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I Booked a $2,000 Rental for a Group Trip, but No One Paid Me Back Their Share of the Cost – They Didn’t Get Away with It

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Excitement for their weekend vacation turned to irritation when Sarah’s pals refused to pay their half of the $2,000 cabin rental. They had no idea she had a strategy in place to prevent them from getting away with it.

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Every year, our friend group organizes a girls’ weekend away. We take turns organizing, and this year’s was mine! I was thrilled to discover the ideal location: a tiny cabin located right on a lovely lake.

We all squealed with delight when I sent the photos.

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The place appeared to have come straight out of a magazine. It included a comfortable cabin with a fireplace, beautiful lake views, and a hot tub.

The overall cost for the three-night stay was $2,000, which came out to a fairly affordable $250 per person for our group of eight.

“Since I went ahead and booked the cabin, I was happy to cover the upfront cost,” I told my friends. “But to make things smooth, I’d love for you all to pay me back before the trip starts. Does that work for everyone?”

“Sounds perfect, Sarah!” Mary chimed in first. “Thanks for taking care of that.”

“Absolutely, no problem at all,” echoed Ella.

“Great, that works for me too!” chimed in Brittany.

One by one, everyone else around the table agreed.

“Yep, sounds good,” “No worries, I can do that,” the confirmations rolled in. It seemed everyone was happy to handle their share, and they promised to pay me before the trip started.

Easy peasy, right?


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As the trip approached, the easy peasy turned into oh-so-frustrating.

First, it was Mary. “Hey Sarah,” she chirped, “my car needs new brakes, so I might be a little late on my payment. I’ll get it to you next week.”

A week later, it was Brittany’s turn. “Ugh, student loans are killing me this month. Can I hold off until next payday?”

“I just need to wait until my next paycheck,” Melissa told me.

Weeks passed as I reminded them to pay back, but they came up with new reasons.

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Every justification was unique, and none of them overlapped. It seems that they were in this together.

Then came radio silence. Nada. Ella, Dana, and even the dependable Lisa did not respond to texts or phone calls.

By the week before the trip, I’d spent $2,000 and felt absolutely spent.

The same people I considered “friends” had indirectly refused to repay me. The people I trusted the most had suddenly decided to work against me.

Why did they do this?

Had I done something wrong? Was this an attempt to see how I would react to such a difficult situation? I’m not sure what it was, but it was making me quite irritated.

I realized I had to do something radical to make them realize I wasn’t a doormat.

As a result, I thought it was time to teach them a lesson they would remember. Now, I’m not much for confrontation, but this was absurd.

The night before the trip, I took a deep breath and picked up my phone to carry out the first part of my plan.

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I sent a group text, overflowing with faux excitement. “Can’t wait to see you all at the cabin tomorrow! Gonna be the perfect weekend getaway!”

Little did they know, I had a cunning plot developing.

The next morning, I awoke extra early and got out of bed. I dashed out the door, putting on clothes and ready to turn the cabin into our own private refuge.

At the supermarket, I pushed my trolley through the aisles.

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My face lit up with excitement as I loaded it with fresh fruit, cheese, and enough snacks to feed an army.

I even had the best assortment of wines and juices. I wanted to make sure my pals were well fed and cared for.

After paying for the snacks and drinks, I got back in my car and proceeded to the cottage. It was much more stunning in person, with the sunshine gleaming off the lake like a million diamonds.

I stocked the refrigerator with everything I’d purchased.

I even prepared a bonfire for that night, replete with warm blankets and marshmallows.

The location appeared ideal. I knew my buddies would have the time of their lives here.

But here’s the catch: I brought the keys and garage door opener with me when I went on a “errand.”

Before locking the cabin, I texted all of my pals that I was out on an urgent errand and would be there by the time they arrived. They trusted me, just as I had when I asked them to pay me.

However, both they and I betrayed my trust.

If they wanted to have a pleasant time in the cabin, they had to follow my instructions. They needed to earn their weekend break.

I wasn’t going to let them have a nice time while they ignored my SMS and calls.

My phone started blowing up at midday. My buddies sent me frantic texts and calls.

“Hey, Sarah, we’re here at the cabin, but the doors are locked!” Ella said.

“Did you forget something?” Mary asked.

I kept my cool, replying with a simple, “Oh no! So sorry, guys. Must have left the keys at home. But hey, the good news is I’m on my way back now!”

Was I on the way back? No!

I was seated in a local cafe, sipping my favorite iced latte. I enjoyed reading their texts as they approached the cabin one after the other.

After I sent the last message, the frequency of their texts decreased. They were happy I was on my way back, but the reality was quite different.

As their temporary relief faded, they began calling and texting me again. This time, their communications were far more frantic. Some of my buddies were angry, while others were trying not to lose their cool.

“How can you be so forgetful, Sarah?” Lisa asked.

“I can’t believe you’re making us all wait like this!” Dana said. “I thought this was supposed to be a fun trip.”

Finally, I decided to drop the bomb.

I sent a calm message: “Look, I’m happy to come back and let you all in, but only once everyone has sent over their share of the rental cost.”


Then there was a rush of action.

Apparently, the prospect of a lavish weekend excursion took precedence over car difficulties, school loans, and all the other justifications they’d devised.

As money began to arrive, my phone buzzed with Venmo, PayPal, and Zelle notifications.

Within an hour, every cent had been accounted for.

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“You guys could have done this before!” I said to myself before grabbing the keys and heading back to the cabin.

Their eyes lit up as soon as they saw my car in the parking lot. Some of them started walking towards my car, while the others walked towards the door.

“I hope I made it on time!” I chirped as I exited my car with the key in my hands.

As I opened the door, some of them whispered apologies, while others smiled sheepishly.

Honestly, the discomfort was a touch overwhelming at first.

The rest of the weekend was not as relaxing as I had hoped. The initial tension lingered, and the normal jovial banter seemed strained.

But here’s the thing: they’ve finally understood. There were repercussions for breaking their word.

We nevertheless had some fun by burning marshmallows under the starlight, canoeing on the lake, and engaging in the typical gossip sessions.

But it was a different type of trip—one defined by a newfound respect.

By the end of the journey, some of the stress had subsided.

Mary, being the impetuous one, enveloped me in a big hug. “Seriously, Sarah, I’m so sorry about the car thing. You were totally right to be mad.”

Brittany responded, “Yeah, me too. Those loans can wait, but friendships can’t.”

A couple others offered genuine apologies, which I appreciated. Looking back, the entire experience was unpleasant, but it also provided some clarity to our connections.

I learnt that sometimes you need to stand up for yourself, even if it means being a little rough. They also taught that mutual respect is essential.

We may not be planning any luxury cabin holidays soon, but we will do so with a heightened feeling of knowledge and responsibility.

This entire event made for a wonderful story, even if it wasn’t exactly the restful weekend I had envisioned.

But, hey, sometimes the best lessons are wrapped up in irritation and resolve.