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Guest Etiquette 101

Guest Etiquette 101
Written By
Photographs By
New Darlings
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We’re making a holistic effort at being more mindful, which means improving not only our homes but also our manners. While there are many guides on how to be the perfect host or hostess, we noticed a lack of clarity on house guest etiquette. Join us in minding our Ps and Qs, and you’re sure to get invited back again and again.

Bring a Gift

This first tip is nonnegotiable. You always want to bring a lovely gift to recognize the hospitality of your host. It’s best to try to personalize your gift – and it doesn’t have to be extravagant! A scented candle or throw will do the trick.


When it comes to communication, you want to err on the side of caution and provide your host with all the information regarding your stay. This means keeping your host informed on the date and time of your arrival, as well as how long you plan to remain in his or her home. Disclose any dietary restrictions or relevant allergies – don’t spring any surprises on your host!  If you plan to have any visitors in the house, make sure to okay it first. Finally, ensure your host has an easy way of contacting you – both before and during your visit.

Lend a Hand

While you’re a houseguest, make an intentional effort to help out. This means keeping your room neat and tidy, straightening up your bedding in the morning and not leaving your belongings all over the place. Your host might refuse your offer, but you should always ask if you can help out with meal prep, with setting the table and (definitely) with doing the dishes after a meal. If there’s an errand to run, offer to handle it while you’re out and about during the day. These simple gestures will make your host wish you came to visit more often.

Stick to the House Rules

As soon as you arrive, ask your host about anything you should be aware of in the way of household rules. Then make sure you stick to them during your entire stay! Does your host like to remove shoes at the front door? If so, follow suit. Does everyone get up super early for work and school? Respect their need for sleep by tucking yourself in at a reasonable hour the night before. Simply being mindful goes a long way in showing respect for your host.

Keep Yourself Busy

A good house guest knows how to keep themselves busy, so make sure you have plans each day and aren’t relying entirely on your host to create an itinerary for the duration of your stay. It’s best practice to check in at the start of your visit and each morning to coordinate plans. Make sure you’re on the same page and joining your host when expected. Plan a few solo activities to give your host time to accomplish any personal responsibilities.