Are you the best guest you can be? Do your hosts talk about you after you left, or are they so impressed that they want to trade their own kids to have you instead? Traveling is fun, but as much as you love it as a traveler, and as little as they may show it, it’s actually pretty inconvenient for your hosts.
Everyone can be a better guest, so we’re going to look at a few ways to improve our stays with our hosts. If you already do all of these, think of more ways you can be an even better guest.
Remember that you’re a guest
It seems obvious, but surprisingly few people actually remember that they’re a guest in someone else’s home and don’t live there themselves. Especially if you’re not a family member or close friend, it’s really important to keep in mind who you are to them. It’s true that your hosts may put you first, but do your best to return the favor.
Remember simple courtesies that may normally be forgotten. Arrive and leave when you say you’re going to, take the back seat in the bathrooms if necessary, clean up after yourself, and overall just be more considerate than you normally would have to be. Leave each area better than it was when you arrived, and you’ll surely make your hosts glad they let you stay with them.
Take a gift
Do you always take a gift with you when you stay at someone else’s house? It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant, just something that shows you thought about the inconvenience of you staying there and wanted to give something back. If your hosts love coffee, find a great roaster local to you and buy a few bags to take and share. Maybe they’d be more inclined to enjoy some other interesting type of treat, like coconut macaroons, homemade fudge, or some saltwater taffy.
A small bouquet of flowers for the lady of the house never hurts either!
Treat their home better than your own
You may be the cleanest person alive at your own home, but living out of a suitcase is much different than living out of your own dresser and closet. Being a guest has inherent disorganization, so do your best to overcome it. Make your bed every day, and before you leave find out if they’d prefer you turn down the sheets to be washed. Offer to do the dishes as often as the situation arises.
They probably won’t expect it, so offer to pick up dinner one night. Another option is to offer to make a nice dinner for everyone, especially if you’ll have had a few meals with them. Finally, before you head home, don’t forget to leave a thank you card just to cap it off. It’s a small gesture that goes a long way.
You’ll surely have a few more ideas as well for your next trip, but do your best to be the greatest guest your hosts have ever had! It’ll be pretty fun trying to be that best guest for you as well. Before heading home, return the favor and invite them to your house the next time they’re in the neighborhood!
Sean Carter is an experienced writer who has contributed to many different blogs all over the internet. His main topics of interest include event planning, home improvement projects and economics