houseguests http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13926/all en-US How to Host House Guests Without Going Crazy http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-house-guests-without-going-crazy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-host-house-guests-without-going-crazy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-73782927.jpg" alt="hostess" title="hostess" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ben Franklin (or whoever actually said it) was right: Fish and house guests stink after three days. Having other people in your personal space can be stressful, no matter how much you like them or how otherwise close you feel to them. With the holidays upon us, it&#39;s time to reflect a little bit on the mixed blessing of the house guest and how <em>you</em> can survive the impending invasion. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-tips-for-hosting-holiday-houseguests?ref=seealso">15 Tips for Hosting House Guests</a>)</p> <h2>Preparing for Your Guests</h2> <p>Like anything else, preparing for house guests the right way can go a long way toward making it easier for you to stay sane.</p> <h3>Get Your House in Order</h3> <p>Try not to have any outstanding errands when your house guests arrive. This will just create an additional layer of stress. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/company-coming-10-areas-to-clean-to-make-it-count?ref=seealso">Got Company? 10 Areas to Clean</a>)</p> <h3>Prepare Their Necessities</h3> <p>If there&#39;s a guest bathroom, make sure that it is well stocked. Try to anticipate needs in advance to allow for an easy transition.</p> <h3>Give Them a Place to Sit</h3> <p>Putting a chair and a lamp in the guest bedroom makes it more likely that they will go there to take time for themselves &mdash; and get out of your hair.</p> <h3>Tell Them Things to Do</h3> <p>You might not be able to play tour guide, but you can play travel agent, giving them a prepared list of activities going on during their stay.</p> <h3>Give Them Instructions</h3> <p>A small set of instruction manuals, things like how to use appliances or remote controls, make it less likely that guests will bother you with questions.</p> <h2>When They Arrive</h2> <p>When your guests arrive you can make things easier for the rest of the trip with just a few simple steps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-houseguests-how-to-be-the-host-with-the-most?ref=seealso">How to Be the Host With the Most</a>)</p> <h3>Take Their Things</h3> <p>Taking their things to their room allows you to put everything they have in one place, rather than allowing it to spread out over the whole house.</p> <h3>Give Them the Tour</h3> <p>Show them around your house so that they know where everything is.</p> <h3>Serve a Snack and Cocktails</h3> <p>A light snack and cocktails are a great way to make sure that everyone is in a great mood and the stay starts out on the right foot. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quick-pantry-snacks-for-unexpected-guests?ref=seealso">Quick Snacks for Unexpected Guests</a>)</p> <h2>During Their Stay</h2> <p>Here&#39;s the meat of the visit: Their stay. A long stay can be a difficult thing, but attention to some small details can make it go a lot smoother.</p> <h3>Put Them to Work</h3> <p>When a house guest asks if he or she can help with dinner, don&#39;t give them some vague direction that you&#39;d appreciate help. Instead, tell them that you want them to chop onions or something else specific.</p> <h3>Invite Other Friends Over</h3> <p>If your house guests are coming for a longer stay &mdash; where &quot;longer&quot; means more than 36 hours &mdash; invite some of your local friends and family over for a big dinner.</p> <h3>Inquire Into a Longer Stay</h3> <p>You&#39;re not in college anymore, so couchsurfing is for family members only. If someone is staying with you for more than a couple of days ask why and in a way that is polite, yet pointed, so they perhaps start looking for the nearest Motel 6.</p> <h2>Dealing With Problems</h2> <p>Have a problem guest? Here&#39;s how to work it out with a minimum of muss and fuss. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette?ref=seealso">Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a>)</p> <h3>The Slob</h3> <p>Be apologetic and call yourself a &quot;total neat freak,&quot; while directly informing your guest that you need him to clean up after himself.</p> <h3>The Overstayer</h3> <p>This is one of the trickier ones to work out and why it&#39;s best to get a firm timetable on how long the person plans to stay &mdash; before they arrive. The best way to deal with someone that you fear might overstay their welcome is to give them chores &mdash; take out the garbage, do the dishes, etc. Be firm about the limits of your hospitality.