How To Be A Good Guest When Staying At Someone’s Home For Several Days; Don’t Drive Your Host Crazy

I recently wrote a post about how to host guests in your home for several days without going crazy. After posting the article, I received emails from some of my followers requesting me to also write about how to be a good guest. Some readers talked of being driven crazy by guests (a story for another day).


Suppose you visit family or friends and plan to stay with them for several days. In that case, you should try to be a good guest so you don’t drive your host crazy. If you drive your host crazy, your visit might leave a sour taste in your mouth and your host’s. 

If this happens, it could ruin your relationship with your host. In addition, your host might not welcome you in their home again. 

How To Be A Good Guest When Staying At Someone’s Home For Several Days

I know that there’s no perfect guest. After all, we are all human and tend to make mistakes. However, when someone hosts you for several days, try your best to be a good guest. You can be a good guest by being humble, mindful, respectful, and considerate. 

Here are some tips that can help you to be a good guest when staying at someone’s home for several days. 


1. Avoid Turning Up Unannounced  For Whatever Reason

The first tip on how to be a good guest is to avoid turning up unannounced. You see, when you turn up unannounced, you could inconvenience your host in the following ways:

You can interfere with their time: They have to suddenly create time to settle you into their home. 

You can interfere with their budget: Your host has to cater to your food and other needs for the duration of your stay. That could interfere with their budget, especially in these tough economic times.

You could interfere with their plans: Your host could have other plans such as going out, traveling, entertaining, etc. If you visit unannounced, you could interfere with their plans.

So, if you want to be a good guest, avoid visiting people unannounced. Some hosts could get pissed off with you. Some could even treat you coldly, making your stay miserable.


2. Be A Good Guest By Communicating In Advance With Your Host

As I have mentioned above, avoid visiting people unannounced. Instead, communicate with your host in advance about the visit. 

Here are some things you can communicate in advance with your host:

  • Your arrival date
  • Your approximate time of arrival
  • Your departure date
  • Any dietary restrictions

When you communicate in advance with your host, they can plan and prepare for your visit accordingly. That way, you don’t inconvenience each other in any way. 

For instance, they can arrange to get time off from work during your stay. In addition, they can make the necessary arrangements well in advance to make your stay as comfortable as possible. 


3. Talk To Your Family Members About the Visit

Another tip on how to be a good guest is to talk to your family members about the visit. You can do this if you’re going with your children and spouse. You see, if you don’t talk to your family members, they might do something that could drive the hosts crazy.

Here are some things you could talk to your family about before going to stay in someone’s house for several days:

  • Request them to be humble, kind, helpful, and considerate during the visit.
  • Tell them to respect the hosts’ property e.g. toys, TV, etc.
  • Ask them to be extra tidy during the visit.
  • Request them to follow any house rules that the hosts may have.

Talking to your family members in advance helps them to be good guests. This makes your visit enjoyable for you and the hosts. 



4. Bring Something For Your Host


In my culture, we don’t visit someone’s home empty-handed. A good guest brings a little something as a sign of gratitude to the host. This is especially important if you’re going to stay in the person’s home for several days. 


Sometimes, it’s hard to decide what to bring to your hosts. This is especially so when you feel like they have everything they need.


Guess what? Everyone appreciates a gift regardless of their social status. You don’t have to bring something extravagant or huge. Just go for something simple and thoughtful.


Here are examples of simple and thoughtful things you can bring to your host:


A gourmet food basket: This is a great and thoughtful gift as it contains an assortment of foodstuff. It’s an awesome gift to take to a host who has a family.


A good bottle of wine: If your host loves wine, a good bottle of wine would be a welcome gift.


A shopping voucher: Your host can shop for items of their choice using the voucher.


A bouquet of flowers: This is an ideal gift for a female host. Flowers show that you care. They also lift your host’s mood.



5. Try To Arrive On Time


A good guest tries to arrive on time for the visit. In other words, avoid arriving too early or too late. 


You see, if you arrive too early, your host might panic. The reason is that they might still be in the process of making the necessary arrangements for you.


On the flip side, arriving too late is not good. Remember your hosts are ready and eagerly waiting for you. Making them wait for hours on end could stress them out. 


Suppose you’re running late. In that case, it’s important to update your host. 


If you’re running ahead of your schedule, update your host too. Find out whether it’s okay if you arrive before the time you’d agreed on.



6. Avoid Bringing Uninvited Guests


Another great tip on how to be a good guest is to avoid bringing uninvited guests. An uninvited guest could be a person or a pet, such as a dog, cat, etc. 


