No More Guest Guessing!



Today we turn the tables and talk about how to be a great guest.

First, let’s agree on one thing: before the thought even remotely makes its way into your mind, please, please don’t drop in for the weekend without notice! Now that this is permanently out of the question, here is a scenario.

Perhaps a member of your family or a close friend invited you over for the weekend (or for the week if you’re lucky). You are excited, but also a bit anxious about the visit.  The etiquette is really no different from any visiting occasion, but here are a few things to consider before and during your stay.

The ‘adventure’ starts off with picking a gift for the host. The generosity of the gift might depend on the length of your visit – for an overnight stay, a bottle of good wine would be kind, while a longer stay requires an item that’s a little more substantial.  Here are some gift suggestions as a “gift for the house”:  a Summer Music CD set, board games or puzzles, wind chimes, a big bottle of bubbles is fun for lots of kids (and adults!) Bringing home baking to share and contribute to the weekend as a gift and sustenance too is another thoughtful gesture.

Your packing list should include your own toiletries. Although towels and bedding are usually provided, you can ask your host whether you need to bring your own.  If you are bringing your children, consider packing a supply of their favourite snacks and bottled juices.  It will help when hunger hits before the mealtime.  (Make sure the favourites  don’t ruin the dinner the host has prepared!) And leave your puppy at home unless your host extends him a personal invitation! 

And finally…welcome!  Once you’ve arrived, be positive and adaptable.  Good guests should always be prepared to entertain themselves or keep themselves occupied, enthusiastic and interested in their surroundings.  If your host plans activities, participate with enthusiasm. Volunteer to help with routine activities – shopping, preparing a meal, washing dishes, assisting the kids, etc.  Tidy up after yourself, make your bed and straighten up your room.  Keep the bathroom spotless – especially if you share it with someone else.  Undoubtedly, the host family care about you very much.  But they also need some private time together – make sure you allow them some ‘breathing room’.

The morning before you are leaving, ask your hostess what she would like you to do with your bed linen, then follow her instructions.  If you’re not sure what to do, remove the sheets, fold them, and place them at the foot of the bed.  Pull the blanket and spread it neatly so that the bed will look made. Some people ask us whether they should make the bed with fresh sheets.  This depends on the relationship you have with the host.  If you are family of close friends, go ahead and ask for fresh sheets to save your host the trouble.

 Saying “Thank You” after your visit is always a must.  It should be hand written, within a day or two from returning home.  If your host is a relative or a close friend who often visits you in return, a phone call the next day to say,  “ Really enjoyed our time together, it was lots of fun!” will be appreciated.

We hope you enjoyed your ‘stay’ for our chat this week and please come back on Tuesday for more fun topics!


Note:  Yesterday Susan came across this fun book –

http://www.harpercollins.ca/books/9780061706417/Guests/index.aspx  Enjoy!

guesting book image


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