Etiquette Ideas for How to be a Perfect House Guest

Be the perfect house guest by following some simple etiquette! Whether visiting family or friends be prepared and polite. It doesn’t matter if you are staying for a night, a weekend or an extended stay, you want to be helpful, grateful and tidy. Keep in mind that your host has also been preparing for your arrival and is polite to show them appreciation and respect.

Here are tips for how to be the best possible houseguest and keep your stay stress-free. These are the best tips I have used when visiting friends and family. When you are done reading, let me know what your favorite tip is!

Are you host instead of the guest? Here are some genius guest room essentials so you are The Best Host in the World.


Give your host the specific dates of your visit including your arrival, and departure, times and dates. Don’t show up early unless you have given your host plenty of notice. Always make sure that you aren’t late either. If you can’t help being late, notify your host. Let them know your new arrival date or time. While you are busy traveling, your hosts are busy readying for you, it is polite to keep them up to date on all travel plans and changes.

Found at The Ham & Cheese of It.

Who’s Coming?

Be sure to tell your host exactly who is coming to stay. Bringing unexpected or additional guests is unwelcomed and definitely not polite. Your host will have prepared for you, so it’s not the occasion for you to bring along any unannounced guests.  This is also the perfect time to tell your host about any allergies or food preferences.

Found at The Telegraph.

Housewarming Gift

Be a great house guest and bring a housewarming gift. The gift doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. A bottle of something, flowers, chocolates, or a small gift from home (homemade is the best), is a nice personal touch to your visit. A small gift says thank you to your host for generously opening up their home to you. A gift will immediately make your host feel happy and appreciated. You could even make it a gift to share and enjoy during your visit!

Found at McElheran’s.


Let your host know your daily plan or schedule. Do your best to stick to your schedule to keep things stress-free. Doing this small thing every day will help your host plan their routine and when to serve group meals. Ask the routine of the household, and take it into consideration, as to not get in the way or create an imposition. Be polite and always be on time for scheduled meals or gatherings.

Don’t let your presence interfere your host’s normal routine, household duties, and work. You can of course schedule time to hang out with them, but you should never impose on their time. Great guests even offer to assist or accompany their friends and family during household errands and help with everyday chores during their visit.

Found at The Art of Manliness.

Be Prepared

If you need it, bring it! Bring toiletries including soap, hairbrush, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste from home. Not only will you have your favorite products, you won’t need to borrow from your host. If you are known to get cold, pack layers. If you like a specific tea, or coffee, bring your own. It is not your hosts responsibility to provide your favorite things for you.

Found at Reader’s Digest.

Keep Your Space Tidy

If you sleep in a public area, like a sleeper sofa, make up your space when you wake up in the morning. This will keep your things and the area clean and organized. Your host may have an out of the way area for you to store your luggage. If not, just politely ask if there is a good place to store your things during the day. If you are staying in a private space, it is still good manners to make your bed and tidy up your space in the morning. When you depart, take the sheets, blankets, and pillow cases off the bed. Fold them, and leave them neatly on top of the bed to be laundered.

Found at Alamo.

Respect House Rules

To be a great house guest, respect and try to follow the house rules. Take the cues from your hosts and their home. If there are shoes by the door, and everyone is in slippers, socks or barefoot, take our shoes off too! If the kids do their dishes after a snack, you should too! During meals, wait to eat until others do. (You are not required to say grace, or pray, if your hosts do but at least respect the moment and wait to take a bite.) Try to fit into the house routine and be respectful of the rules.

Found at AARP.

Help with Expenses

If you are going to eat it or use it, help out! During your visit plan a trip to the grocery store. To help with expenses, pick up any food staples and additional items that you may need during your stay. Whether you want to cook a meal for your hosts, have food preferences or allergies, picky eaters or just want to stock the shelves, a trip to the local grocery store is always a great idea. You want to leave your host’s home the same or better than you left it, stocking the pantry is a perfect way to do that!

Found at Family Vacations US.

Towels & Linens

Don’t over use towels. A good host will usually provide you with a towel or two, which is plenty for a week long visit. If you need more towels during your stay, plan ahead and pack a towel of your own, or offer to do laundry during your stay. It’s best to come prepared, so pack a beach towel for your stay if you might need it. You never know if your host will have an extra or when you will find a beach, a pool or hot tub. Never leave your towels on the floor, or in damp piles in your space. Always hang up them in a bathroom, guest room or ask your host the best place.

Found at Wise Bread.

Thank You Note

Write a thank you note.  Be sure to thank your hosts for making your visit pleasant and comfortable. You can either give it to your host at the end of your visit, or mail it from home (people love receiving letters). Show your hosts that you are grateful and appreciative for their hospitality by using a cute card or personal stationary. A note is a polite way to acknowledge that what they did mattered.


Found at Maridadi Life.

Now you are the perfect house guest! Be respectful, polite and clean up after yourself and you will always be invited back! Don’t forget to show thanks and appreciation to your host throughout your visit! And most of all, spend time and connect with your host whenever you can, that’s the point of visiting!

Hosting? Check out some tips and tricks to easily become The Best Host in the World.

Your turn! If you have any tips for being the perfect house guest, let me know in the comments! I’d love to know what you’ve got!

If you liked this post, or learned something new, please share it with your friends. Sharing this post will take just a few seconds and helps to grow this blog. Just click on one of the social sharing buttons on this page. Thanks!

More about Katelyn

Katelyn was inspired to create Dory Fitz when she realized she wanted to improve her life, and to help others improve their lives along the way. Taught by her grandmother that in all aspects of life, you need to embraced change, follow your passions, and live the life you want, no one will do it for you. Dory Fitz was created to help me, and you, do just that.

1 Comment

    1. I really love your post. I participate in something called couch surfing and thankfully so far I’ve always had good guests. I’ve had two good hosts too. When I visited a friend in Holland she had a small guest book to write in when a guest comes. I thought it was a lovely idea and it was good to read what other people wrote too!
      It’s always a pleasure to have guests over. Thanks again for your post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *