How to Avoid Being a Travel Mooch Visitor
With travel costs being a concern this summer, many travelers will opt to skip the hotel as a way to save money when visiting family or friends. In a poll by IgoUgo, an online travel community, 57 percent of respondents said they stay with family or friends on vacation. 55 percent of respondents said they have vacationed somewhere soley because they had family or friends who could provide free accommodations.
“There’s something to be said for staying with a local on your vacation – not only will you save money, but you’ll likely get the inside scoop on the coolest things to do and see. But your host should feel that you value spending time with them – not that you’re simply taking advantage of a free place to crash,” says Cameron Siewert, content and community manager at IgoUgo.com
But not all vacationing houseguests are the same. While the majority of houseguests (75 precent) say they enjoy spending time with their hosts, 25 percent appear to be motivated solely by convenience and savings — they don't include the enjoyment of their hosts' company in a list of reasons for staying with them.
“The summer travel season is here, and many of us will be staying with family or friends at some point in the coming months. The trick is to be a welcomed guest and not an inconsiderate mooch – after all, the ultimate goal is to get invited back!”
The term "travel mooch", coined by IgoUgo, is used to describe those 25 percent of dreaded houseguests who tend to push the limits of couch-surfing etiquette.
How to Spot a “Mooch”
Mooches are generally unable to afford the trip otherwise: 39 percent cited this as another motivation.
They might stick around awhile: 25 percent of mooches stay for more than a week.
They’re not alone: 83 percent bring at least one guest.
Many stay with friends they’re meeting for the first time: 23 percent of poll respondents said they have or would.
Some stay with friends they meet on the Internet: 15 percent of poll respondents said they have or would.
How to Avoid Angering Your Host
The Five Mooching Commandments
Thou shalt give thy host plenty of advance notice.
Don’t be the person who calls asking for a place to crash the next day — or even the next week. At least a month in advance is a good rule of thumb.
Thou shalt not bring an assortment of friends and pets.
If you’re single and traveling with a companion, ask your host for permission to bring him or her along. And if you’ve got multiple people or animals in tow, step back and put yourself in your hosts’ shoes before you even ask.
Thou shalt not take hospitalities for granted.
Be considerate and double-check with your host about what you should bring. Don’t just assume that towels, sheets, pillows and other toiletries will be provided.
Thou shalt put the convenience of thy host above all.
You adhere to check-in and check-out times when you stay in hotels. Keep that frame of mind when staying with friends and family and arrive and depart at times that are convenient for them. Unless they offer a ride, make your own arrangements for transportation to and from their home.
Thou shalt exercise common decency.
Don’t bring new friends back to your hosts’ home. If your hosts drive you places, pay for a tank of gas. Wash your dishes. Take out the trash. Pay for your own groceries… You get the picture. Just be considerate.
For more information, visit IgoUgo