Hey Dolls! I’ve published this post annually for several years, with the original post published June 2012. It continues to be a favorite! Because summer is here and vacations are in full swing, I thought a refresher may be in order (even for me). Peep the original post below! (Hostess gift ideas have been updated.)
Summer has arrived in all of its glory, and with it much-anticipated travel plans. Some travel involves a stay at a cute boutique hotel and other times we are guests of family or friends. On those occasions when we are guests in someone’s home, how do we ensure that we are invited for a return visit. In other words, what makes a gracious house guest?
Friends and family don’t really mean it when they say, “Feel free to drop in anytime.” Don’t drop in on anyone. In other words, communicate and coordinate your plans with your hosts well in advance. Let them know when you will be arriving and departing. It’s good practice to book your travel arrangements after you have confirmed these details with your hosts. Equally important, let your hosts know how many people will be traveling with you, especially if little ones are involved.
Inform your hosts of your schedule while you will be staying with them. This is a courtesy, especially if your plans do not involve spending all of your time with your hosts. You don’t want to inconvenience (or surprise) your hosts with an unexpected knock on the door from you late at night or early in the morning.
Observe and respect the house rules. Most hosts will offer a tour of their home to make you feel comfortable when you arrive. Ask questions. “Is this the powder room that I should use?” “Is this the closet in which I should hang my coat?” Don’t be too familiar just because you have a long-term relationship.
If you notice that your hosts take off their shoes when they come in the door, you should do the same. Similarly, if you notice that a certain room in the house is not used by your hosts, don’t “camp out” there during your visit. If your hosts turn in early, and you are on the nocturnal side, be respectful … speak in low tones if you are on your cell, don’t turn a bright light on directly outside of their sleeping area, don’t have the volume on the TV turned all of the way up, and for goodness sake, don’t order PPV movies “on their dime.”
Clean up after yourself. I will say it again. Clean up after yourself! Wait, let me say it again. Clean up after yourself! Your hosts are not your housekeepers. Make your bed, load your own dishes in the dishwasher (or offer to clear the table one night), turn the lights out when you leave the room, keep the powder room you are using neat and tidy. Don’t leave wet towels anywhere, but on the towel rack. Keep your things in one place. When you are leaving, ask your hosts what they would like you to do with bed and bath linens.
If you break something, inform your hosts immediately and offer to replace or pay for the broken item.
Ask to lend a hand when you see your hosts’ straightening. There is nothing worse than following guests around the house, picking up after them. Remember, you want to be invited back, not talked about after you leave.
Your Hosts are Not You Babysitters. If your children will be traveling with you, and you will need sitting services, make the appropriate arrangements before arriving at your hosts’ home. Don’t expect them, or their children, to watch and entertain your kids. Set expectations with your children, before you travel, about minding their manners and being neat.
And finally, these two go without saying ~ bring a gift when you arrive + send thank you note after your departure.
Peep these gift ideas to bring to your hosts.
Luxe Room Spray + Hand Soap. Gift your host and hostess a little bit of luxury that they wouldn’t normally pick up for themselves. I love Byredo Room Spray + Soap. The Cotton Poplin + Gypsy Water fragrances are particularly lovely for summer.
Candles make great gifts. They are practical, yet you can selected from thousands of aromas to compliment the tastes of your hosts. Diptyque Candles and accompanying Wick Trimmer are always a win. My favorite scent is Baies.
Personalized Stationery are the “Write” Stuff. While shooting a quick “thank you” email has become commonplace, but there re still a lot of paper Dolls out there. Gift your hostess a beautiful Grand Silk Stationery Box. Personalized stationery ranges from whimsical to formal.
While you’re at it, order a set for yourself, so that you will always be prepared to send a quick “Merci!”
Fab Florals. Who doesn’t love flowers!? I have been swooning over the eternity roses from Venus ET Fleur. Gift your hosts a beautifully curated rose arrangement that will remind them of your gratitude and time together long after your gone – actually up to a year.
Cocktail Glass Set. For your friends that imbibe from time to time, these Mr. and Mrs. Cocktail Glasses make for a super stylish gift.
Personalized Guest Towels. A hostess can never have enough guest towels when entertaining. These luxe Caspari personalized guest towels from Horchow have the look of linen, with the feel of cotton.
And for a whimsical splurge for the friends who have everything, bring a a couple bottles of bubbly and a “Thank You Candy Trunk” from Sugarfina!
So there you have it ~ Gracious Guest 101. Follow these simple rules and you’ll surely receive an invitation to visit again. Final thought, make sure you reciprocate. Don’t forget to invite your hosts to spend time at your home.
Until Then | Keep Sharing the Pretty,