The downside of vacations is that they are few and far between. Of course, this is what makes them all the more memorable and special when they do occur. It’s the whole sweetness but for the bitter thing. I get it.
One big reason that people don’t vacation more, perhaps the biggest, is money. Travel ain’t cheap. It used to be that I’d follow such a statement by adding that “ain’t” ain’t a word, but apparently it’s in the dictionary now, so I won’t.
But I digress. Traveling costs money. Even backpacks and hostels add up, although I would hope one backpack would last you the entire trip.
That said I’ve taken it upon myself as the editor of this here blog to share some tips that I just made up in hopes of making travel cheap. Relatively speaking, of course.
Today we’re cutting corners in lodging.
Just because you may not be on a vacation at the moment doesn’t mean that other people aren’t out traveling the world. And they might be staying at your house. It happens.
There is nothing wrong with staying at the house of friends or family while vacationing in the city in which they live. It’s a great money saver and it may offer some local insight into the lesser known attractions in the area.
Here’s the thing, however helpful a host may be, they aren’t personal tour guides. Or chefs. Or maids. Or babysitters (but push for this one).
And if you’re the one putting out the hospitality, you’re not obligated to wear any of those hats, either. However, in all fairness, chef hats are kind of fun to wear.
The only exception would be in the case that your house guest is, in fact, me, at which point all of the aforementioned rules are void. It’s in the contract.
Still, the role of the house guest is a complex one, and can be, at times, “difficult.” Roll with it. That lumpy couch that is killing your back? That thing is saving you $300 a night, so when the owner of the house asks how you slept the proper response is something about a dog or a log or however the Beatles sang it, and not a complaint about said couch and/or back.
On the other hand, if you are the owner of said couch, what the hell? Why is your couch so uncomfortable? Don’t you nap on that thing?
The main factors in determining the level of involvement between the house guest and the host are the pre-exisiting relationship, the work schedule of the host and how fun the vacation sounds. Basically, if you’re staying at my house and going to Disneyland in the morning you can count me in, but if you’re itinerary includes a quilting show then I’ll see you tonight. Bring home a pizza.
Something else to consider, if it’s not working don’t force it. Saving $300 a night is awesome, but family and friends are more so (in theory) and losing them over a crappy couch and quilting fairs is just plain silly.
It’s common sense, really, but look around you- there’s a lack.
Now go make some phone calls. Somebody misses you and they live someplace fabulous.
Top photo by Tricia Honea