How To Be A Good House Guest

I recently spent my weekend reuniting with some long, lost sorority sisters down in Richmond. A few of us were out-of-towners so we crashed on our fellow sisters’ couches for the weekend and wined and dined our way down memory lane. It wasn’t until Sunday night after conversing with several sisters about their house guests that I realized that not everyone is well versed in great house guest etiquette.

It occurred to me then that some people may not be aware of proper house guest etiquette and could be subjecting their hosts to a horrible time unintentionally.  In an effort to save lovely hosts everywhere (and to ensure that you always have somewhere to stay), I’ve developed an easy guide to being a great house guest. Now you might be thinking, “But Amanda Jean, I’ve known so-and-so for a million years, they don’t care about etiquette!” Listen, I don’t care how long you’ve known someone; there is still basic house guest etiquette that everyone should follow.

Let’s begin shall we?

1.      Always Bring a Gift

Now I’ m not saying break the bank and get them the Hope Diamond every time you stay at their house or anything, but I find that a nice simple “thank you” gift goes a long way. Try bringing a nice bottle of wine with you when you arrive. Another great option as opposed to bringing a physical gift is offering to pick up the tab for one meal.  Glitter Guide  has an excellent list of simple gifts you can give your host. It’s simple, thoughtful, and won’t kill your budget.

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2.      Don’t get TOO comfortable

As the saying goes “Mi casa es su casa”, but don’t take this too literally. Your host wants you to be as comfortable as possible, but please remember it is still not YOUR house. This means washing dishes when you’re done eating, picking up after yourself and overall being respectful of their space.


3.      Be Upfront As to Why You’re There

If you’re crashing at a friend’s house because you’re in town for a conference or to visit a lovahhh, that’s absolutely fine—just be upfront about it. Nothing is worse than thinking you’re spending the whole weekend with your friend to find out they were just using you for a free place to stay.


4.      Don’t Overstay Your Welcome

Make sure you confirm with your host the length of your stay. I’m sure they are just as excited as you are for your visit, but they’ve got a life of their own too and staying an extra day might throw off some of the plans they’ve made. If you decide to stay a little longer just make sure it’s cool with your host. It’s quite awkward when you’ve made plans because you expect your guest to have left by then only to find out they’ve decided to stay an extra few days without notice.


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As you can see these are pretty easy steps to follow in order to be the best house guest there ever was. If you follow these simple steps the next time you visit, you can be certain friends will keep their guest room doors open to you.



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1 Comment

  • Reply August 1, 2013

    I love Amanda Jean and her thoughtful insight! She’s the How To girl!