Bringing an uninvited guest could do the following to your host:


Make them panic: Your host has made the necessary arrangements for the people you said you’d bring along. An additional guest may make your host panic as they wonder how to accommodate them.


Affect their finances: Hosting guests for several days in a home is no mean feat. It involves setting aside money to make the guests comfortable. When you bring an additional guest, you could affect your host’s finances.


It inconveniences the host: When you bring an additional guest, your host has to think quickly about sleeping arrangements, additional food, etc. This can really inconvenience your host.


So, if you plan to bring an uninvited guest, it’s best to seek permission from your host. That’s what a good guest does. 


7. Ask If There Are Any House Rules 

When you arrive at your host’s home, it’s good to inquire gently if there are any house rules. You do this to try to understand how they do their things. This helps you avoid making mistakes that could annoy your hosts.

For instance, your host could have rules about the following:

  • No smoking in the house
  • No eating in the bedrooms
  • The sleeping and waking time
  • No stepping on the furniture
  • No using the phone at mealtimes

If your host points out any house rules, it's good to follow them. If you are visiting with your family, explain the rules to them.

You can also know some of the rules by observing your hosts. For example, if you find shoes at the entrance door when you arrive, it’s a sign that you should leave shoes at the door.

Also, if they go to bed early on the first day of your visit, it could be a sign that they like sleeping early. So, avoid watching TV for hours on end with the lights on. This could distract your hosts or interfere with their sleep. 

When you know the house rules and observe them, you and your hosts will be at peace.


8. Treat Your Host’s Pets Well

If you want to be a good guest, it’s essential to treat your host’s pets well. I know some of us don’t like pets such as dogs or cats. However, that does not mean that we should treat them badly.


Your hosts love their pet/s – that’s why they have them around. So treat the pets well even if you can’t stand them.


Here are some things you should avoid doing:

  • Avoid screaming or running away when you see the pet.
  • Avoid kicking the pet.
  • Avoid hitting them.
  • Avoid feeding the pet – you might not feed it the appropriate food.

Remember that animals have emotions and feelings too. So, treat them well, and you’ll have no problems with your hosts.



9. Bring Your Personal Stuff

Some hosts are willing to share almost anything with their guests. However, if you want to be a good guest, it’s best to bring your personal stuff. Bringing your personal stuff shows that you aren’t a mooch. Being a mooch is one of the things that can drive your hosts crazy.

In addition, some of the personal stuff your hosts use may not be the kind of stuff that works for you. 

Some of the personal stuff you can bring include the following:

  • Towels
  • Soap
  • Moisturizer
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Makeup
  • Combs
  • Slippers
  • A hairdryer
  • Phone charger
  • Toys for your kids

Bringing your personal stuff gives you and the hosts some peace of mind. That’s what being a good guest is about.


10. Be A Good Guest By Maintaining A Positive Attitude

It’s good to appreciate that your host, the family, and the home are not perfect. So, some things may not go perfectly during your stay. If you want to be a good guest, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude during your visit. 

Here are ways you can maintain a positive attitude when staying at someone’s house for several days:

  • Avoid complaining 
  • Avoid sulking
  • Don’t criticize your host’s home
  • Don’t judge or criticize your host’s family

You see, if your host knows that you’re doing any of the above, they may feel hurt. This could ruin your relationship.

Remember that you’re only there for several days. You’ll soon go back to your place and your life.


11. Respect Your Host’s Space and Belongings

A good guest respects their host’s belongings and space. In essence, it’s good to treat your host’s house as you would like guests to treat yours. 

Here are some things you should do/not do as a guest:

  • Be extremely tidy around the home.
  • Pick up after yourself.
  • Make your bed and the beds of your children every morning.
  • If you sleep on a couch, remove the sheets and pillows.
  • If you sleep in the living area, prepare the place before people wake up.
  • Avoid snooping around your host’s home – it’s disrespectful.


12. Be Extremely Mindful In the Kitchen

The kitchen is a very sensitive part of the home. After all, it’s where the food is stored and prepared. If you want to be a good guest, it’s best to be extremely mindful in the kitchen so you don’t annoy your hosts.

Here’s what being mindful in the kitchen looks like:

  • Avoid opening the fridge unless your host has given you permission.
  • Avoid eating anything before asking.
  • Be mindful when eating things even if your host has allowed you to use the kitchen freely.
  • Try to tone down your appetite.
  • If you finish milk or coffee, it’s best to order some.

13. Be Extremely Helpful Around the Home

As a good guest, remember that your host’s home is not a hotel – there are no employees. Your host is trying their best to make your stay as comfortable as possible. So, try to be extremely helpful around the home to lighten your host's burden. 