</p> <h3>The Couch Potato</h3> <p>Got someone who comes to visit and just sits on your couch all day? Give them ideas for what to do, things that are fun that will get them out of your hair for a bit. In a worst-case scenario, just hope that they aren&#39;t staying with you for that long.</p> <p>Whether you have the best or the worst house guests in the world, these simple tips will dramatically improve your quality of life when your home becomes a hostel.</p> <p><em>How do you manage a house full of guests?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-house-guests-without-going-crazy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-houseguests-how-to-be-the-host-with-the-most">Have Houseguests? How to Be the Host With the Most</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-the-host-with-the-most-and-spend-the-least">How to Be the Host With the Most and Spend the Least</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home guests hosting houseguests Fri, 20 Dec 2013 11:24:38 +0000 Nicholas Pell 1099978 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Tips for Hosting Holiday Houseguests http://www.wisebread.com/15-tips-for-hosting-holiday-houseguests <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-tips-for-hosting-holiday-houseguests" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_christmas.jpg" alt="Family during the holidays" title="Family during the holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you hosting a holiday this winter? Are friends and family flying in from out-of-town, ready to gobble down your holiday turkey, use all your guest-room towels, and partake of your hospitality? Make your home cozy and comfortable for guests and keep celebrations going smoothly by following these easy tips and tricks for holiday hosting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a>)</p> <h3>1. Put Out Throw Blankets</h3> <p>Nothing&rsquo;s cozier on a cold winter night than a few wooly throw blankets on the living room sofa. IKEA is a great source for inexpensive fluffy blankets. Have them on hand for when the kids get tired and need a nap, or for your Aunt Bertha&rsquo;s cold feet.</p> <h3>2. Stock Slippers</h3> <p>Speaking of cold feet, one of my favorite hosting tips is to have a variety of warm slippers in a basket by the door. You can buy slippers for cheap at Walmart or Target. Since everyone is going to be taking off their snowy boots, having a cozy alternative in which to walk around the house is a thoughtful touch.</p> <h3>3. Embrace Indirect Lighting</h3> <p>Bring on the lamps &mdash; the warm glow they cast says &ldquo;holiday&rdquo; much better than glaring overhead lights. Dim them to an attractive yellow glow, allowing candles, fireplaces, and other sources of lighting to shine.</p> <h3>4. Provide Warm Drinks</h3> <p>Cut down on the time you&rsquo;re serving your guests and make them feel more at home by having a variety of hot drinks available on the kitchen counter. Packets of hot chocolate and tea and a carafe of hot coffee are all that&rsquo;s needed. For a special holiday treat, have a large pot of mulled wine simmering in the slow cooker, with cups nearby so guests can serve themselves.</p> <h3>5. Put a Wreath on the Door</h3> <p>I don&rsquo;t know what it is about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-christmas-wreath-ideas-with-style">front-door wreaths</a>, but to me, they make a home so much more welcoming. The same goes for fall flowers or poinsettias set on the front stoop. Learn how to make your own <a href="http://www.designsponge.com/2011/11/outside-in-bittersweet-and-rosehip-wreath.html">autumnal wreath</a> at Design*Sponge.</p> <h3>6. Utilize Aromatherapy</h3> <p>In the winter, I love the smells of gingerbread and pumpkin pie. If you&rsquo;re not a baker, scented candles in warm winter scents like cinnamon, cranberry, and pumpkin spice really set the tone for winter celebrations.</p> <h3>7. Prepare Guest Necessities</h3> <p>Make sure guests have easy access to all the necessities &mdash; extra towels, bottles of water, soap, and shampoo. If you have many guests (a common occurrence over the winter holidays), put towels in a big basket by the bathroom door so guests can help themselves.</p> <h3>8. Set Out Games</h3> <p>Help children and the young-at-heart to feel right at home by setting out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-family-friendly-games-for-your-holiday-party">board games</a> on a low table in the living room. Traditional games like Chinese checkers and backgammon are easy to play, and more modern games like Settlers of Catan, Cranium, and Ticket to Ride will draw board-game enthusiasts.