This four-part series has covered both hosting houseguests graciously and being a gracious houseguest. I have hosted many guests and have been recipient to much hosting and today I want to talk about how to be a houseguest your hosts will want to have again.
Receiving someone’s hospitality is a very humbling experience in my opinion. Especially when you’re host is good at what he or she does. I have stayed in some beautiful homes and I have stayed in some cockroach havens. Each host is at a different place in life and some have the capacity for having guests and some…not so much. Either way, here are things I have learned along the way to make things pleasant for my hosts and get invited again and again.
1. Being thankful. It doesn’t matter if you stay on a couch or a king-sized bed. Someone has opened their home and they are giving you of themselves in one way or another. It is important to verbalize your thanksgiving and I highly recommend leaving a thank you card at the end of your stay. I have been blessed by many thank you cards and it is my appreciative guests who stand out to me the most and whom I would love to have again.
2. Being helpful. Unless your host clearly asks you not to help, pick up a dishcloth, clean up after yourself, etc. Help in whatever way you can. Don’t know where to start? Just do what you would do at your own home. Sweep the floor, clear the table after dinner or clean dishes. I am ALWAYS so appreciative of my friends who help wash dishes after dinner. Especially if I have been busy getting things ready for my guests.
3. Giving back. I mentioned being helpful. Giving back would be going above and beyond your call of duty. I recently stayed at my friend’s house and just asked the Lord how I could bless them. Before I left, I not only left a thank you card, but I cleaned up after myself and left some small gifts (flowers, a candle and chocolate). When I am blessed by someone, I like to go above and beyond to bless them back. One of my favorite guests to have over treats my house like his own. He cleans the dishes, sweeps the floor and all this without me asking. He is always verbally grateful to stay at our home and has a cheerful attitude during his stay. I am not saying that I expect this of my guests, by any means. If anything, I expect them to sit back, relax and enjoy themselves. But when someone goes above and beyond, I am always blessed and impressed. Just remember that your host is most likely going above and beyond for you.
Of course, things like being polite and kind are a must. Your housing arrangements may not be perfect, and sometimes they won’t even be very nice, but having a grateful attitude and a cheerful heart will make your stay more pleasant no matter where you are.
What makes you want to invite your guests again?