If you’re planning on traveling this year for the holidays, you may be wondering ways to be a good guest! While bringing along a hostess gift like a box of chocolates or a flower display is always appreciated, there’s a lot more that goes into being a good guest than arriving with a bag or box in hand.

When you travel and stay in a hotel or bed and breakfast, you probably don’t put much thought into how you act while you’re there. You obviously don’t trash the room, but otherwise, you can pretty much do whatever you want.

That’s not really how it works when you’re staying at somebody’s home:

  • It’s important to respect their privacy. Unless told otherwise, stay out of rooms you have no need to enter. It’s likely you’ll have no need to go in their bedroom or search through closets and drawers.
  • Keep your room neat. They won’t expect you to vacuum and dust the room you’re staying in, but, clean up the sink after you get ready and make your bed in the morning when you get up. Toss dirty clothes in a reusable cloth bag rather than leaving them on the floor in the corner.
  • Watch the noise level in your room. If you have a television or you’re streaming on your laptop, be considerate of the noise. You’d be surprised at how much noise carries in a small home. It’s also important to consider what time it is when you’re making noise. Not everyone wakes up at 5 AM or stays awake until midnight.
  • Don’t be a picky eater if you’ll be eating meals with the family. It’s OK not to take everything you’re offered, but, don’t expect your host to make special meals. If you know you have special dietary needs make this known to your host before you arrive so they can shop and plan meals that you can eat. And, it’s always a good idea to keep a few small snacks in your room in case you’re hungry.
  • Let your hosts know what your plans are if you’ll be away for the day. If they’ve planned a lunch or dinner for you, they won’t be impressed to find out that you won’t be home all day to enjoy it.
  • Leaving a thank you gift is always appreciated. Take your hosts interests into account before you shop. If you are coming from out of state, you might want to bring them a food specialty that your state is known for like maple syrup from Vermont or pecans from Georgia.

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