning if I want, and just have my privacy.
I want to point out, since it was referenced above, that this is in NO way an indication of not liking other people. It doesn’t make any difference how much I like or don’t like anyone involved – I just don’t want to share my sleeping space/room/home with anyone who isn’t in my bed with me.
Fortunately, my father-in-law has worked the kind of weird shift I work. He gets it, as far as the “no, I’m fine, I’m wide awake and being polite” thing goes. I really do work 11 pm until 7 am, and half the time, my husband works 5 pm until 5 am. (Rotating schedule.)
And both my parents and my in-laws have obnoxious little dogs that haven’t been neutered. Really, both my dad’s King Charles spaniel and my father-in-law’s Pekingese are happier when they aren’t sharing space with my German Shepherd. Everyone really is more comfortable if there’s a hotel room available! (And we rent a room when we visit the in-laws, and provide a room for the in-laws when they visit us. I don’t expect them to pay when they visit me, but I’m not willing to have their Peke piss all over my carpet when they spend the evening. My own parents live four blocks away, so I don’t really worry about providing them with a space…
I don’t think this isssue ever really came up when I was growing up. Most of my familiy members live in the same region; nobody (well no adults) ever stayed over at our house. Visits from faraway relatives were freakishly rare. Other than overnights at my grandparents’ house (one set lived on the same street, the other the next town over) or at my great aunt’s the only time I ever stayed in another realitve’s house was when I was ten and was sent to Hawaii to visit my brother & his new wife & stepkids. Naturally I stayed with them, on a Marine base. One of my cousins & his family used to live in Connecticut. I remember they always arrived in a camper & stayed in my grandparents driveway or down at my uncle’s.
Myself, I work and sleep odd hours and am a smoker to boot, so most places, I’m much more comfortable staying in a hotel. I have a couple of friends and one sister that I’m ok staying with though.
For folks visiting me: I live in a one bedroom walk-up apartment. Sis a couple of others are ok with one of us sleeping on the sofa and the other taking the bed (sofa sleeper gets the tv, bedroom sleeper gets the 'puter).
Relatives who absolutely insist that I stay in their homes drive me nuts. They seem to take offense when I tell them that I’m up all night and not awake until noon, so a hotel is best. Others love it because they can come over for pool time or just to sit in the hot tub if they don’t hav one at home.
I’d want to put up anyone from out of town on a short visit to the extent of our ability to do so. We’ve got a guest room with a queen-sized bed so it’s easy to put up a person or a couple. Pre-Firebug (our 2 year old), we had room to put up larger numbers of guests, but now that his room is his room, and stuff that used to be there is now in other places in the house, there really isn’t room for more than two overnight visitors at a time; might put up with a third on the living room sofa for just one night, but things would really feel squeezed.
But about a week is as long as I’d want anyone to visit, or to be a visitor in anyone else’s house; after that, being at close quarters with people you’re not used to seeing early in the morning and late at night just starts wearing on everyone concerned. After we adopted the Firebug early last year, my wife’s aunt was making noises to my wife about visiting for an extended stay to help us look after him. Then one time, she called when my wife wasn’t there, and asked me what I’d do if she said she was coming up for a few weeks. I told her I’d give her a list of nearby hotels. My wife said she was a bit miffed by my telling her this, but that seemed to blow over pretty quickly, and it made the point.
My wife’s family lives in central FL, just a bit inland from Tampa. One absolutely brilliant idea my wife came up with last year was to rent a beach house on the Gulf coast for a week during the offseason (but while it was still plenty warm enough to swim), and let everybody visit for a night or three. We and the Firebug had the master bedroom suite, and my wife’s parents, brother, aunt, and grandmother rotated in and out of the other two bedrooms. It didn’t cost us much more than renting a hotel room in their town would have, and it gave us a chance to spend some time with the relatives I listed without anyone’s domestic routine being disrupted. The beach house was about an hour and a half from where the relatives lived, so it was pretty easy for them to drive on over.
It’s obviously not the sort of thing that would work for everybody, since (a) not everyone or their relatives live that close to vacation rentals, and (b) not everyone’s relatives are clustered like that. But it worked well enough for us that we’re planning on doing it again this fall, and it might work for some of you.
There have been threads and threads on this topic. I think the last one ran to 5 pages.
The concensus was that there was no concensus. Setting aside the people whose living arrangements just make guests flat impractical (e.g. **Geek Mecha **above), some folks wanted no houseguests in their mansions ever, while others felt their 2BR/1BA apt was underpopulated unless they had a guest 350+ days a year.
Me? McMansion dweller with no kids. I can tolerate a single guest or guest couple for about 3 days at a stretch about 3x / year. People under age 10 are acceptable for a few hours tops. I’m not anti-social; my parties usually have ~50 people, which just about gets the place jumpin’. But overnight guests with no escape are not my thing.