A friend of mine recently complained about a houseguest who kept extending her stay, made a total mess, and didn’t show any consideration for her host’s schedule. It inspired me to share these tips to make sure you aren’t that kind of guest.
1. Make concrete plans. Open-ended travel can put a strain on hosts. It’s hard for them to make plans when they aren’t sure if they’ll still have a visitor. Tacking on a few extra days could interfere with plans they’ve already made. Be considerate by giving them firm dates on when you’ll be staying with them.
2. A host gift is always appreciated. A bottle of nice wine, some gourmet goodies, or a scented candle all go a long way. Alternatively, you can offer to treat your hosts to a nice meal.
3. Be sensitive to schedules. Your hosts may have other commitments, such as work, or appointments, during your stay. Be flexible and don’t expect them to entertain you 24/7. If you sense your host is busy throughout the day, be proactive and make plans of your own. Visit a museum! Take yourself out for a coffee! See if another friend is around to meet. Also, don’t stay up late if your hosts are early birds. You don’t have to go to bed, but try to respect their bedtimes.
4. Don’t leave stuff behind. Overpacked? Throw it out. Some guests leave behind half-empty bottles of shower gel, eye drops, and tour books, thinking they’re doing their hosts a favor. In most cases, they’re not. It might all just be going in the trash, so clear it out yourself. And keep an eye on your luggage limit. Asking your host to keep some belongings in storage because you can’t fit them in your suitcase is a nuisance.