Sometimes, the easiest way to find your way in a new city, or a new country, is to get in touch with people you know who are already there. If you’re lucky, you can sleep on their couch, or spare room (luxury!) and have a bit of a base for a couple of days.
So, how can you be a good guest while travelling and not step on any toes? Well, here’s my advice.
1. Bring a gift. Don’t be stingy, make sure you pack something in your suitcase for your host. It might be a small token from your country, a bottle of wine or some choccies. Just make sure you make the effort to pack something.
2. Get out of the way. Remember you are in someone’s house, they have their own habits, routines and responsibilities and they don’t want to come home to find your crap lying around everywhere.
3. Ask first. Be polite and ask for permission. Even if it’s something little like using the shower, or doing your own laundry, remember they are not on holiday, so make things as comfortable for them as possible by being polite.
4. Help out. Go out of your way to do the dishes, or run down to the shop to pick up something or help tidy the place up. It sounds so simple, but it makes the world of difference.
5. Don’t hang around the house all the time. Get out of the house and make sure your host still has their space, you don’t want them to feel like you’re taking over.
6. Don’t overstay your welcome. If you arrange for five days, stay for five days. Don’t expect your host to be OK with you staying longer when it wasn’t planned.
7. Keep the place tidy. If you’re sleeping on the couch, be sure to fold your blankets neatly and ask where your host wants to keep them. If you’re in a bed, make the bed and wash the sheet before you leave. Simple.
8. Keep bathroom times to a minimum and choose your time right. Don’t just assume that you can jump in the shower whenever you like. If you think spending an hour in the bathroom, while your host is waiting to get ready for work, is a good idea: It’s not. Wait and ask first before you hop on in.
9. Take them out to a meal or make them a meal at home to show your appreciation.
10. Say thank you! Show appreciation and do the same for someone else when the time comes.
Do you have any more tips about being a good guest?