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A Guy's Guide to Being a House Guest

November 28, 2019DMT.NEWS

#DMTBeautySpot #beauty

How to Be a Good House Guest

Your bags are packed and your flight is booked, and thanks to your good friends or family, you don’t have to spend a dime on a hotel room. While that may be true, but it doesn’t mean your trip doesn’t require a bit of an investment. If you’ve ever wondered to yourself how to be a good house guest — better than just showing up with a bottle of booze and not leaving a trail of destruction behind you — then you have arrived at the right place. Being a good house guest isn’t hard, it just takes following a few simple, yet sophisticated rules.

RELATED: How to Prepare for Overnight Guests

Pack Your Needs

A good host will likely be prepared to keep you clean and comfortable with some essentials during your stay. But, don’t mistake the generosity of your host as an excuse to rely on them for all your needs. We all forget things from time to time, but do your best to remember your toiletries and comforts — phone charger, tablet, toothbrush — so that you won’t put your host out.

Don’t Show Up Unannounced

As much as surprises may sound like a lot of fun, showing up unannounced is rarely — if ever — a good idea. Giving your host adequate time to prepare their home and the space in which you will be occupying during your stay is nothing short of respectful.

Be Clear About How Long You're Staying

Benjamin Franklin famously said that guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days. That happy little saying is a great place to start for guests who are making plans to visit family or friends. Can you stay longer? Sure. Some trips even warrant and longer visit, but assuming that there is a three day window is going to be a great jump off for most travelers.

Show Up With a Gift

Yes you should. You are being welcomed into someone's home and no matter how close you are, a gesture of thanks as you walk through the door will set the tone for a fantastic trip. Chances are you would expect the same in return, right? You don’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are many gifts that are both thoughtful and useful while not being gratitroutly expensive (and thanks to your host, you’re surely saving money you would have otherwise spent on lodging elsewhere). Keep reading for our picks.

Follow House Rules

You wouldn’t go to England and insist on driving on the right side of the street simply because that’s the way it’s done back home, correct? Well, breaking a host's house rules may not put anyone's life in danger — or it might, who knows — but it can be an easy way to ensure you’re never invited back. If you are asked to remove your shoes and put the toilet seat down, don't argue. Just do it.

Buy Some Groceries

As a host, they will assume some responsibility for gathering provisions during your stay, but we all like what we like and some of us even require certain foods that may not be on our host’s shopping list. Chip in for some groceries. It’s the right thing to do and it also makes sure you get some of the specific food items you want without expecting the host to foot the entire bill.

Chip In

Speaking of footing the bill; a free place to stay doesn’t mean you are not required to do anything to stay there. Hotels take a bit of that money you pay them to employ a full staff to clean up after you. Assume that the home your crashing in does not have a staff prepared to make your bed and fold your clothes. Do it yourself. In fact, do a little better than you might at home or in a hotel. For example, if your hosts cooks dinner, offer to clean up. If you cook, it’s likely the host will assume cleaning duties (but you’re always welcome to help). Remember, you are leaving once your stay is done, but your hosts have to stick around.

Give the Host Space

It’s a safe bet that your host will enjoy spending time with you since you are, after all, staying at their home. Don’t confuse that with wanting to spend all their time with you. Everyone benefits from having some alone time now and then, so make sure to take yours and give your host theirs. Even if it’s just going out to grab coffee and bagels in the morning, having a little time away supposedly makes the heart grow fonder.

Treat Them to Dinner

Don’t be cheap. Yeah, we said it. Take your host out for a nice meal. Does it have to be Michelin 3-star establishment? No, but try to avoid anything with a drive-thru. This is a nice opportunity to spend some time out of the house so you can focus solely on quality conversation.

Strip Your Bed

By now, you must have picked up on a theme: your hosts are not staff, so do not treat them as such. Stripping your bed and gathering your soiled linens saves anyone from having to deal with that for you. Just like you probably dislike doing laundry, it’s safe to assume your host doesn’t like to either — probably less so when it isn’t even theirs. Make it as easy for them as you can. Do they expect you to wash and fold? No, you’re on your way out, but having taken that single step of collecting all of those items for them shows that you are aware of the amount of work they might have to do to reclaim their space after you’re gone.