</p> <h3>9. Play Soft Music</h3> <p>Have soft music playing in the background to set a festive mood &mdash; whether that&rsquo;s holiday classics or Coldplay&rsquo;s latest album.</p> <h3>10. Keep Toilet Paper Stocked</h3> <p>Keep fresh rolls of toilet paper visible and within easy reach, so guests have no excuse to go rummaging through your bathroom cabinets.</p> <h3>11. Have Midnight Snacks Around</h3> <p>As I recently had occasion to learn, some guests (like pregnant women) are perpetually ravenous and need sustenance at all hours of the day and night. For hungry guests on the prowl late at night, keep a stash of cookies and snacks available on the kitchen counter for guests to help themselves. They don&rsquo;t have to be homemade; use store-bought snacks for greater convenience.</p> <h3>12. Stock Family Friendly Movies</h3> <p>For those times when guests need some down time, keep an assortment of classic family friendly DVDs available that kids and adults will enjoy.</p> <h3>13. Enlist Help</h3> <p>Your guests don&rsquo;t expect you to be their slave, so enlist their help to clear dishes, prepare food, and set the table. Getting everyone involved evokes togetherness and holiday spirit, and prevents you from going crazy. Delegate!</p> <h3>14. Keep Meals Simple</h3> <p>You&rsquo;re already providing a place to stay for your houseguests, so don&rsquo;t feel that you need to be Martha Stewart when it comes to the menu. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-quick-homemade-breakfasts">Breakfast</a> can be store-bought croissants and orange juice, and lunch can be a self-serve buffet of deli meats and fruit. Suggest going out or ordering in (and splitting the bill) to save yourself money and time. If you&rsquo;re hosting big family meals like Christmas or New Year&rsquo;s, prepare the main course yourself and delegate side dishes to other family members.</p> <h3>15. Don&rsquo;t Stress the Small Stuff</h3> <p>So your centerpiece is looking a bit lopsided? Relax! Your guests won&rsquo;t notice little details and certainly won&rsquo;t be judging you on not being the perfect host. Toilet overflowing and sending sewage-scented water down through the living room ceiling? Now that might merit a minor freak-out.</p> <p><em>Do you have any useful tips and tricks for hosting houseguests this winter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-tips-for-hosting-holiday-houseguests">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surviving-the-holiday-season-entertaining-and-being-entertained-on-a-budget">Surviving the Holiday Season: Entertaining (and Being Entertained) on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party">How to Throw a Fabulous (and Frugal!) Dinner Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free">20 Ways to Entertain Your Kids for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-good-hosts-never-do">14 Things Good Hosts Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle entertaining holiday guests houseguests Wed, 16 Nov 2011 11:00:45 +0000 Camilla Cheung 787804 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money-Saving Tips for the Summer Road Trip http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-saving-tips-for-the-summer-road-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-saving-tips-for-the-summer-road-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/road_trip_driving.jpg" alt="Two guys on a road trip" title="Two guys on a road trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation season is upon us. Unfortunately, U.S. consumers aren't catching a break from exorbitant fuel costs.</p> <p>Still, high gas prices and the rising cost of other consumer goods aren't enough to keep most people from hitting the road this summer. Nearly 60% of Americans will take a trip during the next three months, up from 51% in 2010, according to a survey by American Express. (Disclaimer: American Express is an advertiser on Wise Bread.)</p> <p>The majority will be traveling in a car. (AAA estimates that 88% of the 35 million people who traveled during Memorial Day weekend did so by car.)</p> <p>Although road trips are generally less expensive than flying a family of four to a tropical vacation spot, they can just as easily break a family&rsquo;s budget if not carefully monitored.