Catherine spills the secrets on how to be everyone’s favorite houseguest
I daydream about the day I can stay at four-star hotels, sharing a king bed with only one other person. At this point in our lives, the majority of us packs Vegas hotel rooms to the brim and crashes on our friends’ couches when we visit new cities. We all know how tiring it can be to live in a popular city and entertain out-of-town visitors. Regardless, it can be easy to forget our manners when the tables are turned. Here are some easy ways to be a gracious houseguest and guarantee an invitation to return.
Stay mindful of time and space.
Jamie says, “Being a good guest is like being a good housemate, but remember that it is still their home.” Blend into her life instead of sticking out like an obnoxious vase someone gifted to them. Some suggestions? Keep your area as neat as possible. Make the bed before leaving for the day. Ask permission, and always treat things with respect. Do the dishes. Do a little extra cleaning of your area before you leave. Tin advises that “a great rule of thumb is to make it unapparent an extra person is staying there.”
Whitney says to “give your host a bit of space and not rely on her too much—hosting people and always having to be ‘on’ can be stressful!” Give your friend a break by planning a few activities on your own (or with other friends in the area), with her attendance optional. She will likely have some ideas herself of places she wants you to see, but be prepared to take the lead when necessary. Tin recommends “planning activities outside the apartment when she is busy or needs some privacy.”
Be a fun companion.
Jessica says that a great houseguest “will always bring great company and an opportunity to reconnect.” Make your friend the priority of your visit. Save time to nourish your friendship since you don’t see each other as frequently as you’d probably like. Jamie suggests meeting up with her at work and accompanying her on the walk home. Plan a relaxing night in when you can really catch up no pressure.
Don’t show up empty-handed.
When it comes to hostess gifts, a little goes a long way. What gal doesn’t appreciate fresh flowers, a bottle of wine or a lovely candle? Treats from your home city (or their home city) are also a great idea: baked goods, special candies, or a bag of artisan coffee if you’re certain they brew at home. If you don’t have time to pick something special up, replenishing her groceries or paying for a meal before the end of your trip is just as thoughtful.
Send one last souvenir.
Written thank you notes never go out of style. Hearing from you the week following your visit will be the perfect reminder of all the good times you had over the weekend… and will erase any annoyances that may have happened. Though if you keep our tips in mind, there will be none to consider. Jamie says, “A handwritten note in addition to a text once I’ve arrived at my destination is a way to continue that friendship and prolong the time you’ve had together.”
What is something you do when you visit a friend? What has a friend done for you to make her visit memorable?
Catherine Abalos is founder and editor of The Single Diaries.