You are invited to someone’s home. No matter how close you are to the homeowner, do remember that there are certain rules that you should follow if you want to be a perfect houseguest. Follow these etiquette rules to ensure that you get to be invited back to their home.
1. Be Clear About the Dates of Your Stay
Be very clear about the number of days of your stay. Inform your host about your exact arrival and departure date in advance. That way, your host will be able to prepare. Respect his/her schedule if there is conflict. Be the one to adjust yours.
2. Don’t Bring Anyone Else Without Their Consent
Unless explicitly stated, you are not supposed to bring anyone else without asking for permission from the host first, even if it is your pet. If you have a companion, tell your host that somebody is with you on a subtle way and wait for him/her to extend the invitation. As much as possible, don’t be the one to ask. If the invitation is not extended to the other person, take that as your cue that your host might not be ready to accommodate somebody else.
3. Bring Gifts
Giving gifts to your host is a way of showing how much you appreciate your host’s kindness. The gift need not be expensive. It just serves as a token to show your gratitude. You can also treat your host to a meal or a night out.
4. Ask About the House Rules
Everyone has their own house rules. Your practices at home may not necessarily be the same practices in your host’s house. Your host might have his/her own way of doing things. So, don’t assume. To avoid offending your host, inquire about the house rules and follow them.
5. Respect Common Areas
Respect common areas. Don’t loiter around especially in the living room. Return things in proper order. Clean up after using the kitchen and the bathroom. Close the drawers after opening. Put the toilet seat down. Wipe the bathroom and sink clean after using. Turn off the lights when not in use. And do remember to lock the doors when you enter or leave the house.
6. Lend a Hand
You should help with the household chores. Offer to cook, set and clean the table, wash the dishes, mop the floor, walk the dog or offer whatever help you can. Your host might not even accept your offer but he/she will surely appreciate the gesture.
7. Buy your Own Groceries
You should buy your own groceries especially if you are a picky eater. Don’t just open pantries. Don’t get anything from the refrigerator unless you are offered.
Make sure to buy also your own toiletries. If you forgot to pack a toothpaste or something, ask where the nearest convenience store or grocery is. If your host offer a toothpaste, then gladly accept. You asking for the location of the grocery rather than asking for a toothpaste only shows that you are not a mooch.
8. Ask Permission Before you Use Anything
Don’t just pick up the phone, turn on the television or use the computer. Ask permission first before you touch or use anything that is not yours. And don’t snoop around.
If you will borrow their vehicle, make sure to fill it up with gas before returning.
9. Leave No Trace
You should leave the place in the exact same condition as when you first came in. Clean the room to the point that there will be no evidence of you staying there. Return things in their proper places. Double-check all your belongings. And of course, don’t get anything that is not yours.
10. Thank your Host
Before you leave thank your host for your stay. Then, thank him/her again as soon as you reached home or your next destination. Be courteous enough to call or send a message to your host telling him/her that you have arrived safely to your destination. If it is possible, send a note or gift following your visit.