Today, I saw an article on a mom visiting her son’s home for the first time, navigating how to be a good tourist/houseguest in his new home. How many of us have taken that great trip to visit family or friends during vacation? Staying with someone you know has it’s advantages, but as a tourist here are some tips on how to be a gracious houseguest.
1. Start with gratitude. Make sure you remember to thank your host for their hospitality. Send a nice note after your stay formally thanking them.
2. Communicate. Share your travel itinerary upfront, so your hosts can be available to take you to/from the airport if you’re flying. Coordinate your arrival and departure times when it’s convenient for your host.
3. Contribute. Offer to treat your hosts to a nice dinner. Contribute groceries or gas money to help out. Bring a nice gift. No one wants a free loader:)
4. No whining and complaining. Cousin Joe’s place is not a hotel, so don’t expect the comforts of a hotel. If a hotel is what you’re looking for, book one. Don’t whine or complain about your hosts accommodations, sleeping quarters, meals, pets, or car.
5. Clean up after yourself. Remember, there is no maid service. Be responsible for cleaning up after yourself or pitch in, as needed. That means keeping your room (or designated sleeping quarters) clean and not leaving a mess in the bathroom or kitchen. Offer to cook, help with the dishes, do laundry or whatever it takes to help your host.
6. Show respect. Show respect and courtesy for your host at all times. That means not drinking up all of their liquor, eating like you haven’t seen food in weeks, getting drunk, talking too loud or selfishly hogging their resources (phone, internet, TV).
7. Enjoy yourself. Family and friends are a precious gift, enjoy the time together.