How To Be The Absolute Best House Guest

by Raven Ishak

When you're traveling, staying at someone's house can be just as fun and exciting as staying in a hotel or AirBnB. While you might feel more comfortable staying with your relatives, there are some house guest etiquette rules you need to follow.

In addition to all the fun you'll have, there are plenty of other undeniable perks to crashing on someone's couch: You're saving money by not staying in a hotel and you get to spend extra time with people that you care about. However, you do have to be respectful while you're staying at someone else's house. They might have house rules you need to follow and there will always be chores that you chip in on. Either way, when you are staying at someone else's house, it's the right thing to do by helping them out any which way you can. Whenever I am hosting friends or family at my house, I always appreciate it when they offer to help clean up after a dinner or double check to see if they can bring friends over. I've had friends stay with me while they visited me in New York and I have stayed in multiple family's homes and AirBnB's when I have traveled across the world. I found that these seven rules are great to follow if you want to be an awesome house guest.

1. Keep Your Belongings Neatly In The Room

If you have your own room while you're visiting, you want to make sure that all of your belongings are put away neatly. I love it when friends stay over and respect the space that they are in. It shows that they are mindful of the room and respectful of the space. If you are like me, and prefer to keep all your belongings in the suitcase to prevent you from losing anything when your travel, try to have everything fit inside the suitcase. It will look like a mess when all your belonging are technically still in the suitcase but just overflowing onto the floor. If you are sharing a room or are sleeping on an air mattress in a common area, make sure you always deflate it before you leave the house and keep your belongings neatly to one corner.

2. Offer To Help With Any Cleaning & Cooking

Your host will appreciate it if you offer to help them out any which way you can. If they cook a lot of home cooked meals, ask if they need help cleaning the dishes or with the cooking. You want to make things easier for them while you are staying in their home. Even if the host says no because you are their guest, it's still considered thoughtful that you offered and they will appreciate that.

3. Don't Assume You Can Borrow The Car

If you are staying in a city where the only way to get around is by driving a car, then you need to rent one. Unless you are staying with close relatives and you know it's OK to use their car, it's best to rent so you don't have to depend on the host to drive you around everywhere. Try to view the high cost as an investment towards your time, because it will allow you to go wherever, whenever you please.

4. Ask The Host Before Inviting People Over To Their House

Whatever you do, don't assume that you can bring whomever you want over to the house you are staying at. Remember: You are not staying at a hotel; this is someone's actual home. Before you invite any guest over, always ask the host. If they do say that it's OK, make sure you're only inviting guests who have a history of being respectful (because you know you always have that one friend that you need to be worried about). I recently had one of my best friends stay over for a weekend, and she asked me if it was OK if her friend could hang out with us during the trip. Even though we both knew it wasn't going to be a problem, it was nice that my bestie asked me first before assuming that it was going to be OK. She respected my space and my time — and I appreciated that.

5. Clean Up After Yourself

Do your own dishes, don't leave a mess everywhere you go — simple, right? Sometimes we forget — especially when staying with family — that we should clean up after ourselves when we are staying at someone else's house. We are all adults here. It means a lot when people stay over my house and they at least put their dishes in the sink, or fold up the sheets and blankets when they are done using them. It's really the simple things. I don't think you have to pull a Mrs. Doubtfire and clean up the whole house, but it is nice to see that the effort is there when you pick up after yourself. It reduces the stress on the host and it will make cleaning up much easier after the guests have left.

6. Respect The House Rules

Every house has a set of rules to follow. While some are more extreme than others (I'm looking at you, mom), they're always there for a reason. Whatever the rules may be, always be respectable towards them. I personally don't have a lot of rules in my house, but whenever my boyfriend and I are staying at his mom's place, we always try to be respectful by being quiet late at night and making sure we always put the alarm on when we are the last ones to come home. It's the little things.

7. Show Appreciation

You will be the best guest ever by showing your host how much you appreciate them by allowing you to stay at their house. Buy them flowers, make them dinner, or buy them the Goldeneye N64 game (yes, that did happen to me). Either way, you just want to physically show them gratitude in some way. You don't have to actually spend money to tell them thank you. You can show gratitude by doing some house chores or making them dinner. Whenever my boyfriend and I stay over at a friend's house, we like to help with out with chores, put away the air mattress and/or buy a card or small gift to say thank you. It really goes a long way.

Staying at someone's house can be fun but still stressful. Make that time easier for your host by asking them if you can help them with anything, by respecting the rules of the house, and always cleaning up after yourself. By following these rules, you will be invited back next year, I promise.

Images: Giphy (7); Pexels