May 1st, 2014

8 Ways To Be The Ideal Houseguest

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Suitcase Summer is coming fast and it is very likely that many of us will stay with friends and family for a few days. Here are eight ways to be the ideal houseguest so that you’ll get invited to visit again and again.

Be clear about how long you will stay. Agree with your hosts in advance how long will you stay. Guest are like fish; after three days they start to stink! The general rule is that most hosts have had enough of their guests after a few days, so consider this when arranging your visit. Also, do not overstay your planned visit.

Be on time. When you arrive, make sure that you arrive at the agreed time, not sooner or much later. If you’ll be late, call your hosts and let them know. It’s rude to keep your hosts waiting.

Bring a small gift. Either a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, a plant or orchid, anything small that you think your hosts will enjoy.

Entertain yourself. Do not treat your hosts as your personal tour guides, maids, cooks, assistants or entertainers. Understand that as a guest, it is your job to entertain the hosts, not the other way around.

Help out. Do whatever you can to make your hosts’ lives easier and more pleasant while you are visiting. Offer to wash the dishes, make your bed, keep your bathroom tidy, and pick your clothes up off the floor.

Return the favor. Invite your hosts to at least one meal in a restaurant during your stay. Also, offer to chip in with the grocery expenses, especially if you are on a special diet or drink a particular kind of wine.

Clean up after yourself. Before you leave, take the bedding off your bed, wipe down your bathroom counter, and collect your dirty towels and put them in the hamper or on top of the washing machine.

Show your gratitude. Thank your hosts for their hospitality by writing them a thank-you note within 24 hours of your leaving. You might even send them a small thank-you gift if they went above and beyond to make your stay enjoyable.

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