Top 5: How to Be a Great Guest

December 18, 2012

Here are five tips on how to be a great guests when you are traveling to someone else's home for the holidays. Are you ready?

1. Goodness Gracious

When you have been invited to someone's home, whether a friend or a relative, be gracious. What does that mean? Extend compassion and kindness to your host family without calling attention to things that may not go smoothly during your stay. For example, if you hostess burns the ham, don't say, "I knew she couldn't cook". Offer to help decide on an alternative plan, but certainly do NOT take over the situation. Let her work through it and be encouraging and gracious to her.

2. Don't Bring the Kitchen Sink

Some people like to bring certain things from home to make their stay more comfortable, such as a pillow, favorite coffee flavor, etc. This is okay, however it can get a little out of hand if you are prone to taking several containers of things with you on a trip. Please consider the space your host family has, and whether or not what you are taking is absolutely necessary. Keep everything, including your kitchen sink, at home!

3. Corral the Kiddos

If you have children, then you have an added challenge when traveling to stay with someone during the holidays. Encourage your kids to take one backpack with everything they need to keep themselves entertained (this is in addition to their suitcase). And, when you get to your destination, discuss with them where they are allowed to play and if it's okay to leave things out in a particular room. If your host family isn't used to having kids around, they might get a little crazy with the toys and noise. Look for it around day!

4. Know Your Limits

Since you are staying in someone else's home, remember to limit yourself to what is appropriate for the setting. For example, stop yourself from plopping down in front of the TV and take over the remote control. Another great example is to understand the relational dynamic enough to know how long to stay. If Uncle Bob gets grumpy around day 5, then perhaps going home after 4 days is a good idea.  

5. Enjoy Your Time

Always remember that visiting family and friends for the holidays can be really great if you relax and enjoy yourself. If you don't get to see them very often, you can get to know them by genuinely caring about them. Ask them questions, but not too many, to give them the opportunity to open up to you. Men don't typically need a touchy-feely visit -- many times watching sports, playing cards, or sitting in the garage will be enough. It's the ladies who need to connect. Let's enjoy the moments we are given.

Please comment below if you would like to share your experiences as either a host family or as a guest. I'm interested in your stories!

Thanks for following Practips!

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