Here are things you can do to help around the home:

  • Help to prep meals
  • Help to cook
  • Lay the table before meals
  • Clear the table after meals 
  • Do the dishes
  • Wipe dishes 
  • Babysit kids while their parents do other chores.
  • Fix a broken thing if you have the skills.

Your host will appreciate your help around the home. They’ll definitely invite you to their home again.


14. Be Extremely Mindful When Using the Toilet


The toilet is a critical area of the home, and it’s best to keep it clean always. As a good guest, it’s important to be extremely mindful when using the toilet. If you are not mindful, you could drive your host crazy.


Here’s what being extremely mindful when using the toilet looks like:

  • Always flush the toilet after use to keep away bad odor.
  • Always put the toilet’s lid down when you’re finished – it’s a safety measure, among other things.
  • Clean any water, toothpaste, or soap on the counter, sink, or floor.
  • Replace the toilet roll if you use the last one – you won’t inconvenience others.
  • Always leave the toilet smelling fresh; you can use an air freshener or light a matchstick to eliminate the smell of poop.

Everyone loves a clean toilet, including your host. Being extremely mindful when using the toilet puts you in your host’s good books.



15. Avoid Hiding Things That Go Wrong From Your Host


Sometimes, things may go wrong when you’re staying with people for several days. As a good guest, it’s important to alert your host when something goes wrong. Avoid hiding things that go wrong from your host.


Suppose you hide something from your host, and then they find out? In that case, they’ll be mad at you.


Here are things that could go wrong and what to do about it:


You clog the toilet: Try to unclog it. If you’re not successful, tell your host so that they can get someone to unclog it immediately. Everyone uses the toilet, and it should, therefore, work well at all times.


You or your child breaks something accidentally: Tell your host about it immediately. Also, offer to replace the item. It’s okay if they turn down your offer – at least you tried to do the right thing.



16. Avoid Making Your Host Feel Like They Should “Babysit” You


If you want to be a good guest, it’s important to be self-sufficient to some extent. If you depend on your host totally, they may feel like they should babysit you. This can be extremely draining for your hosts.


Here’s what some degree of self-sufficiency looks like:


Entertain yourself: You can entertain yourself instead of totally relying on your host for entertainment. For instance, you can watch a movie or play games.


Explore on your own: You can also ask your hosts to recommend places you can explore alone. That can give you a chance to take your family out of the house to give the hosts a little break.


17. Be A Good Guest By Being Considerate To Your Hosts


One of the most important qualities of a good guest is being considerate. Your hosts will go out of their way to make your visit as pleasurable and comfortable as possible. The least you can do is to be considerate to them.


Here’s what being considerate to your hosts may look like:

  • Switch the lights off whenever you leave a room – saves on electricity bill.
  • Avoid wasting food or overeating – food is costly.
  • Let them know your goings and comings – remember you’re living in a home, not a hotel.
  • When you borrow their car, replenish the fuel.
  • Empty the trash can in your room before your departure.
  • Leave your room as clean as possible when you finally leave so that your host doesn’t have to hire a cleaner.

18. Send A Thank You Note To Your Host

A good guest always sends a thank you note to the host after the visit. You see, your host shared their house with you and ensured your visit was as comfortable as possible. They also fed you and paid your utility bills during your stay. The least you can do is to send them a thank you note regardless of your experience.


When you send a thank you note, your host feels that you appreciate and value them. They’ll definitely welcome you to their home in the future.

19. Avoid Saying Bad Things About Your Host After Your Departure

This is one of the most important tips when it comes to being a good guest. Remember there’s no perfect host or perfect guest. Your host may, therefore, do some things that make you unhappy. 


Also, your host’s family and home may not be perfect. An ordinary family usually has its shortcomings.

So, avoid saying bad things about your host or their family when you depart. 

If you badmouth them, it could ruin their reputation. In addition, if they get to hear what you said, it could make them mad and ruin your relationship.


So, just appreciate their efforts in hosting you. Let what happens in Vegas remain in Vegas.


The holiday season is around the corner and you might be visiting family and friends soon. I hope these tips on how to be a good guest when staying in someone’s home for several days will come in handy. Cheers!

I would love you hear your thoughts on this topic. Kindly share in the comments sections below. 


Also read: The 5 Magical Words That Show You Are a Well-Mannered Person Even If You Don’t Know It



I'm a life coach, teacher, mother, wife, writer, and blogger. I love writing about well-being, relationships, and family.


  1. Very timely post with the holidays around the corner! Great tips!

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