How To Be A Welcome House Guest
Not every house guest is a welcome one. Here are some tips and tricks to help make sure that you are not only a welcome house guest, but one who will be invited back, time and time again. It only takes a little courtesy and a little effort to make yourself welcome into any home, over and over again.
The first most important way to be a welcomed house guest is to be considerate of your host. First of all be prepared to pay your own way! If your host offers accommodations and extras, choose wisely whether or not to accept them. Call and ask if it is okay to come to visit. Work with them on planning a time that is best for them. Give them plenty of notice and a couple of choices on dates. Being considerate of their life and schedule will make them feel appreciated.
Take the time to think about the details and go over them with your host. Talk about when you will come, where you will stay and what you would like to do. Will you have your own space? Do you need to bring an inflatable mattress? Will they be able to join you visiting area attractions? Give them the opportunity to consider and budget for these activities. If you are flying in, you may need transportation. Ask if they can recommend a car rental place and be prepared to rent one! If they offer a car and you accept, be considerate enough to keep it clean and leave it full of gas.
Special Foods Stay Home
Save the special requests for home or provide them for yourself. If you have a special diet, allergies or flavor preferences it may or may not be feasible for your host to accommodate your requests. Asking for special provisions should be saved for a 5 star hotel! You pay for those services. If you are staying with a friend or family, then expecting special provisions makes you a diva. No one enjoys serving a diva! Using the manners your mother taught you will help you to blend in. Chances are it is only for a few days or a week. You will survive without your luxuries! If you cannot, or will not, then give your host a break and stay in a hotel. If you choose to stay with them, be considerate. If they purchased something unusual, just for you, then be considerate enough to use it or eat it. Your relationship will survive your visit in a happier and healthier manner if you do! Be sure to "notice" that the purchase was made and comment on how much you appreciate the gesture. It is a simple gesture that will pay off tremendously.
Unless you have serious allergies or diabetic needs, save the special food requests for your own home! Some special diet foods are extremely expensive. . Be considerate and eat what is offered. If you are allergic to something, it is okay to share that information with your host or hostess, just don't make a big deal about it. Chances are they didn't know or they would not have offered it. Something simple like, "I am allergic to strawberries, but if you have something else...that would be great." is completely acceptable. It lets them know your situation, but in a non-critical manner.
If you prefer a special brand, flavor or type of food, then stop on your way to their home and visit a grocery store. Purchase your special foods, a few extra treats for your host and something that they can enjoy well after you are gone like a special blend of coffee. This helps your host provide the foods you like without stretching their budget too thin. It is also a great way to show your host that you will be a considerate guest! You can also cook one of your favorites for them, everyone loves a new recipe!
Keep It Clean
A welcome house is guest is a clean house guest. That being said, there is one simple rule to follow: Clean up after yourself! Walking in the door, dumping your stuff 5 feet in and dropping more all over the house is NOT the golden ticket to return! Picking up after yourself is a sure fire way to get invited back! A neat house guest is a welcome house guest.
When you shower, fold and hang up the towel to dry. Fold your dirty clothes and place in a laundry bag. When you have a snack or a meal, then help wash up the dishes and put the food away. When you get up in the morning, make the bed....even if you NEVER make the bed at home. Do it here! Help the host keep their home as sparkling clean as it was when you arrived. This is their home, not a motel. They are your host, not your servant.
If the home is extremely cluttered, feel free to straighten up your immediate environment, but be careful to not overdo it! Set things gently aside making note of where they were when you arrived, then put them back before you leave. I like taking a quick photo of the room where I stay, then I don't have to remember where things are! I can simply put it back as per the photo. It is the simple things that make a difference. Wipe off the bathroom counter and put your contacts case in your room with you. Keep your things together and out of the way. Be as invisible as possible. This helps your host maintain a normal routine and lifestyle. Normal is good! Keep your space neat and clean and you will be a welcome guest!
Rock The Regular Routine
Most people will take time off of work or clear their schedule up to allow them to spend time with guests while they are visiting. However, it is not always possible, nor practical, to do so. Make note of schedules and routines before choosing where to stay, then be respectful of those of your host while you are visiting. Remember you are a guest.
If your host is working and must get up early, then staying up late chatting or watching T.V. may make it hard for them to not only get up on time, but to function well while at work. Be considerate of their schedule and routine and adjust to accommodate it. If they go to bed by 10 p.m., then you should excuse yourself about 9:45 and give them the freedom to hit the bed on time. You don't have to go to sleep, but be respectful of their bedtime and keep it quiet. Grab a magazine or book, play games on your phone (with the sound off) or write postcards to pass the time. Better yet, go on to bed and get up with them. Don't expect silence from them if you haven't been quiet for them.
If you get up with them make sure to be a help, rather than a delay. Make the coffee for them, bring in the paper and make your bed. Keep out of the way but take the time to make plans to connect with them after work. Give them something to look forward to during their day. Make plans to fix dinner for them or take them out to dinner to help alleviate concerns about cooking for you. If you aren't going to be there when they get home, make sure they know that ahead of time. This way they won't prepare a meal for you that you don't show up to eat.
If they, on the other hand, stay up late and sleep in, then be considerate enough to keep it quiet in the mornings when you get up! Nothing is better than being able to sleep your normal cycle! Giving your host this gift, will help keep them happy and give you a more pleasant visit!
Spend Time Together
Your host prepared for your visit in many ways. One of them is likely to have been to clear off their schedule for you. Be considerate enough to spend time with them. Plan for it. Sure you want to go to the area attractions, but make sure to allow time to just spend time with them. Hanging out in the back yard, playing games at the kitchen table, or just lounging on the sofa and chatting lets your host relax too! A relaxed host is a happy host!
Once again, your timing may work great for your finances. You have planned this, budgeted this and made arrangements for it. Your host may or may not have been able to make arrangements ahead to join in activities with you. Be considerate of them. If they can join you, welcome them. If not, be flexible. Can they join you another day? Do they really want to join you? They may be burned out on the local attractions. Give them the opportunity to beg off, but if you feel they want to go and can't swing it with their budget, then consider taking them as your guest! It is a great way to say thank you!
If you make the effort to spend time with them they will feel appreciated and included. The last thing you want to do is to make them feel used. Appreciated and included is so much better! It only takes a little time.
Being considerate, picking up after yourself and spending time with your host are simple things to do that make you a preferred guest! It can save you lots of time and money to stay with friends and family when you are away from home. Be considerate of your hosts and their time and budget can make you not only a welcome guest, but a favored guest as well!
Text and Photo Copyright 2012 Deborah M. Carey