Remember You're a Guest
You are not in the comfort of your own home, though your gracious host may tell you to make yourself feel at home, don't get too comfortable. Keep your belongings all in one place and be tidy.
Be an Empathetic Lodger
Put yourself in the house slippers of your host (not literally) and visualize what might make you the most agreeable, generous guest. Close doors quietly when others are sleeping. Tread lightly in the morning. Simply put, take into consideration of the family living there and be as kind as one can be.
Pitch in for Meals
Take a trip to the grocery store and stock up on eggs, milk, and coffee. Or help around the kitchen to make meal time a bit easier now that your host must be mindful for an extra guest. Chop onions for dinner or wash the dishes after breakfast. Your participation in household affairs should be proportionate to the length of your stay. Do whatever you can to lighten the burden of another body (or several) in the house.
Be Reasonable About Expectations
Take the more humble approach and recognize that your host has a whole litany of responsibilities, worries and distractions that extend beyond merely satisfying your comforts. So commit to being flexible before you even step foot in the door. Also, be forgiving and responsive.
This is the key for getting off to a good start, as well as maintaining peace for the whole duration of your stay. Let your hosts know when they might expect you in and out of the house. If you say you’re coming home at 10 p.m., don’t waltz in the door at 2 a.m. with no warning and expecting a warm greeting.
Photograph by Taylor Jewell