</p> <p>Here are five simple steps to help curb expenses and maximize the family budget on a summer road trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-survive-a-road-trip">How to Survive a Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>1. Tune Up Your Car</h2> <p>With the rising price of gas, a summer road trip can quickly become expensive.To make sure that each tank of gas takes you as far as possible, have your car tuned up prior to departure. Have all the fluids checked, change the oil and air filter, and make sure that your tires are properly inflated. Doing so can greatly increase your miles per gallon, which can leave plenty of money in your pocket for souvenirs or even an extra day on the road.</p> <h2>2. Stay With Friends and Relatives</h2> <p>If your cross-country journey will take you through a few towns where family and friends reside, see if they have a spare bedroom you could stay in for a night. Not only will staying with friends or family save you money, but it will also give you an excuse to catch up and spend some quality time together.</p> <h2>3. Book in Advance</h2> <p>If you know which cities you will be staying at during your road trip, book hotels online and in advance. Doing so will save you money and prevent you from having to drive from hotel to hotel each night looking for a vacancy. If that fails, you can always try to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-your-own-hotel-deal">negotiate directly with a hotel clerk</a>.</p> <h2>4. Keep an Itinerary</h2> <p>Part of the fun of a road trip is the spontaneity it provides. But allowing the open road to completely rule your day-to-day adventures can quickly cause you to go over budget. To stay within budget without losing the wonder of the open road, consider creating a basic itinerary. Determine which cities you will be driving through and try to find fun-yet-inexpensive places to eat at and visit. Doing so will give you a good reason to occasionally stretch your legs, provide great memories and entertainment, and help you save a few extra dollars.</p> <h2>5. Look for Discounts</h2> <p>If you have a specific <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disneyland-on-the-sort-of-cheap">theme park</a> or attraction in mind for your ultimate destination, look online for any discounts you can take to the front gate. Many attractions offer discounts or coupons online that can dramatically decrease entrance fees &mdash; some as much as 50%. Prior to leaving for your road trip, research the attraction online and see if you can&rsquo;t find discounted entrance fees for it or for other shows and attractions along the way.</p> <p>Choosing to road trip is a great way for families to see a lot of new landscape for a relatively low price. There are many stops along the way that individuals and families alike can find wonder in, and many roadside attractions can provide long-lasting laughs and memories. So when your family chooses to go on a road trip this summer, simply plan ahead so that you will be able to optimize your vacation time without breaking the bank.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-money-saving-tips-for-the-summer-road-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Money-Saving%20Tips%20for%20the%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money-Saving%20Tips%20for%20the%20Summer%20Road%20Trip" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Money-Saving%20Tips%20for%20the%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.jpg" alt="5 Money-Saving Tips for the Summer Road Trip" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-saving-tips-for-the-summer-road-trip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-alternatives-to-pet-boarding">5 Affordable Alternatives to Pet Boarding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-travel-hacks-that-will-save-time-money-and-your-sanity">23 Travel Hacks That Will Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-ways-to-save-on-your-next-rv-camping-trip">The Easiest Ways to Save on Your Next RV Camping Trip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel gas mileage houseguests road trips Thu, 16 Jun 2011 09:48:14 +0000 Chris Birk 575182 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/houseguests.jpg" alt="Friends at home" title="Friends at home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last week I provided tips on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-houseguests-how-to-be-the-host-with-the-most ">how to be the best host</a> to overnight guests that you can be. Of course, every great host needs a great houseguest.</p> <p>Think you have what it takes to get invited back again and again? Perhaps you do &mdash; but only if you&rsquo;re following these nonnegotiable rules of houseguest etiquette.