Say Thank You

In the good ole’ days, a handwritten thank you note would be standard, and whereas we still prefer that tried and true method, any sentiment of gratitude is better than none. Don’t feel like a bouquet of flowers are in order (unless something remarkable happens on your stay) but radio silence from a guest to a host can be deafening.

Best Host Gifts

Cire Trudon Fir Candle

Cire Trudon Fir Holiday Candle

If you are staying for a while, and managed to save some major coin by avoiding the hotel, pay it forward with one of the best gifts out there — a luxury candle in a beautiful vessel. No, we’re not talking about that cliché regiftable candle (you know the one) instead, we’re opting for the one so nice your host will burn only in the presence of company.
$125 at Trudon.com

Good Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio bottles

Why pinot grigio? Because it's the most popular wine out there and unless you know your hosts personal preference, a pinot grigio is the safest bet. It's lighter than a chardonnay, not as seasonally specific as most reds and not as polarizing as anything with gas. If your host doesn't drink, no worries — there are many other options to consider. 
From $4.99 at Drizly.com

Now House by Jonathan Adler Trinket Tray

Now House by Jonathan Adler Trinket Tray

A simple tray for trinkets is something no one realizes they need until they get it. Something like this from home décor guru Jonathan Adler is upscale enough to show you know what you’re talking about but affordable enough that you won’t feel like you are losing money on the stay.
$18 at Amazon.com

The Finer Things: Timeless Furniture, Textiles and Details

The Finer Things: Timeless Furniture, Textiles and Details

Coffee table books add a shine to any formal sitting space and this one does so literally. Showing off a wider variety of interiors, this book can provide endless inspiration to your host, or serve as yet another surface on which to stack chic items, such as candles and trays.
$33.99 at Amazon.com

New Phone, Who Dis? Party Game

New Phone, Who Dis? Party Game

Cards Against Humanity set a new standard with what a party game can be, but if you’re a bit nervous about your hosts ability to laugh at calls and responses that include taboo topics such as “Alcoholism,” Grandpa’s Ashes” and “Double Penetration,” then maybe going a lighter route in the same vein would be a good idea. Cue “New Phone, Who Dis?”
$19.99 at Amazon.com

Mondrian Coaster Set

Mondrian Coaster Set

If you look hard enough, you can find art in anything. We found it, and like it, in these coasters from the MoMA Design Store. Using the iconic designs of Piet Mondrian, this four set of coasters is a simple yet well thought out gift for anyone, especially someone who takes enough pride in their home to host family and friends.
$22 at Store.MoMA.org

Potted Snake Plant

Potted Snake Plant

Spoiler Alert: Flowers die. They may be beautiful while they’re here, but once cut and rolled up into a bouquet, they have a short shelf life. Potted plants, however, make any space instantly more attractive and welcoming. Not sure if your host has a green thumb? Grab a handsome low-water, low-light snake plant that purifies the air while it's sitting pretty.
$33 at TheSill.com

Riley Home Greek Key Throw

Riley Home Greek Key Throw

BYOB — Bring Your Own Blanket. No, that’s not what that means, but why not? Adding a blanket to your hosts cozy capital will not go unappreciated. We can pretty much guarantee that.
$89 at RileyHome.com

Collo-Alto Salad Server Set

Collo-Alto Salad Server Set

No matter how plentiful and comfortable your seating may be, guests almost always end up gathering together in the kitchen. These stainless steel salad servers add an element of class to any meal when a simple salad is involved.
$66 at DWR.com

Williams Sonoma Classic Logo Towels

Williams Sonoma Classic Logo Towels

Gifting your host with another, softer upscale kitchen addition is alright too. A set of nice dish towels allows your host to toss a few of their old ones that may be stained or worn out. Grabbing a set from Williams Sonoma ensures they will look good with whatever kitchen scheme they might have.
$19.95 for 4 at Williams-Sonoma.com

Soma Sustainable Carafe and Plant-Based Filter

Soma Sustainable Carafe and Plant-Based Filter

A Soma carafe is as much a gift of good health as it is a gift of good style. Filling this up and leaving it on your counter or table does good by filtering out unnecessary stuff from H2O but also adding a bit more style than some of those others that don’t quite seem … gift worthy.
$49.99 at Amazon.com

Each host is a little different and each relationship is unique. In general, these tips and gifts will work for just about anyone, but do a little research and see what you can do to make your time special and memorable.

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Barret Wertz, Khareem Sudlow

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