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Being a good guest

Updated on January 25, 2011

Being a good guest is as much an art as being a good hostess and consideration is the key to both.

Someone once summed up good guest behaviour like this: ‘Be punctual, be polite, be pleased!’ This is sound advice, to which one can add ‘Be definite’! Nothing is more exasperating than the guest who replies, ‘I don’t mind,’ or ‘just anything will do,’ when asked about preferences.

Try to fit in to the household routine without causing a fuss, but accept little kindness with gratitude and express your thanks.

Offer to help but don’t insist if you realise your hostess would rather you didn't.

Be ready to keep quiet when family’s favourite programme is on, or when the conversation does not you.

A small gift on your arrival or departure is a pleasant thought, but don’t give large expensive presents which may embarrass your hostess. Flowers, Chocolate; a pot of home-made jam, or local honey, or fresh vegetables or fruit from your own garden, all these are acceptable gifts. Be wary of buying which you have noticed during your stay is lacking. This could be upsetting!

Thank your hostess and family on your departure, and write or make a phone call  as soon as you arrive home to express your thanks again. Remember to refer to things you have specially enjoyed!


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    • sonia05 profile image

      sonia05 6 years ago from india

      Great advice.However, i often think that if a guest tells the host to make particular arrangements(food or sleeping etc) and the host is not able to,then what.ResponSES like, "whatever you'd like", seems more appropriate.Moreover,voicing one's preferences may not be welcomed.Fitting into the household without causing any disturbance is the perfect way for a guest!

    • joyfuldesigns profile image

      Valerie Garner 6 years ago from Washington State

      I hadn't really thought about this before, but that's very good. My lifestyle now, I live as a perpetual guest everywhere I go (I'm a house sitter), so this is important.

      I also never thought that being definite helped. I always believed responding more, "whatever you'd like", was more preferred, but I can see why that may irritate a hostess.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Good advice. I hadn't thought about the not being definite. I always felt like I should go with what my host wanted to do. Next time I'll have some ideas.