</p> <h3>1. Arrive With a Gift</h3> <p>Your hosts have gone out of their way to prepare for your arrival &mdash; cleaning the house, making the beds, hiding their naughtiness &mdash; so the least you can do is arrive with a gift to show your gratitude. A bottle of wine is perfectly fine (and probably preferred), but you should know your audience before gifting booze. It&rsquo;s embarrassing to give a bottle of alcohol to a recovering alcoholic. If you&rsquo;re unsure of the hosts&rsquo; imbibing status, opt for something non-offensive like a basket of pastas and sauces or a sampler of jams. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-classy-gift-ideas-for-any-time-of-year">5 Classy&nbsp;Gift Ideas for Any Time of Year</a>)</p> <h3>2. Buy Your Own Groceries</h3> <p>When I&rsquo;m staying with friends or family, I buy my own groceries for two reasons: 1) I&rsquo;m a picky eater, so it&rsquo;s unlikely that they&rsquo;ll have much that I like, and 2) It&rsquo;s rude to eat your guests out of house and home. Once you&rsquo;re settled, ask where the nearest market is. Schedule some time to stop by and pick up your favorite foods and fridge essentials, like bacon, eggs, bread, lunchmeat, etc. Not only will you save money because you won&rsquo;t have to eat out every meal, but your hosts will appreciate the gesture &mdash; especially when you&rsquo;re gone and the leftovers are all theirs.</p> <h3>3. Conserve Linens and Towels</h3> <p>At home, I use only one towel a week. When I&rsquo;m done drying off after a shower, I hang it on the back of the bathroom door so it can dry properly. When I&rsquo;m traveling, I do the same. A good host will provide you with a towel or two, which is plenty, so don&rsquo;t abuse it. If you think you&rsquo;ll need more towels, plan ahead; pack a towel of your own so you can have what you need. As beach towels go, I always pack one from home. I can&rsquo;t be sure that my hosts will have the kind of beach towel I like, so it&rsquo;s best to come prepared.</p> <h3>4. Ask About House Rules</h3> <p>When guests come to my home I have three rules: 1) Don&rsquo;t get locked up, 2) Don&rsquo;t get locked out, and 3) Don&rsquo;t burn the place down. Otherwise, my guests are free to come and go as they please and make themselves at home. However, not every host is as lax as I am. Some don&rsquo;t want you making a frozen pizza at 3 a.m. on a Sunday night when you&rsquo;ve just come home from the bar. To avoid offending your hosts, ask about general policies and rules. Should the door be locked when you leave? Is it OK to put silverware in the dishwasher? Would you like me to let the dog out if you&rsquo;re not home? Most people have certain ways they like and do things, so it&rsquo;s best to ask before you step on any toes.</p> <h3>5. Give the Host Personal Space</h3> <p>While your hosts are happy to see you (hopefully), they don&rsquo;t want to spend every minute of every day with you. Respect that. Ask them all about their lovely city, but plan to do most things by yourself or with whom you&rsquo;re traveling. It&rsquo;s certainly OK to invite your hosts to join you on your excursions, but don&rsquo;t expect it. Chances are they have to work and other obligations to tend to during all or part of your stay &mdash; you&rsquo;re on vacation; they&rsquo;re not &mdash; so don&rsquo;t be bummed out if they&rsquo;re not available. Personally, I enjoy the time alone to explore a new place &mdash; nobody nagging about how much walking they have to do, nobody complaining about how hot it is, and nobody interrupting your afternoon because they MUST find a gym to fit in a midday run. I won&rsquo;t name the person who&rsquo;s guilty of that last one, but I might be married to him.</p> <h3>6. Lend a Hand Where Necessary</h3> <p>Is your host slaving away in the kitchen preparing a delicious feast? Ask if he or she needs a hand. Does the dog need a walk? Volunteer to take the pooch for a stroll. Does somebody need to go on a beer run? Offer your excellent (and sober) driving skills to accomplish the task. Whatever the case, let your guests know that you&rsquo;re happy to help out where you can. They might say no the first or second time out of politeness, but eventually they&rsquo;ll want to pawn off some of their chores on you. And you should be happy about it &mdash; because you could be spending an arm and a leg for a hotel, but you&rsquo;re not.