House Guests

There’s a few certainties when you move to another country. It’ll be stressful, you’ll cry, it will be amazing, you’ll laugh, and you’ll get house guests.

House guests are a double-edged sword. It’s wonderful to catch up with family and friends, but when you’ve been away from family and friends the intensity can be over-whelming. We are between house-guests at the moment and it prompted me to think of a list of tips for house-guests:

  • do not confuse your friends’ house with a hotel. Make your beds, keep your stuff tidy and offer to help with meals and dishes. You may well be refused but it’s the offering that’s the important bit. Do not claim you are on holiday and exempt from dishes.*
  • bring wine. And ibuprofen. And Cheezels. And the Aussie weekend paper supplements.
  • stay no longer than 5 nights.
  • head out and do stuff on your own and don’t expect your hosts to be tour guides. Personally, I hand guests a stack of maps and brochures, a basic mobile phone with credit and public transport cards. I’m happy to meet up later for a meal or a drink but if I have to visit the Bird Park one more time I may lose my mind!
  • breakfast is “help yourself – you know where the kitchen is!”
  • taking the dirty sheets off your bed and placing them in the dirty clothes basket is appreciated. The guests who already had them spinning in the washing machine before they left scored extra house guest points!
  • have a definite departure date to preserve your hosts’ sanity.
  • offering to mind my kids so hub and I can go out is greatly appreciated.

Any other tips?

*true story

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11 thoughts on “House Guests

  1. We’ve had visitors that I adore having, as well as the other kind. I agree with your tips. Another one that gets me is the “I don’t want to be a bother” type. They often so determined to not be a bother that they often are, as you are then put into a position of trying to fathom what it is that they want. Except I’m not so polite generally, and after the first couple of times I take it to mean that I can do what I want. With mixed results.

  2. Just reporting what I said on Twitter! Offering to contribute towards food & drink is always appreciated even if it’s not accepted by your host. Also, remember to turn off the lights and AC when going out for the day. I’ve come home to the flat blazing with light and freezing cold!

    I’d definitely agree with the ‘whatever you think’ comment as well. Having an opinion is a good thing!

    • The “offer” is very important, even if it’s declined. And, yes, the air-con, lights and hot water turned off when not needed is greatly appreciated!

  3. *curtsies* – thanks, I’ll take those extra house guest points!
    Having just spent a couple of months travelling and staying a lot in apartments we found on Airbnb, leaving a place as you found it, or cleaner, is a handy rule to live by.
    And for any guests with dietary requirements (you know who you are – the gluten-free, lactose-free, wholefoods types) – please remember that they are not your hosts’ problem. Either self-cater or do without!

    • Judy, you’re at the top of the House Guest leader board. 😉 Easy to feed, look after yourselves, wash the linen and Greg made cornflour slime with the Big Missy!

  4. If your hosts have to go to work, stay out of the bathroom at peak getting ready time. Your hosts will be too polite to tell you that you’re making them late, the first day, at least.

    Communicate. If you’re out for the day and not sure what time you’ll be back, let your hosts know if you’ll be in for dinner or not. Just a text or a whatsapp (let’s face it, there’s wifi everywhere, so no roaming is not an excuse any more). I like the cheap mobile with credit idea, I might pick up a prepaid sim for my old mobile for our next round of guests.

    Top up the public transport card. Chances are it will be fully loaded when your host gives it to you, so it’s only polite to chuck ten bucks on there when you’re done.

    And I can’t stress enough: wine. Ply your hosts with wine. Lots of it. And maybe a jar of vegemite or a timtam or two.

    I can go on for days about inconsiderate house guests, one in particular is ever-known as The Leech. But I’ve had some beauties as well. The most recent stripped his bed and had the sheets ready to wash and re-made the bed, all before leaving to catch his flight at 5 am!

      • The great thing about singapore is it’s usually a stop-over on the way to/from Europe so house guests are only here for a short-term! I imagine once Aussie guests travel 24 hours to Amsterdam they stay longer!? Not much debauchery in SG, either!

  5. For me, though- these rules wouldn’t apply, right? 😉 Someday I hope to have to live by these rules in your house and I pinky promis I will bring good wine.

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