Sooo you’ve been invited to your friends home for vacation. You think to yourself, they live in a great location and you can save money on hotels and restaurants. Our friend insists you and your family come and stay with them, they will show you around and they can’t wait to see you!! Great idea, right? Hmmmmm???
It may sound cliche, but guests must remember that they’re visiting someone’s home. More than likely, your hosts have a schedule they loosely adhere to when they are enjoying their vacation home. Quiet mornings, coffee at 10, out for a run, grocery shopping etc.
Prior to your arrival, you should let your host know the habits/lifestyle you and your family have, so your host understands what she is getting involved with. (ie.. getting up to go to the bathroom 5 – 6x per night – constant flushing, early riser, your kids wake up at the crack of dawn and want to watch tv, you and your husband are going through a tough time and we’re fighting etc.)
Also, don’t be a “deadbeat” guest! A friend of mine had her relatives show up and just expect to be served breakfast, lunch, dinner and escorted around without ever chipping in for any expense.
While this may sound trivial, I know hosts who have not asked “their guests” back for a visit due to something that could have been avoided if there was an honest conversation between both parties before arrival.
With all this being said, I am sure your host loves entertaining and feels you and your family are worthy guests and insists that you come and stay for a week.
Some of the rules to be a gracious guest:
- Realize that the host gets the house cleaned for your arrival. Clean up after yourself.
- More than likely the host fills the refrigerator and cabinets with food and drink for your arrival.
- Bring a hostess gift.
- Arrive at the agreed upon time If you are running late, let the hosts know as soon as possible so they can do what they need to do.
- Remove your shoes upon arrival to start the trip off right.
- Leave any personal problems at home! Tension creates tension.
- If the house is air-conditioned be mindful to keep doors and windows closed
- Ask where is the best place to park your car after unloading (sounds dumb, but when a guest arrives later than normal and parks behind you when you have to get up in the morning….)
- Pick several days and nights that you will treat for coffee, lunch, dinner or drinks. Get that plan laid out upon arrival.
- Research the area prior to your arrival to scout out activities that you and your family can do. This will allow the host to have some down time while you and your family enjoy the area. Always invite them, but never insist.
- Clean up after yourselves.
- If you break something, own up to it.
- Be careful not to track sand into the home. Shake out your towels, remove your shoes etc.
- If you are an early riser, be as courteous and quiet. Read in bed or take a walk.
- Remember the host is not on vacation, but willing to let you enjoy the area while staying with them. They may not want to go out every night, so respect that.
- At the end of your stay, strip your beds and offer to do the laundry. I know this is a daunting task for those owning vacation homes.
- Also, offer to help clean out the fridge. There may be items you purchased for you or your kids that they don’t want, so pack a cooler and take it home.
- Never smoke near or around their home if they don’t smoke. The smell bothers many people.
- If your hosts don’t drink, respect their choice. You may not want to either.
- Boyfriend and girlfriend sharing room, is not always appreciated. Ask prior to coming and respect the hosts wishes.
- Say “THANK YOU”.
Follow these and you should be invited back!
Hostess Gift Ideas:
Breakfast basket: Blueberry zucchini muffins, beautiful table cloth, bunch of fresh flowers and baskets of berries, coffee, fresh squeezed juices.
Beverage cooler filled with your hosts favorite beverages – include a variety of craft beers, wines and glass bottled waters. The cooler should be part of the gift too.