Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

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KlangFool
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by KlangFool » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:23 pm

Wildebeest wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:45 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:12 pm
Folks,

I will play devil advocate here.

A) Guest that flew in had lived in a 200K house.

B) Hosted by OP with a big expensive 850K house.

C) Guest used up most of their budget in paying for the plane ticket.

D) Obviously, OP is a lot richer than the guest by the size of the house.

E) So, what is the big deal for the OP to pay for the meal?

This is one of the problems of living in a big expensive house. Everyone assumes that you are rich enough to pay for everything.

KlangFool
A lot of assumptions on Klangfool's A to E.

Say he is correct, my experience has been the opposite: that the richer people are, the more tight they are with their money ( sometimes I wonder if that is how they got rich, they hate spending money) so if the guests were poor, they would have been more generous.
Wildebeest,

It is my observation that generosity has nothing to do with whether someone is rich or poor. I had seen generosity and selfishness from both rich and poor people.

KlangFool

Pinotage
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by Pinotage » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:38 pm

I would sell the Mystery Asset and use the proceeds to fund dinner/peace of mind.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:38 pm

Instead of it being a case of poor etiquette it really is a case of miscommunication or perhaps “a lack thereof”. In any event, one has to decide if this is going to be a dealbreaker in having a future relationship. Seems a bit trivial depending upon how much has been invested over time. No investment is perfect, but in the grand scheme of things most times the benefits outweigh the costs.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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greg24
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by greg24 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:50 pm

Yeah, the guests probably made a faux pas.

But, no big deal. Move on and enjoy your time with them.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:13 am

123 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:45 pm
If the guest suggests we go out to dinner and then doesn't pick up the entire bill and provide hospitality to the "host" it strikes me that maybe they are saying (implied) that they didn't like the food the host provides and maybe going out to eat with everyone providing for their own meal would be better. I just see a deeper insult.
Interesting analysis. "You deserve a night off from cooking" really means "You shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a kitchen." This is why I don't allow people to stay with me. Too complicated.

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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:59 am

When a guest suggests eating out, I respond that I would rather save the money and cook at home. That puts them in the position of clarifying that they plan to treat.

dbr
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by dbr » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:02 am

And yet somehow we never seem to experience all these dilemmas.

I would have to think awhile to understand why that is. The actual outcomes can be any of the various things people have suggested and just seem to come from people having sensitivity, good intentions, and common sense.

wrongfunds
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by wrongfunds » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:22 am

Pinotage wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:38 pm
I would sell the Mystery Asset and use the proceeds to fund dinner/peace of mind.
BH have very very long memory and they never let you forget anything. Have we got an update on the Mystery Asset lately?

jucor
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by jucor » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:26 am

My wife does not drink and I rarely do. Family and friends know this. I have a BIL who delights in ordering expensive bottles of wine and post dinner drinks when they are visiting and we go out... but only when we have said the meal is on us. Mysteriously, on occasions where it is clear they are picking up the tab, BIL will say things like "lousy wine list at this place" and order soft drinks for himself and SIL. Cheapskate, and not someone I enjoy having in my home (he regularly exhibits other selfish behaviors), but as harmony in this relationship is highly valued by my DW and we can afford it, I bite my tongue.

So it goes. :beer

dbr
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by dbr » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:30 am

jucor wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:26 am
My wife does not drink and I rarely do. Family and friends know this. I have a BIL who delights in ordering expensive bottles of wine and post dinner drinks when they are visiting and we go out... but only when we have said the meal is on us. Mysteriously, on occasions where it is clear they are picking up the tab, BIL will say things like "lousy wine list at this place" and order soft drinks for himself and SIL. Cheapskate, and not someone I enjoy having in my home (he regularly exhibits other selfish behaviors), but as harmony in this relationship is highly valued by my DW and we can afford it, I bite my tongue.

So it goes. :beer
But see, that isn't about etiquette; it is about that BIL being a jerk and you being stuck in one of those family situations. There is no solution to people being jerks and people that are not jerks usually figure out good solutions. You, of course, have your solution.

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Artsdoctor
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by Artsdoctor » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:33 am

Interesting. There is indeed another thread about the logistics of splitting checks under certain circumstances.

Isn't there some sort of fundamental etiquette that's taught during adolescence? When you're a guest, you bring a gift of some sort?

I don't think we've ever stayed with someone without taking them out to dinner or brought some sort of gift. Likewise, we've never had someone stay with us who didn't do the same. It's not anticipated or expected, but that's just the way it's done.

I would think that if you feel taken advantage of, you just don't have them stay with you in the future.

dbr
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by dbr » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:37 am

Artsdoctor wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:33 am
Interesting. There is indeed another thread about the logistics of splitting checks under certain circumstances.

