Starling Travel

January 19, 2009

How to Be a Good House Guest

Filed under: Lodging — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I’m a HORRIBLE house guest and I KNOW it, so I rarely stay with friends when I visit their towns. Some of them consider it a insult, but most of them understand that we keep strange sleeping hours and even stranger habits. We find a hotel as near to their home as we can and we spend almost as much time with them as we would if we had stayed at their home.

If finances or familial duties require that you be a house guest, here is an EXCELLENT article on how to be a good one:

Here is the condensed version:

  • Arrive when you say you will arrive.
  • Don’t overstay your visit.
  • Bring a gift to say thank you at the outset.
  • Keep your guest area neat.
  • Be reasonable about sharing a household bathroom.
  • Be sensitive about your own body odor.
  • If towels are not placed out for you in the guest room, don’t presume that the fancy towels in a shared bathroom are for you.
  • Don’t keep the hosts up late.
  • Always offer to help at mealtimes.
  • Offer to make contributions.
  • Do your own laundry.
  • Entertain yourself.
  • Be home on time.
  • Be careful about Internet and phone usage.
  • Leave a thank you gift on your departure.
  • Strip your bedclothes on leaving.
  • Leave quietly and thoughtfully.
  • The Golden Rule: Don’t outstay your welcome.
  • Send a thank you note.

You can go their website for more detailed instructions about how to be a good house guest. When I was a child, my grandmother housed many guests, so I learned all these things first hand. Most importantly, it set the standard so high that it’s far easier for me to get my own hotel room rather than try to live up to all these expectations. There have been times when I’ve had to be a house guest because of finances or because my family insisted, and I’ve done my best to be a good house guest, but even then, I’ve fallen below my expectations. I guess that’s why I love hotels so much.

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