1. Don’t be the houseguest from hell


     Don't  make a mess like this if you want to be asked back!Everyone has heard of, and a few us have hosted, the houseguest from hell.  The HGFH can be demanding, late, rude, dirty, and whiney – or a combination of all of these annoying traits.
     
     Some hosts fail to plan meals or even to clean the house. After years of hosting guests in summer houses and apartments around the world, here is my list of simple tips to keep everyone happy during summer houseguest season:
     
    DolceDolce’s tips for being a good summer guest
     
    If you require exotic food or drink, buy it and bring it with you, with enough to share. A young couple I know was given an expensive shopping list by relatives coming for a weekend visit. Their “requests” added $80 to my friend’s grocery bill on top of what she had already bought for a fancy dinner and brunch.
     
    If you are a drinker, bring alcohol, and enough of it. Most hosts will offer cocktails and wine, but if you sock away two to three bottles of wine, or a bottle of vodka or whiskey a day, bring your own supply and consider checking into rehab.
     
    Keep your room neat and help out with chores. Keep any shared areas, such as bathrooms, spotless.
     
    Be polite and friendly to everyone. This includes your hosts, their children, other friends, and their help. There are no exceptions. You can be nice to anyone for the duration of a visit.
     
    If you are staying for more than a weekend, plan to make dinner or take everyone out.
     
    Find out your hosts expectations about schedules, arrivals, departures, and expenses in advance.
     
    How to be a fabulous hostess:
     
    Spend the night in your own guest room, or at least take a nap in there. Are the linens fresh and inviting? Is the bed sleepable, or could it double as a medieval rack?
     
    If you use your guest space as an office or for some other purpose, clear the decks for guests. Make space for your guest and be sure there is adequate privacy.   Stash your stuff in bins or under your bed, but give your guest clean surfaces, a drawer, and some closet space. A drawer may be optional for a weekend guest, but closet space and privacy are musts. A rack that hangs over a door can be very useful if you need extra racks for towels, etc. Life after college should never feel like time in a dorm.
     
    Collect subway maps, city guides, and other information from visitor centers and large hotels (they keep a rack of it in the lobby, or ask the concierge). Keep an up-to-date supply of this info on hand. It will help guests to be independent.
     
    Be clear about schedules, arrivals, departures, and shared expenses before guests arrive. State your needs and expectations clearly.
     
    If you are welcoming guests, your home should be spotless and replete with snacks, fruit, and other delights that say: “Darlings, I am so glad you came!”
     
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