I've changed my mind about doing a favour to a mate, it is not I don't want to do it, it is that something came up so it would put me out to live up to what I originally promised.

More detail

Some months ago, the schedule for a series of sport competitions opened in my region and two of them are located in two towns about 200km from me. Due to the distance and a deficient public transport system, the only way to be there on time is to drive.

Bob, a mate from my sports club, asked me before sign in if I could take him in my car and I said yes.

Now that the competitions are here, I've found out that to be there on time requires leaving extremely early. At a recent event I was so tired that I couldn't perform at my best.

For the next one I want to go properly rested, also there is a possibility of the road covered in ice/snow at that time in the morning and I don't have snow chains, so I decided to go the day before at middday and spent the night at a hotel.

And here is the problem: How should I tell Bob that I couldn't take him with me the day of the competition as I said? If he want to go with me, he should also rent a room.

Note: I didn't ask him for money either for the previous trip or the next one.

I don't know if it is relevant to the question, we are from a Southern European country.

  • 3
    Can you share a room?
    – Pieter B
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 15:11
  • 9
    "I'm altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."
    – Mr.Mindor
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 23:36
  • 10
    Whatever you decide to do, please tell Bob as soon as possible, so he can make other arrangements if he decides to do so. Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 3:06
  • 1
    @Mr.Mindor A deal requires both parties obtaining a benefit, this wasn't the situation. Or maybe you are just joking?
    – Carlos3dx
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 7:32
  • 2

2 Answers 2


I don't see a need to complicate this, tell Bob, as you have told us that your plans have changed. Tell him why but don't overexplain. A rush of reasons might make it sound as though you were making excuses to avoid his company.

Hey Bob, you remember the last competition, I didn't do as well as I wanted because I had to wake up so early to be there on time.

For the next one I want to go properly rested and avoid night driving in the snow, so I'm going to to go the day before and get myself a hotel room. I'll be leaving at 12 on XXday, more than happy to still give you a lift if you were thinking of the same. I'm going to stay at the YYY Inn, I can give you their number if you want to book there too.'

But whatever you do DO IT SOON, so Bob has the maximum time to make new arrangements if he can't do the same as you for cost or other reasons.

  • 4
    Do it soon is very important indeed. For IPS it would have actually been ideal to do it before you even booked, but since you have already done so the sooner the better!
    – Jesse
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 13:20
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    @Jesse For some who feel easily pressured by other people, there is a lot to be said for presenting it as a fait accompli. If you phrase it, 'I'm going to book a room' it can put you on the back foot if someone's reply is something like 'oh book one for me too' leaving the question of payment unresolved, or 'Oh, cool, I'll bunk in with you' which is all kinds of awkward.
    – user9837
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 15:08
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    This is somewhat a whole other IPS question but I would phrase it like "I'm going to book this number room you should book the one next to me it will be great." which would make those tough scenarios less likely
    – Jesse
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 15:15
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    @jesse I've never made a hotel booking where I knew the room number before I got there, but as you say, different question. I just wanted to make the point that sometimes you have to do what's* best for you* but the 'best you can manage' by the other person, rather than optimising the other person's experience.
    – user9837
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 15:22
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    Thanks for your answer. I've told Bob about the Hotel and if he want to come the day before I'll take with me without problem.
    – Carlos3dx
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 7:48

You are doing him a favor by carpooling without asking any money. That's nice of you. This time though you evaluated after having the previous event that things didn't work out for you, but it has nothing to do with Bob or the favor.

Just tell him:

Hi Bob, due to the predicted snow and me having no snow chains and that I'd like to be rested for the competition. I decided it would be better if I booked an hotel near the event. I am sory about the change of plans, I know it's less convenient for you. You can still tag along if you like, but you will have to book a room. Please let me know if I you want me to pick me up. If so, be ready at 1 pm.

This makes clear, you don't mind him tagging along for the ride and that your change of plans had nothing to do with him. It's just something you prefer (better rest and more safety due to snowfall).

  • @MichaelKay We don't know it's less convenient for him - he may also prefer not to risk night driving on ice. So, what about: "Sorry about this change of plans, I hope it works for you too?" Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 12:13

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