8 Houseguest Etiquette Rules That Most Teens Today Won’t Recognize

Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Rule #1: Bring A Gift

bring a gift

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

First things first, never arrive at your host’s home without a gift.

This doesn’t have to be something big — flowers, wine, or a bottle of chocolate will do — but just make sure you bring something to give them to show how much your appreciate them letting you stay.

Rule #2: Don’t Be A Nuisance

don't be a nuisance

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

When you’re a guest in someone else’s home, it’s essential that you just go with the flow.

Make sure your host knows that you won’t get in the way and that they don’t need to entertain you all the time.

One way to ensure you’ll always have something to do is to bring a book or magazine to keep yourself occupied when your host is busy.

Rule #3: Give Your Host Space

give host space

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Often, hosts feel like it’s their duty to take care of their houseguests (even if they’re perfectly capable of caring for themselves).

Make sure your host knows that you’re happy to relax by yourself. Tell them they can still make plans, and they shouldn’t worry about you.

Giving your host some space can help guarantee that the time you do spend together will be more special.

Rule #4: Offer To Take Your Host To Dinner

take host to dinner

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Another nice thing you can do to show your host how thankful you are for their hospitality is to offer to take them out for dinner.

If you’re already planning on going out, offer to cover the bill — they may insist that they want to treat you, since you’re the guest, but tell them it’s the least you can do to repay them for their great hosting.

Rule #5: Let Your Host Know Your Schedule

houseguest schedule

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you and your host are planning to spend time apart from one another, make sure you tell your host what your schedule is.

It’s essential that you let them know when you’ll be leaving the house and when you’re planning on coming back, especially if you don’t have a key to use.

This will give your host the freedom to go about their own day without worrying about you needing them out of the blue.

Keeping your host in the loop is very easy — all you need to do is leave them a quick note if you’re leaving the house!

Rule #6: Be Social With Your Host

be social with host

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Although you should give your host space if they want it, you should also be social with them when you’re together.

That means putting away your phone and computer and committing to spending some real time talking and chatting with them. This shows them that you’re appreciative of them without you having to tell them directly.

Rule #7: Offer To Help Clean

help clean

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

The last thing you want to do when you’re staying with someone is be a burden.

To make it easier on your host, offer to help them clean up — whether that’s by running the laundry, stripping and making beds, or just helping to wash the dishes after dinner.

Remember that some people are particular about the ways they clean, so even though your heart might be in the right place, your host may not appreciate it if you try to surprise them by cleaning.

Instead, offer to help clean anytime you see them doing it — they’ll probably be grateful for the offer (even if they tell you they don’t want help)!

Rule #8: Say Thank You

thank your host

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

A lot of us take it for granted that our friends or family will put us up when we need somewhere to stay, but they have absolutely no obligation to do so — they’re just doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.

Make sure they know how much you appreciate their hospitality by thanking them in person and leaving them a nice note. Don’t just text them or call them to say thank you — make sure it’s more heartfelt than that!

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