how to be a good guest?
April 18, 2005 7:37 PM Subscribe
What are your recipes for being a good guest, for weekend or overnight stays?
posted by jessamyn to human relations (28 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I will be travelling a lot over the next few months and will be staying with a few relative strangers and some friends. As a guest, I try to find a balance between trying to be low maintenance but also trying to be helpful and responsible. I was sort of raised by wolves and don't have an ingrained sense of how to behave in many social situations. It's not that I feel awkward as much as I worry that I may be missing something obvious. I didn't learn that "give each guest their own towel" thing until fairly recently, for example.
When I was in my 20's just doing all the dishes and not leaving a mess made me a near-perfect guest. Now that my hosts often have dishwashers and enough wine that one more bottle chosen by a non-wine drinker won't be too special, I'm looking both for tips and etiquette suggestions along the lines of:
- do you make the bed when you leave, or leave it unmade assuming the sheets will be washed anyhow?
- if there is no specific guestroom and you're in a semi-public sleeping room, do you tuck all your stuff away if you're out for the day or leave it where you were sleeping?
- if you're a smoker, is going outside for a smoke well after your hosts have gone to bed liable to freak them out when they hear the door open/shut?
- is there some nice "thanks for having me" thing you can bring to a house of relative strangers that isn't wine?
Any other "how to be a good guest" or even "how to be a bad guest" advice welcomed.