How to House Guest When Traveling

A good houseguest

Hotels can be fun and luxurious, but maybe you’re part of the shift away from traditional travel accommodations. When you choose to stay in a hostel or someone’s home advertised through networks like Airbnb, you can end up saving a lot of cash, which means you’re able to explore more places and come home with more souvenirs.

Those who have friends living around the world are inclined to use those connections to sometimes avoid accommodation costs completely, but when you get into someone else’s everyday space, there’s a right way and a wrong way to be a house guest.

So before you go hopping from city to city, make sure you’ve got your own manners in order.

Call Ahead

Don’t start off your stint with a friend by showing up on their doorstep with no warning. Most people are happy to lend you space on their couch if you reach out to them ahead of time, but those who expect friends and family to make room for them on a whim may want to rethink their priorities.

Keep Things Tidy

Depending on who you’re staying with and how big their home is, you may have a room to yourself or you may be sleeping in the front room. Either way, keeping your belongings confined to your personal area will help everyone living there adjust better to the change.

And if you’re staying in a public space, keep your things packed up and stored in a corner out of the way so residents can still use their space.

Pitch In

With an extra person (or two) in the apartment, things are bound to get a bit messier a bit more quickly. Don’t expect your host and their housemates to clean up after you, though they may help you once in a while as a sign of camaraderie.

You, in turn, should pitch in when appropriate. Helping with dishes or cleaning the bathroom is appreciated wherever you are in the world.

Connect with People

It’s usually a good idea to be friendly with your host and their housemates, and letting them get to know you can help everyone to enjoy the time you’re there. In fact, staying with someone you know is a great way to make new social connections, so take advantage of it by spending a night in with them or inviting them out on one of your adventures.

GuestBe Considerate

While you may be here for a good time, day or night, don’t forget that you’re in the midst of these people’s regular lives. Don’t expect your host to stick with you every day because they likely have their own tasks to take care of.

Likewise, be considerate of their house rules and everyone’s schedules. Someone who misses their shower before work on account of a visitor will be none too happy. Some rules about pets, curfew, and guests may be laid down by property managers like, too, so be mindful of those as well.

Show Your Appreciation

Because your friend or family member has been so kind, welcoming, and accommodating with your situation, it’s only right that you show them how much you appreciate all they’ve done for you.

You can treat them to a home-cooked meal or taking care of the check when you go out. A parting gift for your host and a thank you note is a great way to leave things on good terms, too.

Know When to Move On

If you’re the ultimate traveling nomad, you may have an incredibly flexible schedule and try to stay in your favorite places longer than originally planned. But it’s important to know when to move on.

Agree with your host about the length of your stay and stick to it so you can come back to visit with no tense feelings between you later on.


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