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5 Places To Stick Unwanted Holiday Houseguests

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Maybe this is the year.

Maybe this is the time you don't make a last-minute run to the strip mall to get some cheap towels. Maybe this is when your washer and dryer take a breather instead of earning holiday pay. Maybe this is the time to stop playing executive chef and event coordinator for days on end and enjoy the holiday for yourself.

Maybe this is the holiday season you ask the family to stay somewhere else ... or stay there yourself.

A good old-fashioned family Christmas doesn't have to reach National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation proportions to get uncomfortable. Prolonged exposure to your family's idiosyncrasies and the regression of some of those family members into their not-so-lovable roles from years past can grate on even the happiest of hosts.

A survey by vacation rental website HomeAway last year found that 22% of holiday hosts think their guests overstay their welcome after a day or less. About 29% of hosts would kick their visiting sibling out of the house this holiday season if they could, while 22% think it's time for their grown child to make his or her own plans for accommodations.

Not that those guests are exactly grateful for the free place to stay when they get it. Of the 38% of holiday travelers who planned to stay with a friend or family member on Christmas last year, 64% percent werent thrilled about it. A full 29% say weren't looking forward to the lack of personal space, 28% dreaded the guest mattress you view as an afterthought and 5% said you or the other relatives hanging around the house this holiday season are enough of a problem on your own.

Is it any wonder about a third of hosts have had it with their holiday guests after only a few days, while 51% of holiday travelers feel stressed out by the whole ordeal? Granted, HomeAway has a stake in these results and is trying to get you or your relatives into a vacation rental, but at least a survey conducted by Hilton's Embassy Suites yielded similar results: Roughly 65% of holiday houseguests saying they feel generally uncomfortable staying as a guest in their relative's homes around the holidays.

Nearly 66% would consider using an excuse to get out of it, including faking sickness (38%), lying about their snoring volume (10%), feigning pet allergies (10%) or issuing warnings about their nonexistent sleepwalking (4%).

Hosts, meanwhile, aren't exactly enamored with their chosen gig. Roughly half say their guests wear out their welcome in five days or less. A full 71% shared stories about less-than-ideal guest behavior including messiness (50%), crankiness (31%), insatiable eating (24%), indifference to activities (19%) and an acute lack of self-awareness that leads them to bring uninvited guests over (24%). For 55% of hosts, it just gets awkward. Guests sleep forever 26%, snore like dying alligators (20%), clog the toilet (a gross 16%) and use all of the hot water (13%).

Just stop it. HomeAway and Embassy Suites are biased but have a point -- staying with friends and relatives takes an emotional and psychological toll that can offset just about any amount you're saving on accommodations. Yes, other lodging costs money, but it's nothing compared with therapy hours or legal fees. It's not a cop-out, it's a grown-up bed. It's a television showing something other than your uncle's favorite reality show or polarized news channel. It's a few hours each day of decompression and relaxation -- of needed escape. If you can't sell your family members on the following options, at least consider them for your own sanity.

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