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The potential perils of inviting people to your place abroad

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If you live abroad, or you used to, you may well decide to invite your new-found friends into your home. When you do this, you’ll either have an amazing time, or all hell will break loose.

It’s the same as choosing to live in a house with a group of people you’ve only known for a term, or going on holiday with someone you haven’t known for a long time – it’s risky. Whether it’s a new boyfriend or girlfriend, your flatmates, or a group of friends you’ve met recently, there’s always a risk. So, bear in mind the potential perils of inviting people to your home abroad, because once you know what could happen, you’ll be far better prepared.

The Potential Perils:

They have no regard for your home.

Plenty of people are considerate, but equally plenty of people aren’t. Unfortunately, you don’t find out which category each of the friends you’ve invited falls into until they’re actually there. Some people have great personal hygiene, some people don’t flush the toilet, leave dried toothpaste in the sink and sleep with used make-up wipes on the floor and in the bed. But you can’t know these things until you’ve spent 24 hours a day with them for a few days; so if you’re going to invite someone to stay with you, make sure you know everything about them, both good and bad.

You may know the language, but they don’t.

It’s your holiday home, you know your way around, you know the lingo and you know what the customs are and how things are done, so it’s quite easy to forget that your guests probably won’t. Remembering these things and being considerate of your guest or guests, who may feel isolated being surrounded by a language they don’t understand in a place they’re not familiar with, can really help.

They think of you as a tour guide.

You live in this country, or you used to. Perhaps near a popular holiday destination in France, Greece or Italy. When you invite guests into your home, it’s not the same as wherever you met them; there’s a power shift. Technically, the host should hold all the cards, as they know where everything is and how to get there, but if there’s a large group, and one or two of them are bad eggs, there’s a danger that you’ll be used and abused as you’re seen as the tour guide – not someone who’s there to have fun as well. 

You take over.

Your guest/guests are with you to have fun, whether that's seeing the sights or getting blindingly drunk and eating crisps in bed in 30-degree heat, whichever takes their fancy. But either way, it’s their holiday as much as yours, and as much as you may hate (or love) doing these things, there’s got to be some give and take from both sides when the daily activities are considered. 

But don’t worry; this article isn’t all doom and gloom. In the rare event that either yourself as the host or any of your guests aren’t enjoying themselves, there are measures you can take to avoid these potential perils, so fear not!

Lay out some ground rules:

  • What’s expected, for example cleaning up the kitchen after use and not monopolising a bathroom or all the hot water.
  • Before they arrive, ask your guests what they are expecting to make sure you’re all on the same page.
  • Discuss beforehand the sleeping arrangements so as to avoid arguments.
  • Remind them it is your home, and that it should be treated like one.
  • Make sure you’re aware of how your friends will act in all situations – this involves spending more time with them, and if you don’t like what you see then you certainly won’t like seeing it when they come to stay.
Having said this, plenty of people invite friends to stay at their home abroad and have a wonderful time. This is merely an emergency guide for those who find themselves struggling when they have guests, or are one themselves.

Happy holidays everyone, and if you have a problem on a holiday, you’ve now got this survival guide to hand.

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