We’ve spoken a lot about hosting on NoH, but beyond arriving with a gift in hand we haven’t really examined what makes a good guest. And believe me: there is a big difference between a good guest and a bad one. This is especially true of overnight guests who spend an extended period of time with their hosts. Given the fact that many of us will be traveling at some point this holiday season, it is probably a good idea to brush up on our manners. Or at least the things we can do to get us invited back next year!
- Be Helpful: It’s about helping out with chores and responsibilities. This means cleaning up the kitchen after meals, giving a hand with kids and generally being an extra set of hands. While your host may say, “I got it” chances are they are thanking their lucky stars that you are helping out.
- Be Independent: Don’t depend on your host for all your entertainment. Just because you are staying at someone’s home doesn’t mean they need to spend every waking moment at your beck and call. Chances are they have very little extra energy and if given the opportunity would love a quick powernap or a few minutes of solitude. Find ways to spend time that afford your host the luxury of peace.
- Be Generous: Get up and make breakfast or do something else to show your appreciation for the hospitality you are being shown. Your host has opened up their home- the least you can do is turn the coffee pot on and scramble a couple eggs. Whenever Lukus and I are at my parents’ house we try and take on some of the everyday cooking, so that they can focus on the preparation of the big Christmas dinner.
- Be Clean: Make your bed, clean up the bathroom, for that matter clean up after yourself- wherever you go. Treat the space better than you would your own. Hosting is not equivalent to housekeeping. If you want someone to provide fresh towels and make your bed each morning: stay in a hotel. Keeping things clean show that your respect your host’s home.
- Have FUN: Don’t forget to enjoy yourself! If I have a friend staying with me and they spend more time doing dishes then enjoying their trip, I feel awful! Your host wants you to have a good time- so do! And make sure to let them know what a great experience your time together has been. Your pleasure will make the whole hosting experience worthwhile for all involved.