Holiday Stays: It's All Relative
The free ride is over, Aunt Edna.
Holidays or not, a recent Hotels.com survey reveals Americans' inner Scrooge. Bah, relatives. The report, which covered overnight family visits during the holidays, found that on average, people would charge their own kin $149 a night for accommodations at their place. But do you have a Serenity bed and a harpist who performs during meals? I didn't think so.
Even more interesting, the price varies according to region: Your cousin out west would charge you $161 a night (hope she has Pacific views). Instead, you'd be better off staying with your uncle thrice removed in the Midwest. The bill: $125.
(In my own study, I called my mom in Massachusetts to ask her what she would charge me for a holiday stay. In typical mom fashion, she said, "Oh, I could never charge you." When pressed, though, she quickly came up with $80, which includes dinner, breakfast, parking and use of the treadmill in Dad's office.)
Of course, if you are part of the immediate family, you will be received with open arms; it's the relatives with weaker blood ties who are less welcome. Specifically, 43 and 42 percent, respectively, said they would banish their cousins and aunts/uncles to a hotel. Thirty-five percent would toss out their siblings come nightfall, 28 percent would do the same to their parents, and only 23 percent dared to send Granny and Poppy to the nearest Ramada. Adults ages 25 to 34 need to be reminded about certain sacrifices: 40 percent would prefer that their parents stayed at a hotel. (For those ungracious children, I suggest their parents add up room and board costs for 18 years, plus college tuition, and stick that bill under the tree wrapped in a red ribbon.)
Overall, the study made me reflect on the meaning of "home for the holidays." I know that I only want to stay in the blue-carpeted room down the hall from my parents. I prefer us to be one raucous clan celebrating under the same roof. And I would pay my parents anything to always keep it that way.
Where do you prefer your family to sleep over the holidays? And if they stay at your abode, what would you charge them?
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