Isn't there some sort of fundamental etiquette that's taught during adolescence? When you're a guest, you bring a gift of some sort?

Yes. That is pretty fundamental. It might not apply when the guests are our own children, but as often as not they bring something. One of my children likes to come over and do the cooking.


I don't think we've ever stayed with someone without taking them out to dinner or brought some sort of gift. Likewise, we've never had someone stay with us who didn't do the same. It's not anticipated or expected, but that's just the way it's done.

I don't think taking out to dinner is de riguer but it is certainly common.

I would think that if you feel taken advantage of, you just don't have them stay with you in the future.

It is also possible to recognize that there are more valuable things in relationships than whether or not someone is being taken advantage of. The case of people on very limited budgets has to be considered with consideration and common sense. There are also people who are jerks and sometimes we have to tolerate them.


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Artsdoctor
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by Artsdoctor » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:50 am

^ Of course. When I was a medical student, I couldn't very well take anyone out to dinner really. However, I could always bring a small gift, such as a bottle of wine or a book. Something to show your appreciation. The same way with being invited over to someone's house for dinner; I can't imagine coming empty-handed but the gift doesn't have to be anything extravagant. I've had people bring over home-baked bread or brownies or anything which would have cost pennies to make.

LK2012
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by LK2012 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:59 am

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:40 am
It just isn't appreciated when you get voluntold to do something that isn't your plan.
I love this term - "voluntold" - and for me, that is the crux of the matter. Yes, there was obvious miscommunication in the OP's case, in that it was reasonable to think the guests were offering to pay, and frustrating when they did not pick up the whole check. But the OP also did not particularly want to go out to dinner, it seems, that was not in the plans. So that enters into it too.

Being flexible with friends is ideal, but sometimes the real problem is being "voluntold to do something that isn't your plan." It can make you unsettled, and then mad! I was recently traveling with friends, and somebody voluntold me to pay for something for which another friend had already planned to pay. Actually, this person volunteered themselves, then immediately discovered they had "no cash" and then voluntold me to pay. The friend who originally was planning to pay then said absolutely nothing, so of course, I paid. The amount was absurdly trivial, but I was steamed for days because the way it happened was just so downright rude and passive-aggressive! Which is a characteristic of that person that has often rubbed me the wrong way. Of course, I would have happily paid if it was all above board from the beginning.

When it's not clear who will pay, it seems like any negative feelings people have about being moochers/moochees can be "triggered." Some people are more likely to react to this than others, and the trick is, you never know!

squirm
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by squirm » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:50 pm

So much for your guest. I would uninvite them next time.

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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by squirm » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:55 pm

jucor wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:26 am
My wife does not drink and I rarely do. Family and friends know this. I have a BIL who delights in ordering expensive bottles of wine and post dinner drinks when they are visiting and we go out... but only when we have said the meal is on us. Mysteriously, on occasions where it is clear they are picking up the tab, BIL will say things like "lousy wine list at this place" and order soft drinks for himself and SIL. Cheapskate, and not someone I enjoy having in my home (he regularly exhibits other selfish behaviors), but as harmony in this relationship is highly valued by my DW and we can afford it, I bite my tongue.

So it goes. :beer
Wife and I don't drink either, another reason we don't go out much with others....

jucor
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by jucor » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:49 pm

squirm wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:55 pm
jucor wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:26 am
My wife does not drink and I rarely do. Family and friends know this. I have a BIL who delights in ordering expensive bottles of wine and post dinner drinks when they are visiting and we go out... but only when we have said the meal is on us. Mysteriously, on occasions where it is clear they are picking up the tab, BIL will say things like "lousy wine list at this place" and order soft drinks for himself and SIL. Cheapskate, and not someone I enjoy having in my home (he regularly exhibits other selfish behaviors), but as harmony in this relationship is highly valued by my DW and we can afford it, I bite my tongue.

So it goes. :beer
Wife and I don't drink either, another reason we don't go out much with others....
It is odd to us how much socializing among many of those we know revolves around drinking alcohol in bars and restaurants. We don't enjoy watching people getting and/or being inebriated, so we're also going out less with others.

dbr
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by dbr » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:21 pm

jucor wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:49 pm
squirm wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:55 pm
jucor wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:26 am
My wife does not drink and I rarely do. Family and friends know this. I have a BIL who delights in ordering expensive bottles of wine and post dinner drinks when they are visiting and we go out... but only when we have said the meal is on us. Mysteriously, on occasions where it is clear they are picking up the tab, BIL will say things like "lousy wine list at this place" and order soft drinks for himself and SIL. Cheapskate, and not someone I enjoy having in my home (he regularly exhibits other selfish behaviors), but as harmony in this relationship is highly valued by my DW and we can afford it, I bite my tongue.

