Summer is the ultimate opportunity to take advantage of all of your friends’ (and their parent’s) beautiful homes, whether by the sea, the mountains, on an island or desert. If, that is, you know how to be a good houseguests. Here are our Top Ten Tips for Good Guests.
1. How to get invited in the first place. If you are too impatient to wait for a formal invitation, it is perfectly acceptable to drop a few hints like the email template below. “Hello (blank) , I plan to be passing by (blank) on the (blank) of (blank) and thought I might stop by. It would be such fun to catch up if you are free.” Usually this will be enough to prompt an invitation to stay. If the date is inconvenient for the hosts, she or he will offer some alternative dates. If they do not, move down your list of possible moochications.
2. Arrival and Departure: Good Guests DO let their hosts know what time you are arriving and when when you plan to leave. Then stick to the schedule.
3. Activities: DO ask about the activities and the appropriate attire, and pack accordingly. Feel free to reach out to us for our Packing for Travel advice. DO bring everything you need to participate in the planned events.
4. House Gifts: DO come bearing gifts. An often repeat couple to our farm typically sends a wonderful case of wine from Morell Wines in advance of their arrival, a brilliant gesture that insures the beverages choices are well above our usual offerings. Win-win! DON’T bring sweets. No one wants more calories arriving when we are all on bathing suit alert. Also DON’T bring flowers or plants. Chances are your hostess has chosen her decor carefully and will not be appreciative of random botanicals. Candles are always safe, but somewhat boring. Here are some gifts that we love to give and receive. Some other favorites are Gourmet Sea Salt Sampler, or who could tire of a bottle of fragrant Olive Oil to inspire the best of summer recipes.
Bring or Send a Stack of Best Sellers
5. Household Schedule: It is not necessary for a Good Guest to keep to your hosts schedule BUT, it is essential that you DO show up to meals at the appointed hour. If you like to sleep in, DO bring some snacks to hold you over to lunch so you DON’T go rummaging around it the fridge. It is always a good idea to ask your hosts of the household routine. Self serve or served? Sit down meals or grab & go?
7. Housekeeping: DO make your bed, and pick up after yourself as you go about your day, even if there is a housekeeper. DON’T leave your clothes strewn all over the room (oops, that’s me) , but if it happens, DO keep the door closed. And if there is a housekeeper, DO leave a generous tip. They will rave about you to your hosts, scoring a return visit.
8. Time Out: DO bring a good book to read between activities. Good Guests knows how to entertain themselves.
9. Converation: DO engage in witty and engaging conversations. Normally, we would stay clear of politics, but NOT THIS SUMMER when the presidential antics are too delicious, not to devour and digest and discuss ad nauseum.
10: Saying Thanks: Of course a hand written Thank You Note is mandatory for Good Guests. We love the boxed sets or customized stationery from Pickett’s Press. They also stock wonderful Hostess Gifts.
With K. Cooper Ray of Social Primer – my favorite houseguest.