Laurey W. Glenn

These tips will help you avoid any awkwardness.

‘Tis the season of weekend trips, and we want to make a good impression on our hosts. We know to offer to cook, to send a thank you note, and to never arrive empty handed, but what about the lesser-known rules of house guest etiquette? Always prepare ahead of time to avoid any awkward dilemmas. If you act from a place of thoughtfulness and consideration for your kind hosts, the rest will follow. Also, be sure to follow the houseguest rules below. It’s just good manners.

1. Be Crystal Clear About Your Departure Date.

It would be beyond inconvenient to invite friends over for the afternoon just to find out that they think they’re staying all weekend. To keep this from happening, never assume you know the plan. Be clear about how long you're planning to stay, and confirm with your hosts in advance of your arrival. A conversation now can help you avoid an awkward situation later.

2. Call Before You Arrive.

They’re expecting you, right? Of course, but you should always leave room for the unexpected. It is essential to give your hosts a call 10-15 minutes before you arrive at their home. This gives them a heads up and allows them the opportunity to give you any important updates before you arrive.

3. Take Some Time For Yourself.

Just because you’re staying the weekend doesn’t mean you have to hang out on the couch for 48 hours. Go for a walk, offer to do the grocery shopping, and take some time away from the house. It will give you and your hosts much-needed alone time and the opportunity to relax and recharge. 

4. Put Your Phone Away.

Don’t spend your weekend engrossed in your phone. You may feel the urge to check your email and make a call, but if you are constantly scrolling through Facebook, browsing Instagram, or texting other friends, you won’t make a good impression on your hosts, and they may not invite you back.

5. Don’t Overpack.

It may seem like you need plenty of clothes, shoes, and other items to keep you comfortable (“Who knows what the weather will be like? I need choices!”), but for a weekend trip, your best bet is to pack light. Pack one weekend bag with a few outfit options to ensure that you are prepared. This is always better than rolling into the driveway with a freight of heavy suitcases and overflowing totes, which your guests will then have to help you haul inside.

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What house guest etiquette rules do you always follow? Or are you always a host/ess, never a house guest? Let us know in the comments how you prepare for guests and what houseguest etiquette you always abide by.