Some days I'm such a bossy know-it-all that I think I should have been Miss Manners' understudy. Aside from that, someone recently remarked that not everybody in fact actually knows all the societal rules of etiquette. Therefore, these guidelines might bear repeating for any who have ears to hear, or occasion to read, as a way to make overnight visits more comfortable for both sides.
Responsibilities of the Guest:
- Make plans well ahead of time and remember the arrangements (write them down).
- Stick to the plan or advise the host immediately of the plan changes.
- Clean up your mess before leaving and don't make unnecessary work for the host.
- Offer to help with food costs or take the host out to eat.
- If in doubt about your boundaries, ask the host first.
- Ask the host if they have clean sheets in order to make up the bed before leaving.
- Carefully remove all belongings so the host doesn’t have to deal with them later.
- Thank the host.
Responsibilities of the Host:
- Make note of the plans and don't forget them (write them down) .
- Make physical preparations before the guest arrives for sleeping, eating, and a place for the guest to put their belongings.
- Ask the guest if they need anything, knowing that the guest may not feel comfortable to ask.
- Tell the guest directly to help themselves to X or Y (like the frig, the TV, etc), realizing they may not feel comfortable to really“make themselves at home” without being specifically told.
- Tell the guest where you are if you leave and the best way to contact you if needed.