So it goes. :beer
Wife and I don't drink either, another reason we don't go out much with others....
It is odd to us how much socializing among many of those we know revolves around drinking alcohol in bars and restaurants. We don't enjoy watching people getting and/or being inebriated, so we're also going out less with others.
Most of my friends drink and I drink. Nobody gets drunk to the point of a noticeable change in behavior. But our crowd goes to venues for reasons other than drinking, namely eating and entertainment, and drinks are an accompaniment.

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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by ny_knicks » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:44 pm

Artsdoctor wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:33 am
Isn't there some sort of fundamental etiquette that's taught during adolescence? When you're a guest, you bring a gift of some sort?
Think this might be lost in the younger generation I am part of...live in NYC and we constantly have friends (some close some not so close) asking to stay. We have the space and don't mind hosting so its usually a yes. I don't expect anything in return but know in the back of my mind I am saving them minimum $300 a night on hotels and they are costing me extra in electricity, water and food (I am not going to eat in front of them and offer nothing in return). They also always want to do tourist stuff which we have likely already done but sometimes feel obligated to do anyways if they are close friends. Hosting is very expensive here and most who live here have a similar story.

We have never received a single gift...maybe I need new friends.

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Artsdoctor
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by Artsdoctor » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:57 pm

NY,

You don’t need new friends. Whatever works for you is fine. I think the key is how you’re feeling when it’s happening. If you’re happy and excited to be sharing NYC with your friends, that’s what it’s all about. If you’re feeling obligated and find that it’s drudgery, then that doesn’t seem right to me.

At the end of the day, it’s the host’s prerogative to not invite the guest (again).

veindoc
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by veindoc » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:41 pm

I would have been annoyed for sure. Also when I host out of town guests for the weekend I expect to cook the entire weekend and shop accordingly. I would have not known what to say about the going out to dinner part since I knew that would mean something in the fridge was not being cooked.
Awkward no doubt.

Saving$
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by Saving$ » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:47 pm

I think the answer totally depends upon the relative situations of the parties.

If there is economic parity, or even if not, if both parties are well to do enough to afford the dinner, then the person receiving the free hospitality should absolutely treat the hosts family to a meal out.

However, families may have other traditions.
-When I am staying with someone, I make a point to select at least one night and take the entire family out to eat and I pay the bill. If I'm staying a weekend I also try to pick up a brunch
- A distant relative is quite successful. I was in the same town as that relative, and the relative's parents invited me to join an extended family gathering at a medium/high cost restaurant. I was fully expecting to pay my own way, as well as pick up the tab of another distant relative's immediate family who joined, and for whom I knew the meal would be a significant portion of their monthly expenses. When the server asked how to divide the bill, the distant relative's parent stated "give the entire thing to my (son/daughter) sitting over there in the blue sweater; (he/she) is loaded." The server complied and the "loaded" person graciously accepted. I was astounded and embarrassed, and protested I could pay my own, but everyone else seemed to expect it.
- when I was young and poor, I visited friends, and they paid for the eating out - they could far better afford it
- when younger relatives and friends kids who are starting out financially, are staying at my place, I always pick up the bill for meals out...

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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by pennywise » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:42 pm

Artsdoctor wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:33 am

I don't think we've ever stayed with someone without taking them out to dinner or brought some sort of gift. Likewise, we've never had someone stay with us who didn't do the same. It's not anticipated or expected, but that's just the way it's done.
This is how we behave as well. Regardless of whether or how much it cost a guest to travel etc, if the guest is staying with someone who is also providing meals they are certainly saving money there. Regardless, it is absolutely the courteous and correct gesture to treat your host to dinner, or otherwise give some token of appreciation if for whatever reason dinner on your dime doesn't happen. A nice bottle of wine, a floral arrangement delivered to the hostess etc. SOMETHING.

The original situation described a very rude houseguest. Seriously, telling the hostess you'd like to go out so she doesn't have to cook and then expecting to split the bill?! No, just no.

randomguy
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by randomguy » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:56 pm

Wildebeest wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:45 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:12 pm
Folks,

I will play devil advocate here.

A) Guest that flew in had lived in a 200K house.

B) Hosted by OP with a big expensive 850K house.

C) Guest used up most of their budget in paying for the plane ticket.

D) Obviously, OP is a lot richer than the guest by the size of the house.

E) So, what is the big deal for the OP to pay for the meal?

This is one of the problems of living in a big expensive house. Everyone assumes that you are rich enough to pay for everything.

KlangFool
A lot of assumptions on Klangfool's A to E.

Say he is correct, my experience has been the opposite: that the richer people are, the more tight they are with their money ( sometimes I wonder if that is how they got rich, they hate spending money) so if the guests were poor, they would have been more generous.

My bet is the house guests could easily afford to pay for dinner for Mr and Mrs Miamivice. The guests are just cheap and/or tone deaf and are not impressed by miamivice's wealth.

