What makes a good guest? - LONG!

whazzupApril 20, 2003

I consider myself very fortunate to live in a city that is a major tourist destination. Because of my location and wonderful weather year round, we have quite a few guests at many different time of the year. In fact a couple of them just left and I am so glad to have some semblance of a normal life back! We are more than happy to open our house to family and friends who come to town and want to do the "tourist" things. But when guests leave, I always feel exhausted and relieved. And these are people that I really DO want to see and really DO love! Here is a list of do's and don'ts for houseguests. Please add you own because I am so tired, I am sure I have forgotten something.

1. Make arrangements for transportation if possible. If you have a medical reason for not driving, it's understandable. But don't rely on me to work as your taxi service while you enjoy a relaxing vacation. Rent a car or bring your own.

2. Could you wash a dish or cook a meal? How about buying dinner for us? After all, you've saved a whopping amount of money on hotel bills by staying with us, but our grocery bill has increased.

3. Sorry, I've been to the parks too many times to count and I don't feel like going again. But there's no need for you to sit around like a bump on a log because I don't want to go. (Bet you wish you'd rented a car now). Plus, I really can't afford to spend the money on tickets every time someone comes to town.

4. I will not use MY hard earned vacation time to entertain you during YOUR vacation. That time is so that I can have a vacation and do some relaxing myself. So, you just go out during the day and do your thing, and I'll see you at the house in the evening when I get home from work.

5. You may not believe this because you are family and I do love you, but it is true that fish and house guests start to smell after three days. A week or ten days is TOO long.

6. We do things a certain way around here. We watch certain TV shows and eat certain foods. I try to be a good hostess and make you comfortable, but you really need to get over yourself :) Don't be making nasty comments because you think we do things "weird".

7. Yes, it's hot here. You don't have to comment over and over on how you "could never live here". Believe me, if you decide to stay in the great white north, it's no problem for me.

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Wow. I am glad I am not staying at your place.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 8:58AM
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Are you sure we're not hosting the same people? We're in the same area. They sound like some of our friends that come down every summer.. Let me add a few things.
1. Don't bring your clothes unironed because they'd only get wrinkled in the suitcase. I don't appreciate having the iron and the ironing board out 24 hrs. a day.
2. If you are a major water drinker,please don't leave 1/2 filled glasses in everyroom.
3. There are several persons sharing the bathroom. 2 showers a day are not neccessary.
4. Blowdrying your hair or applying makeup can be done in a BR, thereby freeing up the bathroom for the next person.
5. Our tiny dog (4 lbs) is a part of our household and our family. Please refrain from cringing when she approaches you and from making deragatory comments about animals in the home. And, yes, she does have the run of the house. Remember it is YOU who are intruding into her territory, not the other way around.
6. We have an eating schedule around here. Dinner is at 6:30. I can't help it if you lead a cosmopolitan lifestyle and dine at 8:00. The kitchen help has left for the evening at that hour.
7. If something should accidentally break, please tell me rather than slipping it into the trash. I need to know so I can decide to replace it or not. Or it might be something I would just like to repair.
8. I realize our area is not as sophisticated as where you live and many of our restaurants are not ****** stars, but they are not as costly, either.
9. If your Boston home stomping grounds are so great, then find elsewhere up there to vacation and see if the hotel accommodations are as reasonably priced as our home. I'd love for our family to vacation somewhere for only the price of airfare.

  1. Our home is smokefree. Smoking in the bedroom or bathroom can't be hidden by a spray.
  2. Okay, I'm done venting. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 9:15AM
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Brit, me too. Mona, BINGO on your #5! :)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 7:41PM
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Wow! My family lives in FLA so we go down often and stay with either DH's sis or bro.

They enjoy playing aunt and uncle to our DD since they don't get to see her often.

Arrange our own transportation
Make our own plans that don't involve them unless they want to.
Buy them dinner at least once, sometimes twice.
Make our own bed up when we arrive, and strip the bed when leaving.
Do the dishes.
Buy groceries.
Help cook.
Adore their pets.

I only wish we could move down there so we could spend more time with family but since it is not possible, we treasure our time as their guests, and try to be the best guests possible.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 7:46AM
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Guests like you are jewels and a pleasure to have in our home. Everyone should be this considerate.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 7:59AM
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I'm lucky that my guests have never really created problems.

We're in NYC, and twice we've had people stay with us that weren't really visiting US; we didn't know them that well. They tried very hard to be easy to have around, but it was somehow not that comfortable anyway.

I can have people for a week, if I really love them. But 10 days, even w/ family, is really hard (esp. in 850 sq. feet).

