8 Tips to Guarantee You'll Be Invited Back Next Year

Family Travel on 11.18.12
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Photo Credit: alborzshawn/ Creative Commons

We tend to focus on how to be great hosts during the holidays, but what about how to be a great houseguest? One of the best parts of any holiday is the chance to spend more time with friends and family. However, after moving in for a few days we can start to get in each other's way. This is especially true when we invade their home with a few children in tow.  

I know what makes having guests enjoyable in my home, but I was curious what other people like their guests to do. I asked my Facebook friends how  a houseguest make themselves more welcome to be invited back to stay. There were a few funny answers like raising the children, painting the house, and donning a costume. Most of the comments where practical about being helpful and coming with wine. Improve the chances that your relatives will want to be your overnight hosts next year with a few of the following suggestions to keep the welcome mat warm.

1. Sleep in. And go to bed early. Everyone can use a little down time when they are together all day. Enjoy the extra time in bed reading or watching a movie. Encourage your kids to have some quiet time with you too. A little break away can be recharging for everyone's energy.

2. Do the dishes. Cleaning up after houseguests can be an unwelcome chore. Pitch in by making your bed, drying the dishes, and contributing to keeping the house tidy. 

3. Bring groceries. Participate in keeping everyone well-fed by arriving with a bunch of fresh produce, healthy snacks, and even a few ingredients to whip up a special breakfast or appetizer for your hosts. Having snacks on hand that you've supplied can make sure your family has something to eat when hunger strikes between meals. 

4. Plan a few activities. Get your family out of the house for a few hours every day. Not only does it take the pressure off your host to entertain you, it's a great chance to experience new things. 

5. Be honest. Be sure to tell your host if you have any food allergies or don't want to participate in an activity they have planned. Most hosts want their houseguests to be comfortable, so ask for an extra blanket if your room is freezing or if you need another pillow.

6. Mind the dog and children. Pitch in to keep all the children busy, entertained, and hopefully out of trouble. And don't forget about the family dog, they always appreciate an extra walk or two. 

7. Help with laundry. Hopefully, you aren't staying long enough that you have to wash your clothes. You can at at least gather the linens and offer to get a load started before heading out the door.

8. Send a thank you card. Take the time to send a hand written note that expresses your gratitude. A small gesture at the end of a visit can go a long way in reinforcing how much you appreciate the hospitality you received. 

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