Gracious Overnight Guests
Now that Memorial Day is so close, which announces that Summer is here, I think it is a good time to discuss some tips of guest etiquette. When you are invited for the weekend to your friend’s or relative’s lake home or beach condo, you need to be so gracious that you will surely receive a repeat invite. Follow these tips and you will certainly be a shining star in the guests department.
Let’s start with the packing; Never over pack! Why? Simply because guest bedrooms are not usually the largest or the ones with huge closets and your arrival with four suitcases for a two night stay sends a really bad signal! Either you are planning on a longer stay that your host intends or you are not a savvy traveler.
When you arrive- Never empty handed but certainly there are some additional facets to this etiquette rule. The hostess gift guidelines indicate that you should never provide your hostess with something that will give more work, trouble or concern than your visit is worth. That being said bring for your weekend, food and drink, that knowing your host/hostess will enjoy and be appropriated to the place and time. If it is a vacation home, that will be vacant after your visit don’t take plants for instance. Some decorating touch with the theme of the lake or beach, such as kitchen towels or disposable bathroom tissues are always welcomed.
Once you are there – Never keep your own schedules, but adapt to your host’s house rules. If you are the kind that wakes up at 5 a.m. and starts fidgeting around the kitchen to make coffee, but nothing moves in that house until 8 a.m., control your impulses. Stay in your bed or sneak out of the house for a morning walk if you must, but make sure you don’t make unnecessary noise or wake anyone up.
Another really important rule that well mannered guests always follow, is to be helpful! Offer to help with the cooking or the dish washing, or with pulling the boat out of the water. Whatever the situation calls for, but don’t simply stand by waiting to be served and entertained. That does not a polite guest make.
Finally, when it is time to leave – Never leave your room and bathroom in a mess! It is not a hotel room, where you have been staying; it is the home of someone close enough to you and kind enough to have opened their home to share with you for a fun stay. Pick up after yourself, ask the hosts if they want you to remove the bedsheets and towels and place them in the washer (many families have this habit as it prepares the guest room for their next adventure).
If your hosts are having someone come over to clean up after you all leave, they might say not to bother, but you certainly must offer. In any case leave the area where you have been staying in as pristine a condition as you found it.
If you follow these guest etiquette rules, you are sure to be considered a courteous and polite friend or relative who the hosts will surely be very happy to invite again.
May you have many overnight invitations during the holiday weekends and all year long!