Do you want to be invited back? Do you want to be a Gracious Guest, but don’t know how? Don’t want to be on the Bad Houseguest List? Don’t want to be the topic of conversation amongst Hosts? Because we talk – in fact, Saturdays in the Summer after the Houseguests leave, Exhausted Gracious Hosts head to the grocery store to restock, before heading back home to do the endless loads of laundry before the next Guests arrive, and there’s lots of venting and some shocking stories.
- No Hostess Gift – Not arriving with a nice Hostess Gift, especially if you’ll be staying for several days, or worse arriving with something that’s obviously a freebie or re-gifting something your Host gave you. Wondering if a Hostess Gift Is Really Necessary or need ideas for Fall Hostess Gifts read these prior posts.
- Not Taking Out Your Wallet – Every Host is not rich, even if they have a fabulous home, they are paying the mortgage, the expense of hosting you, and it’s just nice to treat your Host to lunch, drinks, or dinner – whatever you can afford. One Houseguest texted a friend asking her to make dinner reservations at an expensive restaurant, “Their treat,” but when the bill came, they split the $475 dinner bill.
- Drinking All Your Host’s Wine, Beer, or Liquor – Being a Houseguest does not give you the keys to the liquor cabinet. One group of Guests, stayed for 5 days, finally bought 2 bottles of wine, but drank 8. Buy alcohol!
- Bathroom Manners – Clean up after yourself, no toothpaste or spit in the sink or all over the mirror, no bodily waste of any kind, no dirty underwear or towels on the floor, no hair whatsoever anywhere. Do all grooming, waxing, hair removal, body shaving, etc. before you arrive! After one particularly hairy Houseguest left, the bathtub looked like they gave a bear a bath in the tub. Clean that sucker before you leave.
- Not Picking Up After Yourself – Even if your Host is a slob, they don’t see their mess, but they will notice your stuff, and it will get on their nerves. Keep your things out of common areas, in your room, or in your bag. Don’t leave coffee cups, beer cans, glasses or plates around or in the sink. Pick up after yourself and your Hosts.
- Staying Out All Night – Don’t do the walk of shame and tip toe in when the sun is rising and the coffee is brewing, especially if your Host has no idea where you’ve been all night. Not only does this apply to college kids, but this applies to grown adults.
- Using a Ton of Towels, Sheets, and Water – It’s just plain bad for the environment, don’t use all of the hot water, don’t use a ton of towels or sheets — it makes extra work for your Host. One Guest wandered into another room and slept on yet another set of clean sheets because his partner snored. Hello – stay in your Houseguest lane – know your boundaries.
- Not Helping Out – Don’t expect to be waited on, if your Host cooks for you, ask what you can do to help, unload the dishwasher, set the table, empty the trash, or clean up. Entertaining Houseguests is a lot of work, even if your Host makes it look easy. Don’t disappear in your room only to appear at meal time all showered and looking beautiful while your Host has been working like and looks like a dog. Be observant, walk the dog, entertain or bathe the kids, or step in for dinner prep, so your Host can take a shower.
- Expecting Your Host To Be Your Tour Guide – Your Host needs downtime and personal time. Don’t expect your host to chauffer you around — rent a car, take the bus, train, taxi, or Uber.
- Not Respecting Your Host’s Property – Try not to break things, but if you do, accidents happen, let your Host know. One group of Guests borrowed my expensive bike and then left it out all night and it rained.
- Leaving the Guest Room A Mess When You Leave – This is just so rude and disrespectful. Strip your bed when you leave, ask if you can put clean sheets on the bed, make the bed or fold the bedding, and empty your trash. No one wants to empty your bathroom trash, not even the cleaning lady. If you leave the guest room a mess — guaranteed –you will not get invited back!
This list is evolving, so check back for more tips. Have experiences to share, email me. I would love to hear from you.