You’ll read a ton of tips this season teaching you how to be a good host. But people never talk about being a good guest. You probably won’t even appreciate that thought until you begin to host people at your house for a meal, or a weekend, or longer … 

It’s great to have company and to catch up with old friends and family. But hosting takes work, and can take a toll on someone’s sanity with the wrong types of guests. 

  1. Be on time. You can’t control your flights and traffic problems. And no one will mind a few minutes here and there. But if dinner is at 3:00, arriving at 5:30 is unacceptable. 
  2. If you are picky or need certain criteria met. Say so ahead of time or suck it up. Your host wants to cater to you and share what they have. No one likes hearing you ate before coming to dinne or refuse to eat what is being served.
  3. If you’re staying for a couple days, prepare to and offer to entertain yourself for a couple hours or even a day. Go sight seeing, go for a walk, explore the neighborhood. You host may appreciate the moment of downtime to throw in the laundry, clean up the house a bit, or just take a breath. 
  4. Do some research ahead of time and have a few ideas of things you like to do or see. There is nothing harder than trying to guess what will make people happy or keep their interest. Different people have different ideas of fun.
  5. Offer to help the host but also accept being the guest. Don’t take over their house – allow the host to host you. 
  6. Don’t treat the house like your home, but treat it like their home. No need for you to be rearranging how they keep things or to allow kids to “explore” every room. 
  7. Don’t come empty handed. If you can’t cook, bring a bottle of wine or buy an appetizer. (I personally always bring one bottle of red and one bottle of white – can’t go wrong). 
  8. Take note at how they keep their house. Leave the bathroom relatively like you found it. If you found wet towels laying on the floor, then it’s probably cool with them if you do it 😉 
  9. Read the crowd. If everyone else has left or gone to bed, check with the host and see if it’s time to go.
  10. Don’t forget to return the favor. Don’t always be the guest. Offer to to be the host once in a while – and hope your guest have read this article too! 
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