How to Be a Good House Guest

10 years ago

In a rare spin of circumstances, we find ourselves staying put more than usual. Don't be using that word "staycation" on us, we're not dash-cationing of any kind. I'm working, my guy is doing odd jobs, and we are living the freelance equivalent of making hay while the sun shines. When work is plentiful, I stay put and squirrel away my dollars for the day when the market is less kind or it is impossible to stall the wanderlust for another day. In the meantime, our home has been transformed into an international crossroads for those not staying put.

We dropped the Austrians off at the train station this morning and are now doing laundry and prepping for the next batch - a Canadian German mix - they arrive this afternoon. I'm hoping to have enough time to squeeze in a nap to recharge - having guests is oh so lovely, but this introvert gets tired. Luckily, we have a short break before the Chinese and American contingent arrive next week.

For the record, you could totally bring me a little something if you're coming to visit and I'll be oh so grateful, but also for the record, that is absolutely not required, the pleasure of your company, honest and for true, is enough. If you are a good house guest, it matters not if you buy us dinner or leave us prezzies. If you are a bad house guest, no lovely bottle of wine or flowers for the kitchen will make up for the inconvenience of your stay, either.

Taking the Kids suggest you make sure you bring essential snacky things and try to get everyone out of the house if you can.

Teach Kids How also has a post - divided by age group - on helping your kids be good guests.

Apartment Therapy
has a swell post full of good comments - including gathering up your bedding - a good one that makes the host feel less like a hotel maid.

Travel the Home Exchange Way compares good guests and bad guests, yikes.

Boots n All
has a great thread on the boards about couch surfing dos and don'ts.

At our place, it comes down to some pretty simple things. Clean up after yourself, keep it down, and, um, yeah, that's about it. If you wanted to pitch in with the food, well, that's great because we tend to keep a fairly minimal supply of stuff on hand. If you've got dietary constraints or special needs, you should show up with that stuff or ask us where you can get it nearby because, hey, we're not a spa retreat. We love it if you take us out to dinner, but honestly, we're just as happy to go Dutch because it's likely we're going to have you take us to one of our favorite places. If you happen to run to the bakery in the morning, wow, we're going to love you a lot, but seriously, there's going to be coffee and toast at the ready because that's what we normally have. Oh, don't hog the shower, okay, there's only one. There's that.

We're psyched you're coming, we really want to see you. We're going to visit with you a lot at breakfast, ignore you midday (unless we have some field trips planned), expect you to look after yourself mostly, and then, around 5:30pm, start wondering if you'd like to join us for dinner, and if so, what that should look like. We're going to treat you more like favorite roommates than royal guests. But that's how we are and you already know that, probably.

What do you expect from your houseguests? And hey, for the record, you can stay for more than three days, as long as you're a good guest.

Cute pic of friends having breakfast from Irish Typepad on Flickr.

Pam blogs about travel and other adventures at Nerd's Eye View. Join the conversation about travelblogging in the Travelblogger's Forum.

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