Tips for Being a Good Guest

My family just finished a 4-week road trip in which we were guests in the homes of no less than 7 friends and family members.  It is a wonderfully comfortable and cost-effective way to pass the night or spend some time.  While friends and family members are usually grateful to have the pleasure of company, there is a lot of work that goes into preparing for that company.  Most hosts expect nothing in return for a clean bed and often a meal or two (or more), but there are ways that you can show your gratitude the next time that you spend a night at the home of a friend of family member.

Tips for Being a Good Guest |

We took my parents out for hibachi when we stayed with them for 5 days.

Here are just a few tips.

  • Bring a Thank You Gift
    It doesn’t have to be much or break the bank.  Most of my family members don’t live in the same state that I do, so I like to bring them a gift that is uniquely from Maine.  Or consider your hosts’ interests or passions.  Maybe they collect salt and pepper shakers.  Bring a new set for their collection.
  • Observe Customs/Habits of Hosts
    Do they take off their shoes when they enter their home?  Then you should, too.  Do your hosts separate their trash and recycling?  Then be careful to do the same when you throw things away.
  • Clean Up After Yourselves
    This may sound like a no-brainer, but it is easy to get complacent when you are on vacation.  Though you may not know their systems for things, it is important to pay attention so that you can keep your things tidy and as non-invasive as possible.  Keep suitcases, dirty clothes, and personal items neat and organized.
  • Pitch In
    Don’t be a passive guest that sits and expects to be waited on.  Volunteer to make a meal and/or to wash the dishes after you eat.  Wipe down the bathroom you are using.  Strip the beds when you’re done using them.
  • Make a Contribution
    While it may be insulting to offer your hosts cash in exchange for a meal or a night’s stay, there are ways that you can show them your gratitude.  If you stay for a few days, make a trip to the grocery store and stock them up with yummy treats.  Take them out to dinner or even out for ice cream one night.  Pay their admission to a movie or museum.

What tips do you have for staying with family or friends?

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