How to Be a Good Houseguest

Lynn Schreiber

Are you planning on visiting friends or family over the summer? Read our top tips on how to be a good houseguest, and be invited back again.

Bring a Gift From Home

If you are visiting someone from your hometown or country, who now lives abroad, take something that they find difficult to get where they are living. For UK expats, this could be things like Marmite*, Bisto, Cheddar, bacon and sausages, or even Murray Mints, but ask for their preferences. I know of Scottish people who live in England, and they ask for a Scottish plain loaf, and pies!

*Marmite is a bit… erm Marmite, as someone on Twitter reminded me. You either love it or hate it, so maybe ask first on that one!

Be Mobile

Find out how to use public transport or be prepared hire a car. It makes it so much easier on your hosts if they are not ferrying you about the place, and enables you to go where you want to go.

Help out

Don’t sit at the table while your hosts do all the work. And don’t just offer, because a lot of people automatically refuse. Get up after the meal, take dishes through to the kitchen and grab a dishtowel. If your hosts really do prefer to do the work themselves, they’ll let you know!

If your guests have young children and you are staying for a while, ask if they would like to go out for the evening while you babysit the children.

Assist Financially

Your host is unlikely to ask, but will very much appreciate if you bring in a couple of bottles of wine or some nice cheese. We are not talking about paying the host for the time spent in his home, but they will be forking out a good bit more than normal for food so contribute even just a little bit. If you bring in some luxury items such as fresh exotic fruit, or a delicious cake for dessert, and they will love you forever. And invite you back.

Get Out of the House

Nothing worse than having guests that don’t go out of the house! Get out and explore, even if you are just taking a walk around the area. The people you are visiting still have their normal every day lives to get on with – don’t expect them to be at your beck and call.

Limit your visits

You may not be the only visitor – while you friends like seeing you, they want to see other friends are relatives and would also like a couple of free weekends a year. Don’t treat their house like a home from home, where you can escape to when you need a break!

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