Not sure if you are familiar with Airbnb but while I was in Paris & London Paul and I opted to rent apartments rather than stay in a hotel. It was slightly unusual being a house guest with no host actually present, but it was also nice because we avoided all those uncomfortable situations that make being a house guest so, well, uncomfortable. Not sure what I’m talking about? Well, here are some examples: feeling hungry but not wanted to seem rude by scouring the fridge, creeping around while everyone sleeps and you just want to watch TV, waking up much earlier or later than the rest of the house, and lastly, just feeling like you can’t ever truly settle in and literally be comfortable (throwing your feet up on the table and getting cozy on the couch). It’s tough being a good house guest, and it can be even tougher hosting your house guests. Here are some easy tips that might help you overcome either role.
As a house guest:
-Don’t show up empty handed. Always bring a little gift to show gratitude.
-Offer to help do the dishes or take the trash out after meals together.
-Don’t eat and drink every last item in the refrigerator. If it happens, replace it.
-Make your bed every morning.
-Allow your host some alone time. Retire to your room when you feel like you need space. Chances are, they need space too.
-Offer to take your hosts out to dinner one night to allow them a night off from “hosting.”
-Leave a sweet note the day you leave. When your host find it, he/she will forever remember you as the best house guest.
As a host:
-While giving a tour of your place, be sure to mention any “house rules” (aka don’t open the broken window, lock the door behind you, etc.) so there are no uncomfortable conversations later.
-Stock the guest room with necessities so they never have to ask. Towels, water bottles, extra blankets, will make your house guests feel more at home.
-Be casual with your house guest. Feel free to read a book and relax together so your house guest feels like they are part of the household.
-Note any food allergies or dislikes when planning your menu while hosting.
-Offer options to your house guest. If you are working and cannot spend the day sight-seeing, suggest the local transit that makes stops throughout town.
-Host a happy hour to ease tension and liven your household environment. Nothing beats a good cocktail when you can’t just walk down to the hotel lobby for a drink.
-Hide a little something in their bag so when they arrive back home they miss being your house guest. That is my personal favorite part of hosting guests…always leaving a silly little gift that is bound to receive a funny text or phone call later.