13 Golden Rules on Being a Guest

An amicable guest is as important as being a very gracious host. I enjoy having guests at our house. Since we live in one of the five boroughs of New York City, we have had many guests (family and friends) of different characters and personalities. Most of them have made themselves at home and enjoyed their stay while visiting the city. This in turn always made us feel happy that they were our guest. I like to help our guests to plan their sightseeing and provide all the comforts necessary. My experience as a host has made me aware on what I should do as a guest.


Not all our guests make themselves desirable. I feel that being a guest is an art that is forgotten and needs to be polished. Here are some guest etiquette tips that I am sure will be useful to make the host and the guest all smiles:

  1. Inquire if your host can host your visit before you make travel arrangements.

  2. Communicate and keep your host informed about your date and time of arrival, length of your stay, and how many members will be visiting.

  3. Always inform your host if you have diet restrictions, food preferences, and any other specific requirements that need to be arranged.

  4. If you are traveling with children and need particular gear like car seats or high chairs, please request early so that it can be arranged.

  5. When you arrive, please make sure to put your luggage in the provided place.

  6. Inquire if you can wear outdoor shoes indoors.

  7. Feed your children before you eat, so as not to waste food. Take care of their needs before you relax and socialize. Make sure they respect the host's house.

  8. Please do not leave a mess or your belongings in the bathroom, do not leave wet towels on the bed, do not leave the lights on, do not abuse the use of television, radio, and other electronics, and do not leave empty coffee cups and plates around the house. The host's house is not a hotel and nor is the host a housekeeper.

  9. Inform the host if you are going to return late from your sightseeing. Also, inform if you are going to have dinner at home or outside. The host will prepare dinner accordingly.

  10. Please do not hang around the kitchen while the host is preparing food or stand too close to distract the host. Help if you can and the host permits. (I personally do not like to socialize with guests while I prepare food. I cannot concentrate).

  11. If you need any assistance please speak up, the host is not a mind reader.

  12. If you cannot bring them an appropriate gift, observe what they may like during your visit so that you can buy appropriate gift before you leave.

  13. Most important do not forget to thank the host for their hospitality upon arriving home. The host wants to make you feel at home during your visit, therefore treat their house like yours and not like a hotel. Also remember, you may become a host someday.

By Raji from E. Elmhurst, NY

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May 11, 20110 found this helpful

Rule 14. When someone is gracious and shares their home with you, which adds expenses of assorted utility costs, don't assume they can also afford the food they feed you and that they can afford to be your free taxi service.


Even hotels charge for food and for transportation beyond the ride to and from the airport. You're already saving money for each nights stay so please be thoughtful and pitch in financially.

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May 13, 20110 found this helpful

15. Respect your host's lifestyle. You are a guest in someone's home not at a hotel convention or the office. Respect the home owner's beliefs and customs the same as you would expect in your own home. If they are vegan, you will be vegan during your visit or eat out. If they are non-smokers you could ask about a smoking area outside but be sure to dispose of the butts in a responsible way and remember they stink to nonsmokers so double wrap them. Announcing that saving aluminum cans is silly or that separating recyclables is a waste of your valuable time is just plain rude. If your hosts recycle then you recycle. Anything less would be disrespectful.


16. Many guests go to shows and "tourist" type events that run very late in the evening while their hosts usually have to get up early and go to work. If you will be out late it would be nice to ask about a key so you can return quietly and not wake them.

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December 14, 20150 found this helpful

Respect the pets of your host. Whether you like the pet or not, act and speak kindly of it. Respect if the pet is to be allowed in or out, leashed, etc.

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