When you stay at someone’s house for the holidays, you’re generally going to be a topic of conversation.
Before your visit and especially after your visit.
Unfortunately, this can go either way: you can charm the socks off your hosts…or annoy the hell out of them. For better or worse, being a good houseguest is entirely in your control.
Here’s a quick guide to make sure you end up on the right side of “memorable” this holiday season:
Well done, sir!
Uh...You did what?
|You called ahead to ask about the agenda and expectations during your stay||You assumed your hosts would entertain you the entire time and sat around looking at them while eating their food and saying "what's next, guys?"|
|You gave your hosts a clear arrival and departure time||You decided to "go with the flow," and surprised them 2 hours before they were expecting you, and stayed 2 days longer than they hoped|
|You walked in the door carrying a bottle of wine and some chocolates||You showed up empty handed and immediately asked to use their phone for a long-distance call|
What were you thinking?
|You sucked it up when they wanted to play Scrabble for 3 hours||You sat in the corner sucking down beers while cackling at ridiculous YouTube videos|
|You kept your luggage neatly tucked away and organized in your guest room||Your smelly sweatshirt laid on the dining room table until 2 minutes before dinner, when the hostess finally had to "suggest" that you find a better spot for it|
|Your toiletries were tidily stowed on the far corner of the bathroom counter or in your room||You left your razor (and your stray hairs) in the sink while your grimy toothbrush carelessly leaned up against the hostess' toothbrush|
Palm to face
|You offered to help at each mealtime and complemented the hosts on the food||You explained that you really weren’t a fan of string beans, and did they have any frozen tater tots you could eat to tide you over?|
|You helped wash the dishes and put away the leftovers||You stood in the kitchen eating stuffing out of the serving dish while watching your hosts clean up|
|You asked if it might be okay to do some exploring in the afternoon, and whether they might need anything while you were out||You disappeared without a trace for 3 hours, and returned with a case of wine that you hid away in your room|
|You let your hosts control the remote and watch their favorite programs on TV||You insisted everyone sit through a 4-hour marathon of Boardwalk Empire "because the character development is amazing”|
|When leaving, you removed your bed linens, tidied up, and left them with a parting gift||When leaving, you left them with your unmade bed and a wet towel wadded up on the floor|
|After getting back home, you sent your hosts a thank you note and told them they were welcome to stay with you anytime||After getting back home, you tagged them in some unflattering pictures with the caption “LOL. Good times! Same place, same time next year?”|
Conclusion: What it takes to be a good houseguest
There’s really no secret to being a good houseguest. And it’s not much harder to be a good houseguest than it is to be a bad one.
So, if you’re going to make an impression, you might as well make it a good one.
Ultimately you just need to be mindful of your hosts and remember that you’re in their space. Which means: follow their lead, thank them excessively, and try to be as positive and helpful as you can while you’re there.
Have you had a bad guest experience? (whether as the host or the guest) What happened? Leave a comment below!