How to Be a Great Houseguest

The holidays are approaching, which means staying in other people’s houses, sleeping in their beds, using their bathrooms, and eating their food. Here are some great ways to be a proper houseguest and make sure you are welcome to come back next year.

1.Arrive with a gift.

Your host/hostess has gone out of his/her own way to accommodate you. He/she has washed the sheets on the bed you’re sleeping in, cleaned the house,  and gone grocery shopping – the least you can do is  arrive with a gift to say “thank you for hosting me.” (See 5 Classy Gift Ideas for Any Occasion).

2. Offer to buy your own groceries or bring food items with you.

When I’m staying at someone else’s house, I like to bring some snacks with me. This obviously depends on travel arrangements so another option would be to offer to pitch in for groceries.

3. Conserve linens and towels.

A good host will usually leave towels out for you, but don’t go and use all of the available towels. It is okay to re-use linens if you are able to. If you think you’ll need more (such as going to the beach), plan ahead and bring extra towels with you.

4. Offer to lend a hand.

If you see your host slaving away in the kitchen, offer to help out. Set the table, help with a side dish, fill beverage glasses….there’s always something to help with. Let your host/hostess know you are willing to help out.

5. Strip your bed before leaving.

Do your host/hostesss a favor and strip the linens and place everything — including your dirty towels — in a pile. It’ll save them a few minutes of work when they have to spend an hour or so of washing, drying, and remaking the bed.

6. Leave a parting gift, or treat the host/hostess to a meal.

The thought is always what counts. Even if it’s a short visit, it’s nice to at least show your host/hostess how much you appreciate their accommodating you.

7. Leave all areas clean.

This should be obvious. But remember to leave your visiting space as clean as when you got there – or even better! Show your host/hostess how much you appreciate them.

8. Leave a thank-you note.

A sticky note will work, too! Just write something nice and let your host/hostess know how much you enjoyed your stay. This will mean a lot to him/her when they find it later.

Have tips on how to be a great houseguest? Let me know in the comments below.

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