Help Desk: Good Guesting
If you want to be a repeat guest, impress your host with your thoughtfulness.
As a houseguest, your chief objective (aside from having a fantastic time) is to be, well, the model guest. You can’t go wrong with charm, of course. And gifts are great. But if you want to be invited back, aim for impressing your host with your kind gestures. Here are tips that will net you extra guesting credit, whether your visit lasts an hour or a week.
Don’t Make Your Host Work Even More
Everyone loves a beautiful bouquet, but your host will love the one you bring that much more if the flowers are already in a vase, all arranged, and ready to admire. The arrival of guests is a pivotal party moment—hardly the time for anyone, much less the host, to duck into the kitchen and start rummaging through the cupboards for the right vase. Since a vase (or basket or cachepot, if you bring a live plant) never dies, it will spark thoughts of your generosity every time it’s used . (To be majorly impressive, have flowers delivered before you arrive.)
Forgo the Foil
If you’re bringing a dish, it’s helpful if you keep it in its own serving vessel. Pretty, oven-safe casseroles and pie plates make it easy to warm up your dishes, without troubling your host for cookware (she may or may not have). They’re also so much nicer than disposable aluminum pieces. After all, who doesn’t like a handsome salad bowl as a gift?
If you’re lucky enough to have your own guest room, try to keep your personal belongings in one spot—not scattered all over the place. Using toiletry, tech, and other travel organizers will keep your designated space tidy (just the way your host likes it) and from leaving anything behind. Tip: distinguish your phone with a mark, so you can be certain it’s yours when you slip it in your suitcase.
Be of Service
Your host, like everyone else, needs help with something! If she says she doesn’t want help in the kitchen, take her word for it, but be on the lookout for little things you can do to make things easier on her. Sometimes cleaning, taking the dog for a walk, running to the store, or playing a game of Go Fish with the kids is what’s most helpful.
Thank Your Host Profusely and Purposefully
Taking time to send a handwritten thank-you note or make a phone call was once a matter of common courtesy. Bring back the practice and you’ll be sure to move your host and be remembered as the best guest ever!