I'm also pretty preemptive: I bring up the subject of scheduling the bathroom in the morning; I ask them where they are going and tell them that I won't be around during the day. That helps a lot!

I think I'd say, "I want to put the ironing board away; can you iron all your clothes now and hang them in the hall closet, please?" and other sorts of direct requests. I wouldn't directly ask them to take us to dinner, but I would perhaps bring up the idea of washing dishes, cooking, etc.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 4:39PM
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TREKaren, you are a dream guest! What a pleasure it would be to have guests like you.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 8:02PM
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TREKaren, we're like that, too! We also usually arrive with flowers and help with housework (at one friend's house I folded and sorted several weeks' worth of laundry - I like to fold and she doesn't :-)), help the kids with their homework if asked and such. It would not occur to us not to contribute to the household where we are staying. Even in hotels I obsess about tidying up after myself and making the bed :-)
We have had the guest from hell and it made us keen never to behave like that. Good guests get invited back!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2003 at 11:32AM
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when I was in sales and out of town a lot, I spent twice a month in Nashville. My sister-in-law lived there. I stayed with her. it was 2 nights a week. One of the nights I took her and her son out to dinner. the next night I had her make arrangements to go out with a friend and I watched my nephew. being a single mother it was not easy for her.

I did spend sometime with my said son in manhattan many years ago, and now realize how much I cost him. he came to the airport to get me, which I had no idea what that cost then. he took me back and waited with me. we , of course ate out every meal. we saw a play, and had a lot of fun. and he took vacation time. I would never do that to him again.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2003 at 9:53PM
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Linda, it's not really so bad if it's an occasional visitor. The point of my original post was that since we live in a tourist area, we have many, many guests all times of the year. Those days off from work added up so quickly that I was left with no time off for my own vacation. That's why I don't use my vacation time to entertain people anymore. These visitors are not really coming to visit ME. They are coming to the area to be tourists and want to stay at my house to save on expenses. I don't even mind that they do that, so long as they don't inconvenience me too much. I'm sure your son didn't mind at all.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2003 at 10:43AM
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Remember also, Linda, that you're his mom--he may have been very happy to see you.

I live in NYC, and I'm always glad when my best friend visits, because it means I get out of the house for a change. I eat out instead of in, I go to a show. I can't afford to do that very often, so I'm glad that I can do it in the company of someone I love.

There are a few things I won't do, no matter who it is that comes; one of them used to be going to the top of the WTC (still is, I guess, though I don't send them on their own anymore), bcs the view wasn't that great, the line was LOOONG, and the price was too high.

My DH has expressed dissatisfaction w/ people who come just to visit the area and NOT to visit us. We're not a B&B, he points out. If we had more room, it might be easier, but we've got 850 sq feet, and they're sleeping in our living room.

Also, Linda, it was your first visit to NYC. Once someone has visited at least once, sometimes twice, I don't take all that time off--maybe a day or two if I can. But on their first trip, I like to be around to show them how to get around town, spend time in their company, etc.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 5:00PM
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We sometimes take our hosts out to dinner and sometimes bring in a bag of groceries and cook them a meal.

What annoyed me about the last family visit at our house was the large pile of wet towels in the bathroom. Hey! You left at three in the afternoon, not first thing in the morning, and you know how to run a washing machine, right?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 2:17PM
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it's funny, when visiting him the second time, the weather was cooler. I just wanted to walk by all the resturants, stop and look at their menu !!! and drool...he thought I was goofy, but he patronized me...after all who did he learn how to cook from?
I always left the choice up to him, as he knew what was really good and what kind of food I love.
and then of course look at the gold and diamonds in the windows...walk through Grand Central station

    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 4:27PM
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A good guest is one who stays in a hotel, LOL.

I really like my "personal space" and don't enjoy entertaining anyone over one night, much less more! I'm more comfortable staying in a hotel, so to me it's worth the extra money to have some privacy and get together with my would-be hosts at their convenience.

Julie (we also have a small house and no guest room!)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2003 at 8:30AM
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Linda, gawking is the best part of visiting NYC!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2003 at 3:38PM
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What makes a good guest? One who stays in a hotel!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2003 at 8:07PM
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First time on this forum, I see some familiar names from other forums. I just had to jump in on this one! I totally agree with everything listed above. (But things done by my family when visiting are A-OK. I don't get to see them nearly enough!)

Another thing I'd like to add to the list is don't leave all your makeup bags and dop kits on the bathroom counter - take them back to your room. We share bathrooms, and it leaves nowhere to put things/spread out for the next person (or those of us who live here).

Along the same vein, don't spread out your stuff around the house too much. Invariably something gets forgotten and then has to be mailed back. Drives me nuts.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2003 at 2:05PM
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