When it comes to traveling, sometimes the best vacations are spent in the comfort of someone’s home. To help you show your manners and be the perfect house guest (who gets invited back again), Inspirations & Celebrations’ Entertaining Contributor, Fran Berger (the entertaining expert and creator of Sophisticated Living with Fran Berger), shares a few of her tips on how to be a polite and respectful house guest.
We’ve all had friends as house guests in our homes and we’ve all been a house guest in a friend’s home – some of these visits have gone better than others and there are just a few simple reasons why. Let’s assume that you are happy to be visiting these friends and that it’s not for business. To show your friends that you know proper etiquette and appreciate their invitation, here are a few easy ways to show them you’re the perfect house guest.
Try to arrive as close to the time you told them you were coming as possible. If you arrive too early they may still be setting up your room or doing last-minute touches to ensure your comfort. Or, they might have forgotten something, gone out to buy it and not even be back yet. It’s embarrassing if you’re the host and your guests are waiting for you in the driveway!
Bring a hostess gift
Always bring a hostess gift – it shows that you are grateful for staying in their home. It should be given when you arrive and not at the end of your stay. There is no set amount that should be spent on this gift and the best one is the one that shows you put some thought into it – not the most expensive. If you bake then bring something you’ve baked just for them or if you have a fruit tree then perhaps a basket of just picked fruit. No matter what you choose – make it personal.
Pack your toiletries
Remember that your friend’s home is not a hotel. so always bring your own toiletries. Come with everything you will need for your stay (or as close as possible – we all forget something from time to time). They may not have a second bottle of shampoo or another tube of toothpaste to share with you. Again, you don’t want to embarrass your friends if they’re not stocked like a Costco.
Communicate in advance
Make sure that any plans you want to make for activities include your host and that you have spoken with them about anything you do want to plan. They may have spent a lot of time researching and planning activities that they think you might enjoy.
Offer to help
Your host may decline the offer but, it’s a very kind gesture when you offer to help either clean up the kitchen or to help clear the dishes after a meal. Remember to bring your coffee cup back to the sink. When your stay is done, ask where they would like you to put your linens before you leave. They might say “just leave them” but that doesn’t mean leave them on the floor! Strip the bed, fold the blankets and place the used linen and towels neatly together on the cleared bed.
Send a Thank You note
And, last but definitely not least, send a thank you note – if possible three to five days after your stay! It sounds very old fashioned but a handwritten note is always appreciated over an email even if your handwriting (like mine!) is awful. It’s just polite!
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Entertaining Contributor: Fran Berger
Fran Berger is an entrepreneur, sophisticated home entertaining and lifestyle expert, and media personality. With her twenty-plus years of experience as a popular restaurateur entertaining celebrities, family and friends in Beverly Hills as the original founder of The Farm of Beverly Hills, and with her own personal life stories as a guide, she is passionate about sharing her unique food memories stored in her heart with others around the world; examples that epitomize the magnificently intimate as well as communal experience that enjoying food around the table can be. As an entertaining contributor to Inspirations & Celebrations, Fran shares her expertise about entertaining, party planning, and food & wine.
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