Why you should let your friends pay for your hotel room

Hotel sign boasts of all the amenities and a 3-day special
CC BY 2.0 Nicolas Henderson

You wouldn't think twice about accepting a couple nights in a guest bedroom at your friend's house for free, would you? Or put another way: you might try to pick up the restaurant tab as a gesture of thanks, but would you ever offer cash for using the guest room?

So why is it that we never succeed to convince our friends or family to let us pick up their hotel tab when they come visit?

The logic of the deal seems simple and unassailable:

  1. We choose to live in a small space to enjoy all the benefits of living with less.
  2. Instead of owning, heating and maintaining an extra room for guests, we can rent a room as needed at a nearby hotel or B&B.
  3. Our small home saves us money, so the cost of an occasional hotel room fits in the budget; it's not an "extra" cost.

We consider that hotel room as an extension of our small space, as our guest-room-on-demand. But we have never been successful to convince a guest to let us pick up the hotel tab.

Instead, we usually work it out in slumber-party fashion. Our guests enjoy the "master suite." Additional sleeping spaces are made with a bit of transformer furniture. And by convincing the kids that camping indoors is cool, accommodations for all can be found.

But forget about the luxury of a quiet corner to recharge your battery with a book before the next exciting outing. Even a calming read on the toilet will have to be quick, as the one bathroom serves a big crowd.

Therein lies one of the major hurdles to choosing a smaller home. Treehugger founder Graham Hill has made great contributions to solving the problems of living in small spaces, with LifeEdited challenges such as packing 8 rooms into 350 square feet.

But we think another approach could work too. Just try saying "yes, thank you" when your tiny-home hosts offer to put you up in a hotel for the night. You will be the ones doing your friends a favor.

Why you should let your friends pay for your hotel room
Rethinking hospitality in the context of less is more

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