Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Are you a good houseguest when you travel?

Not every trip involves traveling to exotic places. Sometimes we want to explore nearby or visit family or friends in other states. Whether it’s for a weekend or longer, staying with people you know can be fun, provide local insights, and help cut expenses. But if you want to be welcomed back, remember to be a good houseguest. Even if you book a home stay online—a rented room or entire villa—you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure a pleasant stay, both for you and for your host.
Bring a gift to your hosts.
First, make sure everyone is on the same page regarding time of arrival and departure, expenses involved, and how much time the host will have to spend with you (if friend or family). If you are staying gratis (essentially freeloading), remember to bring a gift—bottle of wine, book, or food item if you know what they like.

Once you arrive, abide by the conditions that everyone has agreed on. Respect the rules of the house, and follow the timetable set by your hosts regarding meals, bedtimes, and entertainment, even if it’s not your preferred schedule. Remember that you are the guest, and try not to undermine your hosts’ routines.
Help out whenever you can.
Be flexible. If you prefer to explore on your own, be sure your hosts know that beforehand. If they want to include you in an activity, go along, even if it’s not your favorite choice. Show gratitude for the time your hosts spend feeding and entertaining you. Engage in conversation; be personal. Emails on your cell phone can wait until you have some private time.

Keep your space neat and clean. Make your bed, and hang up your towels. Put clothes in drawers or closet, if available; otherwise, keep them in your suitcase. Bringing sheets to the laundry room after your stay is a nice gesture. Throughout your visit look for ways to help out, even if it’s something small like setting and/or clearing the table, watching little children, or making your own breakfast.
Tidy up after yourself.
Be pleasant. If old conflicts start to rise, it may be time to find other accommodations. Still, if you have enjoyed the hospitality of others, be sure to send a written thank you note (not a text!).  Let your hosts know that their efforts were appreciated, and they will be glad to have you as a guest again.

Photos from free image sources.



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