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Five Tips to Being the Perfect Houseguest | Marriage Manners Monday

We are coming up to the season where holidays are in full swing and sometimes invitations to other towns are received. Being a houseguest can be tons of fun! And we’re here to make sure that the fun is for both guest and host, and not just all work for the host; play for the guest. A gracious host will make you feel that you and your wishes are of the upmost importance during your stay. Equally important is a wise housegust who makes his host’s wishes his own, thereby honouring the person who entertains.

Photo : Melanie Mauer

To that endeavour, here are five of what we call our Houseguest Etiquette tips on how to ensure you’ll be invited back again, and again, and again ❤

Tip Number 1 : Know when to arrive, and when to leave

Even if the invitation is open-ended, it’s great to let your hosts know exactly when you’ll be arriving and when you’ll be leaving. This way, they can plan their days around your arrival and departure.

Tip Number 2 : Bring a house present

Bringing presents reflect your appreciation for the generousity extended by your host(s). Here are some gift ideas:

(a) A gift that remains after you’ve left
- a houseplant, a fridge magnet, a book.
(b) A gift that your host can consume, or that you can both enjoy together during your stay
- a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, a special box of biscuits
(c) A special treat that you can do for your host
- if your stay is longer than three days, offer to prepare at least one large meal for you and your host. And expect to clean up afterwards
(d) A share experience
- if you are planning a longer stay, treat your host to an activity that you can both enjoy together, for example tickets to the ballet or a sporting event, or going out for dinner together

And be sure to leave a thank you note! Handwritten notes are always such a pleasant treat. If you don’t have time to get a card before leaving, send one in the mail. It will be nice surprise for your host to receive after your visit, and if you include a few photos from your stay in the card, a great reminder of the happy visit.

Tip Number 3 : Respect personal space

Your host is making room for you in his or her life; honour that by taking up as little space as possible. This could mean keeping your belongings out of the way in the space provided for you, or keeping activities and music or conversations quiet. Limit your time when using shared practical space, such as the kitchen or the bathroom, and leave all shared spaces clean after use. Remember, your host has the right to continue living, working and socialising normally during your visit.

Tip Number 4 : Respect personal belongings

You are being provided with a room with a bed to sleep in, and the use of common shared areas. Perhaps your host has even lent you a map, books, their computer, or even their car, for you to use during your stay. Honour their generousity and willingness to share by treating their possessions better than you would treat your own. Do make the bed in the morning, and do use all lent resources frugally.Returning borrowed items prompty after use is a great way to show your appreciation.

Tip Number 5 : Follow your host’s lead

Your host is providing a place for you to stay, but that doesn’t mean that his or her life needs to be put on hold. Respect their daily routine, perhaps rise when they do, and retire to bed when they do as well. And a nice little courtesy is to plan for your showers to be opposite of those of your hosts, especially if there is only one bathroom in the house.

They might be your host, but they also have their own work and social lives, so be prepared to make your own plans and meals but do follow their lead. Endeavour to be as pleasant and positive as possible, and give your host every reason to enjoy your visit. This can be done by making good conversation, sharling talents and interest, and being a good listener and communicator. Take the initiative … if your host has cooked a meal for all of you to enjoy, doing the dishes will show your appreciation.

We hope that these five tips will help you become the best houseguest that gets invited back, repeatedly! ❤