Monday, November 21, 2016

15 Rules for Being the Perfect Houseguest

It's a big holiday travel week which may mean you find yourself being a guest in someone's home. Most likely it's going to be family and that can come with all kinds of land mines you may need to walk around.

Being a houseguest can be fun and relaxing or awkward and uncomfortable for the host and guest depending on how it goes. I love you and want you to make a good impression so read on...

The next time you get invited to stay with anyone there are some rules you need to adhere to. First, let's cover the basics of decent behavior:

  1. Bring a gift. I love to take people honey or home-made skin care items.  But any simple thing will do to let you know you thought of them and appreciate their hospitality.
  2. Keep all of your things in whatever space, no matter how big or small, you have been allotted for your stay. Your nail file in the living room isn't appreciated even if they won't tell you.
  3. Whatever you use up you should replace.
  4. Be flexible. When in Rome...Eat what they eat, drink what they drink, adjust your schedule to theirs.
  5. Bring something to do on your own so your gracious host can get a few minutes of privacy to do things they need. No one wants to entertain you constantly. 
  6. Help out! Get yourself in the kitchen and help with the dishes. 
  7. Leave everything the way you found it, or better. I like to clean my guest room if there is one, for the next person. It is one less thing for your host to do. 
  8. Bring everything you think you will need unless you've been otherwise informed. 
  9. Handwritten thank-you notes are in order within a week of your return home. 
Now those are a good start and can be found in one form or another in any etiquette book, but I have a few things to add:

10. Come prepared to be entertaining and interesting. If your hosts are the serious type brush up on your current events. In this polarized post-election environment, you may want to avoid politics altogether. I take it back. I'm just telling you to avoid it unless you know everyone present thinks alike.  If their favorite topic is celebrity gossip then scan the latest magazines at the grocery to catch up. You can be temporarily shallow. It won't kill you. This week Kanye has handed you a gift. If they have children have some kid friendly conversation ready.

11. Do not show up with a list of things you have to eat, drink, or DO while you are there.

12. Have a favorite drink recipe to share. It doesn't have to be alcohol; you can whip up your best hot cocoa or chai to impress everyone. It allows you to pitch in without destroying the kitchen and taking up room in the fridge with the ingredients for an entire meal.

13.You are not at home. No one wants to see you floss your teeth or clip your toenails in the living room. (If you think no one would do that, you are wrong.)

14. Be flexible (again, I know). If you are set in your ways and demanding then STAY HOME.

15. Be nice to pets. If the dog doesn't like you, you will not be invited back.

Follow these rules and not only will you be invited back but they'll actually look forward to your return.

They may even cry at the airport instead of doing a happy dance.

What's something you would add to this list? 


  1. When you can't sleep because you aren't in your own bed, don't complain about it.

    1. Right? Terribly rude when a hostess has done all she can to make you comfy.

  2. so good. Sometimes I think people forget these things if they are staying with family because they think "oh, it's just family". But family certainly deserves the same courtesy. When we have had out of town guests, I do always ask if there are any particular things they enjoy eating, etc. and when we have been guests in people's homes we always try to do our part to help out, etc..

    1. I think most people do but then you hear these horror stories. And family definitely deserves good manners too!


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