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How to Deal with Too Many Visitors

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 29 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Family Rules Family Fun Family Holidays

When you first arrive at your holiday home abroad you will think that you will never get bored of people coming stay and that you cannot wait to share your good fortune. It is true that your family will want to come and visit you and you will be envisaging all sorts of family fun.

A common problem, however, among people who own a property abroad, is that they can soon feel as though they are running a free B&B for family holidays. Most people do not want to admit it, though, for fear of seeming mean, so they don’t say anything when another family travels to their place for a week of sunshine.

The best way to stop this happening is to have a strategy up your sleeve. This may sound terribly mercenary, but by the time you’ve had The Family come to stay for four weekends in a row and you’re getting through industrial amounts of towels, toilet rolls and coffee, you’ll wish you had been more organised.

Diary Management

Start by having an up to date diary that you consult before you agree to any visits. It is lovely to have visitors at your place in the sun, so you don’t need to be too militant, but by being organised, you don’t get resentful of having a house full, you still get to entertain your family and your guests feel welcome.

Before anyone books their flights or travel arrangements, check your diary to make sure no one else is ‘booked in’ for that weekend. If the dates suit you, write it in the diary. Check if the date clashes with any family birthdays or anniversaries that you may wish to spend alone. This way, you will not have to let anyone down and will only say yes when you mean it.

Make Rules

As early as possible, establish some rules for visitors. You do not have to tell everyone your rules, just make sure you, your partner and children are aware of your family rules. Rules such as no guests for more than three nights or that everyone helps to make dinner when you have guests, for example, can really help reduce the stress of having visitors.

Arrange a Trip Home

If you plan to stay in your home abroad for months at a time, or even permanently, a good way to see your friends and family is to plan a trip home, rather than wait for your family to travel to you. They may wish to have a holiday themselves, but at least if you make the effort to go back home every once in a while you will be able to see people over one week or weekend.

Be Strong

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with too many visitors, you need to nip it in the bud before the issue grows out of proportion. You can end up resenting guests that do not seem to respect your property or your time, or find that you simply cannot afford to have guests so regularly.

If you want to say no to a particular visitor, if they have badly behaved children or do not contribute to the groceries when they stay, work out what you are prepared to lose. Some people would rather you simply told them how you feel as they did not realise. They will do all they can to change as they want to be able to visit. Others will be offended that you mentioned it – these are probably people that you will not miss if they do not visit again.

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