Seven Ways to Be a Fabulous House Guest
‘Tis the season for house guests!
Hospitality is a time-honored tradition that can bring fellowship and joy to all involved when a few common courtesies are put into play.
The relationship between the host and house guest is most definitely a delicate one. It is a relationship, that if handled without care, can turn the joy and fellowship I was referring to above into a disagreeable nightmare.
GREAT NEWS! Here are Seven Ways to Be A Fabulous House Guest and be invited back again and again!
Sparkle! Sparkle! XX-gwyn
Seven Ways to Be A Fabulous House Guest
Note: Before you begin, keep in mind that no situation is alike as are no two relationships. You know your host best. The following are general simple rules intended to keep your status as “(Your Name Here), Is A Fabulous House Guest.” Most of these things come naturally and without thought.
1. Communication is Key
- Arrival and Departure:
- If you are going to be the guest in someone else’s home, be sure to communicate the exact arrival and departure details up front. If the host is vague with the phrasing, reply with an exact number of days to include specific calendar dates as well as the arrival and departure times. Arrival and departure must be a clear agreement and an exact sync of schedules. This will ensure there are no surprises for your host.
- If you are traveling by air, bus, or train, send your travel itinerary to your host as soon as possible.
- Avoid asking your host to pick you up from the airport. If he/she has the time, he/she will offer. If he/she does not, arrange a rental car or other transportation.
- Make sure your departure is what you communicated. If your stay is for some reason extended, avoid putting your host on the spot by asking if you can stay longer. Go ahead and make other accommodations.
- If you get the feeling that your visit is causing a strain while in progress, decamp and very graciously head for an alternate location.
- Be on time:
- Arrive when you say you will. Depart when you say you will.
- If you have a change in travel plans, and your arrival is going to be earlier, plan to arrive at the already agreed upon time. Remember, your host is busy preparing for your arrival and you don’t want to be an imposition from the start. If your arrival will be later, contact your host immediately so he/she can make adjustments.
- Multiple Guests:
- Be sure to communicate the number of people you will be traveling with. If the number is a match, your host will need to prepare and plan many extra details for the number he/she is hosting.
- Be prepared to make other arrangements if your host doesn’t have the room to host all those traveling with you.
- Be considerate of a host who doesn’t have children. If he/she is opening his/her home to your children, you will need to discuss house rules, meals, entertainment, etc. in advance.
- Traveling with a Pet:
- If you are bringing a pet, make sure your host knows. If your host doesn’t like pets, find another option. Perhaps a pet kennel?
- If your host has invited your pet to visit, plan to keep a close eye on it. When left unattended, your pet should be in a crate or a confined area. Accidents are NEVER ACCEPTABLE!
- Travel with everything your pet will need for the visit.
- Ask your host where they prefer you to take your pet for a “potty break.” Clean up after your pet. Remember, it is never okay to let your pet go in common neighborhood areas or anywhere other than a designated spot. Let your pet/s take care of business first. Then walk around the neighborhood as the reward.
- Coordinate your plans:
- When you arrive, coordinate your schedules. Avoid assuming your host will bend to yours.
- Avoid expecting your host to plan an extensive itinerary for you. Be prepared to entertain yourself.
2. A Gift of Gratitude
- Bring a gift of gratitude for your host: Your host has surely gone out of his/her way to prepare for a wonderful and comfortable visit for you. Upon arrival or departure, a small gift of gratitude is always appropriate. Ideas! Take something local from the area in which you live. I live in the Pacific Northwest. I will usually take Seattle Chocolates, Mount Rainer Cherry Blossom Honey, Working Girl Wine, or something handmade from the multitude of local lavender fields.
3. Dietary Needs
Note: If you have any of the following circumstances, these things should be discussed prior to your arrival.
- Allergies: Always let your host know in advance if you have any food allergies. Especially any that can cause a severe reaction.
- Trending Diets: Diets are personal. Be brief with the details of any diet you may be choosing for your lifestyle. Keep it to three sentences. If your host is interested for specific details they will ask. Avoid expecting your host to change their meal plan to accommodate yours. There most likely will be choices on the table you can eat. Being polite is always the best policy. However, if you are unwilling to eat what your host is planning to serve you, tell your host in advance that you will be bringing and preparing your own food and would love to share.
- Children: If your child is a picky eater, visit a local grocery store for ingredients and prepare their food for them.
- Pets: Bring your pet/s food along with you.
- Be Generous: Consider bringing a gift card for $50.00 or $100.00 to a local grocery store. Keep in mind, if you were staying in a hotel, you would be purchasing several meals a day.
Golden Rule! Always treat your host to a nice meal out.
4. House Guidelines
- Ask your Host: Most likely your host will give you a house tour and point out things you will need to know. Along the way ask specific questions. The key is to be observant and blend into the routine of the household. For example, if your host takes her shoes off inside, you do the same.
Note: If your host doesn’t give you a tour, ask your own questions once settled.
- Unspoken Polite Policies: Most of the following are a given. The key is to blend into the routine of your host.
- Avoid being in control of the remote control unless you are asked.
- Cell Phones and Electronic Devices! No matter what the house rules are, it is always a best practice to stay off your electronic device unless necessary. It implies that conversation and time spent with your host is important to you. If you are addicted to your electronic device and you must have it available at all times, watch how often your host uses his/her device. If they don’t have theirs at the table, don’t have yours. If they aren’t on theirs during down time, avoid being on yours. If you must, step away to the guest room to check your social media, read the news, make calls, or text.
- Always use a coaster for your drink.
- If you break something. Apologize. Have it repaired immediately. Replace it. Pay for it. If it is irreplaceable, find something comparable and gift it with a note of regret. After you find a remedy, do your best to let it go. If you find your host cannot, graciously decamp, replace what was broken by sending it to your host/hostess with another note of apology.
- Keep your things in one area and keep them tidy and organized.
- If you leave something behind, send a note with money for postage inside and ask your host to send it your way. Always pay for postage before you ask your host to ship what you left behind.
- If you will be rising before your host, be as quiet as possible.
Most of all, be considerate. Blend into their lifestyle. ENJOY YOURSELF! ENJOY THEM!
5. Lend a Hand
- How can you take the load off your host?: Your gracious host has worked hard to accommodate you in the midst of his/her regular routines. Ask your host how you can help.
- How may I help with dinner?
- May I walk the dog?
- May I wash the dishes?
- Departure: Before you leave be sure to leave things better than you found them.
- Strip your bed.
- Empty the trash.
- Wipe down the shower and sink.
- Remove any debris from the guest room and the bathroom.
6. Personal Space
- Give your host a break: Of course your host is going to be overjoyed to see you and want great quality time with you. However, it is crucial that you give him/her time alone. Plan to give them a minimum of two hours of personal space for every day you are visiting. It is ABSOLUTELY TRUE that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Here are a few ideas for the “two-hour rule.”
- This is a great time to entertain yourself and those whom you are traveling with. Plan an excursion in the area. It is absolutely okay to get out and tour alone.
- Go for a run, walk, or a hike. Stop along the way and meditate.
- Retire to your guest room and read a book, work on a project you brought along, or take a nap.
- Send a Thank-You Note: ALWAYS send a thank you note to your host expressing your gratitude and a few fond memories of your time together.
- Reciprocate: Extend an offer to your host to visit you soon.
Happy Traveling Everyone! May your visits with friends and family be filled with pure Sparkling Joy and the Most Wonderful Memories of time spent together.
Copyrights & Credits//Author and Creator: Gwyn @SparklingCharm.com
Compliments to my best friend Jenny who is always the perfect house guest.