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How to Be the Perfect Guest

Part of a good friendship is visiting your friends and having them stay over for a time. But remember the old saying: “House guests are like fish. After three days they start to stink.”

It can be stressful on either side. You don’t want to be a bad host, or be a bad guest and have a unintentional faux pas ruin your visit and maybe your friendship.

Being a guest in a friend’s home isn’t like being a guest in a hotel –don’t expect to be pampered.  Chip in! Don’t just ask, “Can I help with anything?” just join in and start peeling potatoes, washing dishes, or walking the dog. Your host will be grateful that you took the initiative and pitched in.

While you’re visiting your host will want to show you around, and make you the center of attention. But remember! You may be on vacation, but they aren’t. Make yourself scarce occasionally. Go read in the bedroom, take a walk in town and disappear for a few hours so they can get their laundry done, pay their bills, or have quiet time of their own.

When it comes to thanking your host, a personalized “Thank You” note and a useful, appropriate gift, something they can really use and enjoy, like a fruit basket or a bottle of wine,

On the other side, the key to being a good host is preparation. Set up the guest room to avoid running out of toilet paper or no soap in the bathroom. Put some shampoo in the shower and stock the kitchen with basics like milk, bread, and coffee, and some snacks.

If both guest and host do their part, a visit can become an event that all will enjoy and anticipate.