With the holidays fast approaching and stress levels going into overdrive consumers everywhere are on edge. Whether you are travelling to a family or friends house, remember that you can reduce stress from the start by being a great house-guest.
No one wants to be the expected guest that produces an “ugh” at the mere mention of your pending stay. On the flip side, hosts don’t want to be perceived as uptight or leave their guests walking on eggshells for fear that they will be chastised for the things they do in your home. It’s a fine line and one roommate’s deal with every day, so if you’re a roommate, keep these five tips in mind every day of the year, otherwise risk being that person.
Before we get started let me tell you briefly how I became an authority of such on this subject. My family experienced unforeseen instances that moved us from our own rented home to my in-laws house for the last few months and thanks to remembering these tips, it’s been a great time. Had I not been mindful of the information I am about to share, I surmise we would not still be staying here with such an amazing and warm welcome.
Remember, You’re the guest, not the President.
Don’t walk into a situation thinking you should be treated like royalty because you’re staying with someone this season. You’re the guest and should be thankful your host was kind enough to open their home to you and save you the added costs of a hotel room for a day or two while you are there. Acting like an entitled brat or diva will get you nothing more than resentment and a guarantee of staying in a hotel next year. Keep in mind that it’s their home and you’re a mere guest in it.
Clean up after yourself
You would suspect I shouldn’t have to include this as one of the five, but you’d be surprised how many guests expect their hosts to clean up after them. We’re all grown-ups and sharing a space for a few days (or in my case months) so be sure to be as helpful as possible and always clean up after yourself. If you want to be a star houseguest, clean up with your host even if it’s not your mess. The thoughtful gesture will go a long way and stick in their minds the next time you come to visit. Therefore,
- If you use a dish, wash it.
- Clean your hair out of the shower when you’re done and leave the bathroom the way you found it.
- Try to make it as if you’re not there by leaving the areas you use as if you were never in them.
- Offer to help clean up or assist with the host in everyday life by lending a hand wherever possible.
- Ask first, then use. This doesn’t mean the TV in the room you’re staying in, but if they have something you or your children would like to use, ask first.
Respect the House Rules
If you smoke and your host doesn’t clearly you’re going to want to ask them where to do so. If they smoke outside, go outside. Respect their rules and be sure to follow them, again this could determine if you’ll be asked to stay again or if they recommend a hotel for you to consider next time you visit. Try not to leave garbage or evidence of your habits laying around especially if they do not partake in said habits. If they don’t drink I’d advise not buying a six pack and downing it in front of their kids, and if asked not to bring something into their home, respect that.
If they have children, don’t overstep your boundaries by telling them what to do. Need to do laundry? Ask before bringing it with you. Simple things that you might expect others to ask you before entering your home should be considered and discussed before you get to theirs.
Give them their space
Hosts have a big job of entertaining their guests while they are there and sometimes just want five minutes of peace. Don’t take it personally and don’t mope around in your room feeling left out. It’s still their everyday life you’re coming into and sometimes this will overlap with your stay.
Be Thankful and Appreciative of their kindness
Again, I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will because it can be a cause for some sore spots after the guest leaves. Bringing a gift is a great gesture but gifting and the acting like a d-bag doesn’t help your cause. Don’t go super overboard with your appreciation as to sound insincere or condescending. Offer a genuine Thank You in the form of a card, though just saying it is usually sufficient when it’s heartfelt and sincere. Whatever you decide to do, you don’t have to break the bank, just remember that a thoughtless approach can kill your intentions in seconds.
So there you have it, my five [obvious] tips to being a great house-guest (and roommate!) this holiday season. If you have any ideas or tips to share please feel free to leave a comment below! Wishing all a safe and happy holiday no matter what you celebrate and good luck to hosts and house-guests everywhere!