I share Klangfool's sentiment though that living a big expensive house make everybody assume you are rich and should pay, but not necessarily for dinner.

Everyone comes in with their assumptions about the situation. Maybe they have gone out 10x and every time the bill has been split. Maybe they are making a quarter of what they think the OP makes. Maybe they thought it was a mutual choice to go out to eat. And so on. It isn't like this was some formal event where the guests were hosting. The correct response to requests like this is to let the people know you don't want to pay (i.e. sounds like fun but I am saving for x and am not currently doing y) and they will either offer to pay or let it slide.

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rocket354
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by rocket354 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:33 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:12 pm
Folks,

I will play devil advocate here.

A) Guest that flew in had lived in a 200K house.

B) Hosted by OP with a big expensive 850K house.

C) Guest used up most of their budget in paying for the plane ticket.

D) Obviously, OP is a lot richer than the guest by the size of the house.

E) So, what is the big deal for the OP to pay for the meal?

This is one of the problems of living in a big expensive house. Everyone assumes that you are rich enough to pay for everything.

KlangFool
Between D) and E), there needs to be a bridge that allows for the guest to suggest the host takes a break from cooking so they could go out, and still not treat. There's mutually deciding to go out to eat and split the check, and then there's essentially surprising your hosts with an unexpected bill.

Regardless, people of all incomes and situations are entitled to respect and to be treated decently. You are suggesting it's okay to leech off of or take advantage of people you feel are richer than you.

It is the guests' responsibility to correctly manage their money. If their budget is that tight, they shouldn't suggest going out to eat at a pricey restaurant, even if the check is to be split.

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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by Katietsu » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:03 pm

In the OP, the guests suggested dinner out in a way that seemed to imply it was their treat. I think that was where the potentially hard feelings came from. If the conversation had gone differently, the host could have insisted on staying in or suggested a less expensive option.

For me, personally, I think factors such as who is putting in the most effort and funds for the get together and the primary purpose of the visit can affect my decision on gifts or dinner bills. For instance, if a big part of reason I am coming to NYC is to see the town and the host is saving me a hotel bill, then I am certainly going to treat them.

On the other hand, for Thanksgiving, I am the one that travels every year. It would be a lot easier for me to be the host, quite frankly. No one else at the meal has the cost and hassle of travel and therefore I feel no guilt about not contributing to the meal. Every other year, I pick up a wine or dessert on the way.

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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by HueyLD » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:37 pm

ny_knicks wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:44 pm
Artsdoctor wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:33 am
Isn't there some sort of fundamental etiquette that's taught during adolescence? When you're a guest, you bring a gift of some sort?
Think this might be lost in the younger generation I am part of...live in NYC and we constantly have friends (some close some not so close) asking to stay. We have the space and don't mind hosting so its usually a yes. I don't expect anything in return but know in the back of my mind I am saving them minimum $300 a night on hotels and they are costing me extra in electricity, water and food (I am not going to eat in front of them and offer nothing in return). They also always want to do tourist stuff which we have likely already done but sometimes feel obligated to do anyways if they are close friends. Hosting is very expensive here and most who live here have a similar story.

We have never received a single gift...maybe I need new friends.
You are right. You may need new friends.

I also have family members living in a VHCOL popular tourist area on the left coast and they complained about some of their distant relatives or friends who tried to freeload on them. They finally figured out a way to deal with the demand for free room and board, transportation and tour guide by providing the moochers with nearby hotel names and google maps.

joeblow
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by joeblow » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:49 pm

I just plan for and expect to pay and am pleasantly surprised when I do not have to pay for all or a part of the meal...splitting 50/50 is pretty common. If your budget is that tight and someone suggests going out to eat, either make it clear your expectations or convince them to stay in. Life is too short to be bothered by either outcome.

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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by travellight » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:25 pm

It depends on the purpose of the visitors. When the visiting is for the purpose of relationship maintenance, the host usually pays for everything as the visitor has incurred travel costs. When the hosting is due to the visitor wanting to explore the area and the location is the primary motivation and visiting is secondary, the visitor usually treats the host to a nice dinner.

When my sister and I visit each other, whoever is the host pays for everything including nice meals out. This is despite the fact that I live in San Diego where many people would want to visit and she lived in Dayton, Ohio. Generally, when other friends visit San Diego, we split all meals.
When friends stay with me in Park City during ski season, they usually pay for groceries, cook meals, and take me out to a nice dinner one night. They would have been buying groceries and cooking for themselves anyway and the nice dinner is a thank you for saving on hotel costs.

We don't take into consideration each party's financial standing. None of us in my circle of friends and family feel that those who have higher net worth should pay more.

LawyersGunsAndMoney
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Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:52 pm

Chalk the $65 up to the cost of being a gracious and accommodating host, and leave it at that.

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