“Visitors and fish stink after three days.” Those words were apparently spoken by the 18th-century American statesman Benjamin Franklin. We’ve heard variations on that quote several times since we’ve lived on Mallorca, and some horror stories of house guests nobody should have to tolerate. Fortunately we’ve not had cause to use the phrase ourselves.
It’s a sure bet that if you move to Mallorca – or any other place where people like to holiday – your popularity will suddenly soar. In our first year here we had 11 lots of guests come to stay – and most of those would have experienced living with no usable electricity sockets and only the benefit of two hours’ lighting a night. Their curiosity about our new life satisfied, some of them haven’t returned!
As the years have passed, our visitor numbers have thankfully settled down to a more reasonable level. In that first summer, the guest room mattress barely had time to cool down between visitors and, although it was fun, hosting so many visitors was also more tiring than we could ever have imagined. With fewer people coming to stay these days we find ourselves looking forward more to our next visitors.
In less than four weeks we’ll be welcoming our first house guests of 2015: our great friends Duncan and Kristina. We know we’ll have a fun week, with lots of good food and excellent Mallorcan wines. Our only challenge will be fitting everything we’d like to do into our week together.
Here are a few tips – based on our experiences – about dealing with requests from people who want to come and stay:
- If they haven’t been in touch with you for years, think carefully about their motives for wanting to visit. Cheap holiday? (Sounds suspicious, I know, but I do know someone who allowed an old out-of-touch friend to come and stay with her. The ‘friend’ used her place as a vacation station, disappearing out every day after breakfast and only reappearing at bedtime, and they spent barely any time together).
- Keep a note of any visits on a chart – that way you can conveniently see what’s already scheduled when you receive a request.
- Give yourself sufficient time between visits to deal with household, work, and personal matters. You’ll probably eat and drink more than usual when you have visitors, so your liver and waistline may appreciate some recovery time.
- If you’ve not yet experienced the heat of August on Mallorca, think twice about accepting any bookings for that month. August is for doing as little as possible!