Tips and advice

How To Be a Good Guest

Figuring out how to be a good guest during the holidays can be tricky. When your mind is preoccupied with presents, decorations, and hosting your own events, thoughts of your stay at another's house may seem distant. Here's are some easy things to do to help you plan ahead and make sure you're invited back:


When someone invites you to stay at their home, respond to their invitation as soon as possible. It's usually best to respond within 24 hours, but if your plans are up in the air, you should still plan to contact your host and give them an idea of when you'll be able to respond. If you have to amend your host's plans - let's say the cheapest flight arrives a day earlier than planned, or you get out of work at 8 when the dinner party starts at 6 - let your host know your plans as soon as you do. That also goes for guests - if you plan on bringing a date, a child, or even a pet, give your host a heads up. No party planner wants an unexpected guest at dinner. Whatever the change in plans may be, think ahead so that your host doesn't have to scramble last minute.

Let Hosts Know of Any Dietary Restrictions

It's important to have open communication between host and guest. While you may assume that a family member or close friend is aware of your needs, it's still best to remind them of any dietary restrictions, allergies, or strong dislikes of food. Although hosts typically appreciate this kind of information, it's not an invitation for picky eaters to send a list of foods they simply don't enjoy.

Show Gratitude

When you're invited to be a guest in someone's home, one of the first questions you should ask is, "What can I bring?" If you're attending a dinner party, offer to bring an appetizer, side dish, or dessert to take some pressure off of your house. You can also offer to provide some party supplies that are thought of less often: napkins, plates, toothpicks, or flowers. If you do plan on bringing food, make sure to bring your own serving platter and serving utensil. Take them home when you leave or use disposable ones so that your host doesn't have to track you down after the fact. If you're a guest with an extended stay, be sure to bring a thoughtful gift for the host such as a nice bottle of wine, gift basket, or discount travel passes. You can also show gratitude (and common sense) by cleaning up after yourself and keeping your room neat. Even short-stay guests can offer to help in the kitchen or help clean up after the party. You can also offer to show up early to a dinner party to help set up, but make sure that you arrive on time; your host may be counting on your assistance. Do you have any tips on being a good house guest? Share in the comments below! And Happy Holidays.

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