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The How-To Lounge: Being a Good House Guest

When you travel to visit friends or family, some people opt to skip out on the pricey hotel room and shack up with their loved ones. While some people enjoy being the hostess with the mostess, others cringe at the idea of having house guests so here are some good pointers on how to be a respectable house guest.

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  • It's always a nice gesture to bring a small gift when you're a house guest. A candle, flowers, a nice bottle of wine, a cookbook, home baked bread, etc.
  • The most important rule to keep in mind is don't over stay your welcome. As a rule of thumb, aim for a three day visit or less and arrive when you say you will arrive, and leave when you plan to leave. Even if you are adamant about your host pretending you aren't there, they will still feel obligated to entertain you
  • Try to just go with the flow. You might have your own routine at home, but while you're a guest, try to adapt with your host's routine for the sake of being flexible. If they like to have coffee at 9 instead of 8, deal with it!
  • Stay as neat as possible and always make your bed. You don't want your host to feel like they need to be your maid -- their home isn't a hotel after all!
  • If you are dining in, offer to help with the cooking, set the table, help with the dishes, etc. If you are doing a lot of eating out, offer to treat your host to at least one of the meals
  • Make sure to bring something to keep you occupied in case you have unexpected down time. A book, some work, your own computer, etc.
  • Always bring your own toiletries. It's normal to forget things, but don't rely on your host having lotion and shampoo for you to use, try to remember your own products
  • Before you leave, strip your bed and even throw in a load of laundry if you have the time. Remember to leave your area as neat and clean as it was when you arrived

Being a house guest can be really fun, a time for old friends to catch up and act like teenagers again, but if you are on vacation and your host has to work, be respectful of their downtime and bed time. Happy and safe travels!


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