Why I’m 32 and will still stay with friends instead of at a hotel while on holiday.

Recently, I read an article that suggested that 30 is the cut off for “sleepovers”, in other words, staying at friends’ houses while on holiday. While there was validity in reasons such as “If they want to watch loud TV until 3am or continue drinking cocktails until dawn (when you want a good night’s sleep), you just have to grin and bear it”, I don’t necessarily agree with points such as having “to stay ‘on’” all the time, and the potential for poor hospitality like the “worst bed sheets that I knew were unwashed” or “strange foreign” noises worrying me in the middle of the night. While these are valid reasons, the same can be said for staying in a hotel or Air BnB, both of which would need to be paid for. I’ve personally stayed at a hotel before that had a 3.5 – 4 star rating on Google, Trip Advisor, and lastminute.com, where I couldn’t even use the supplied appliances because there was a warning that the smoke alarm could go off and tenants were liable for the $1300 plus fire brigade call out fee, and at a particularly swanky 5 star hotel where the hot water shut off completely as my partner was getting into the shower because the staff had failed to mention that they were renovating.

So, without further ado, here’s my list of reasons why I’m 32 and will, more often than not, choose to stay at a friend’s house while holidaying instead of at a hotel or Air BnB.

Affordability. I’m part of a generation that can’t afford to buy housing in Sydney unless I make over a certain amount of money that, needless to say despite not wasting my income on lattes and smashed avocado as some investors  – who have now since contextualised said avocado comments – would suggest, I don’t. Not every gen Y has a million dollar start up idea, and the average personal income in Australia is $662 per week. Add utilities, a phone, rent, and – if you live outside of the inner city – a car, it doesn’t leave me, or my partner, a lot to play with, let alone to spend on hotels. If I want to have a break, I generally have the choice of staying at home, or with friends.

I get to spend time with people I trust. I know in a hotel you get tiny toiletries, a comfortable bed – aside from those twin beds that are pushed together to make one super awkward dent in the middle, but I digress – and don’t have to be “on” all the time. But when I stay with friends they generally give me the time and space to be on my own, do my own sightseeing if I’m travelling, and generally provide access to towels, blankets, and coffee. We co-ordinate, and when we’re all free, we make a meal together, or go out, or order in – the same as, shockingly, at a hotel – and have quality time together then.

I know where that bedding’s been. While the majority of hotels can leave you relaxed and at peace with the world, some places can suggest more than a hint of uncleanliness. Hair actually tucked right into the bed, a tissue in the waste basket, discoloured tiling, and – as was the case with one hotel I stayed in – rock candy stuck to the folded bathroom towels. As paying guests we’re meant to assume cleanliness, but let’s face it, unless you want to carry a UV light in your luggage, you’re at the mercy of hotel management’s strictness. I know my friends, and I know they’ll be giving me clean towels and bedding, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be staying at their house in the first place.

It’s my home away from home. My friends have their own lives and will usually go about their day and tell me to make myself at home. This doesn’t mean I leave my clothes and belongings everywhere, mess up their bathroom, and lose my sense of hygiene by leaving dirty wet towels on the bed. I also don’t do this in hotels because I have respect for housekeeping staff and I’m not a 3-year old.

I know where everything is and if I need something all I have to do is ask. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I know where my friends leave their coffee, cotton buds, spare toilet rolls, glasses etc. and after noting points 5 and 6, this makes it easier than having to call housekeeping or a concierge and feel the need to explain why I need extra toiletries or a tampon at 5am, or *ahem* clean towels.

My friends are like-minded about space. They need their alone time just as much as I do, and if one of us doesn’t feel like being social, we’ll do our own thing, whether that means I’m chilling on their couch with a book while they watch TV, or I’m going for a walk while they’re taking a nap. If I’m going away to get away from people they get it, and they’ll leave their house keys in case I need to go out while they’re at work / out with other friends / at the movies. It’s called communicating.

There are better things to spend money on. While the idea of lazing by a pool or in my hotel room that I don’t have to clean, or on a bed I don’t need to bother making sounds absolutely delightful, staying with friends while on holiday means I get to do my own thing in a comfortable environment, save hundreds of dollars per day that are better used elsewhere, and I get to see the friends who were probably the reason for my visit anyway.

At the end of the day, needs are communicated, my partner and I get to continue to save our incomes for other things, and everybody wins.

Monique Le Chat is a writer, student, business owner, home brewer, and musician. When she isn’t doing any of these things, she’s usually out of town, staying with friends.

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~ by lechatnoirmon on October 30, 2017.

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