</p> <h3>7. Keep Common Areas Clean</h3> <p>My biggest pet peeve when hosting guests is crumbs on the counter. It drives me bonkers. Mind your Ps and Qs when staying with friends and family. Whatever you would do in your own home, don&rsquo;t do it at your hosts&rsquo; home. Put the toilet seat down. Wash your dishes by hand or put them in the dishwasher. Make the bed. Turn out the lights when you leave a room. There&rsquo;s nothing worse than following guests around the house, picking up after them. Your hosts probably won&rsquo;t say anything to you regarding your messiness or lack of consideration, but you can be sure that you won&rsquo;t be invited back because of it.</p> <h3>8. Treat the Hosts to a Nice Meal</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re a whiz in the kitchen, prepare your signature dish (and wash the dishes afterward). If you&rsquo;re not so hot at culinary art, ask your hosts what their favorite restaurant is and treat them to a nice meal. This is a time when you can all be at the same place at the same time to catch up. Conflicting schedules considered, this might be the only chance you have.</p> <h3>9. Strip Your Bed Upon Departure</h3> <p>Do your hosts a favor and strip the linens and place everything &mdash; including your dirty towels &mdash; in a pile. It&rsquo;ll save them a few minutes of work when they have to spend an hour or so washing, drying, and remaking the bed. However, I would ask the hosts if they&rsquo;d like you to do this first. Some hosts don&rsquo;t want you removing the linens because they don&rsquo;t want you to see the completely normal and acceptable stains (sweat, urine, etc.) on the mattress and pillows. Because, even though these stains and normal and acceptable (are you going to buy a new mattress every time your dog pees on it? I don&rsquo;t think so.), it may cause the host unnecessary embarrassment &mdash; and you definitely don&rsquo;t want to do that.</p> <h3>10. Leave a Parting Gift</h3> <p>During your stay you should&rsquo;ve gotten a good sense of what your hosts want, like, or need. Use this information to purchase a small parting gift that shows your gratitude and decency as a human being. The last time I stayed with friends, I left a half-dozen freshly baked cookies from a great restaurant in the area. Whether they liked them or not, I don&rsquo;t know &mdash; but it&rsquo;s the thought that counts in this case.</p> <h3>11. Send a Thank-You Note</h3> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve returned home, make it a point to reach out one more time to let your hosts know how much you appreciate their hospitality. They didn&rsquo;t have to host you. They could have made up a million and one excuses why they didn&rsquo;t have room for you. That they opened their home to you says something &mdash; they wanted to host you, and you should make one lasting impression to ensure that they view you the way they should, as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-say-thanks">thankful</a> and appreciative guest. A quick note that expresses your gratitude will suffice &mdash; if only so you have someplace to call home next time you&rsquo;re in town.</p> <p><em>Have tips on how to be a great houseguest? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Money-Saving%20Tips%20for%20the%20Summer%20Road%20Trip%20(1).jpg&amp;description=11%20Simple%20Rules%20of%20Excellent%20Houseguest%20Etiquette" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Money-Saving%20Tips%20for%20the%20Summer%20Road%20Trip%20%281%29.jpg" alt="11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-destinations-for-people-who-love-to-fish">8 Affordable Destinations for People Who Love to Fish</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette">It&#039;s Time to Drop These 6 Rules of Money Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats">How to Get Free Accommodations (and Paid Jobs) on Boats</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Travel etiquette family friends houseguests visit Fri, 27 May 2011 10:55:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 551132 at http://www.wisebread.com Have Houseguests? How to Be the Host With the Most http://www.wisebread.com/have-houseguests-how-to-be-the-host-with-the-most <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/have-houseguests-how-to-be-the-host-with-the-most" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012626359Small2.jpg" alt="Cooking dinner for guests" title="Cooking dinner for guests" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="157" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Throughout the year we host lots of tourists, thanks to our side hustle on Airbnb and Roomorama, the how-tos of which <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets">I&rsquo;ve written about</a> a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental">couple times</a> on Wise Bread.</p> <p>In hosting these strangers, there comes a responsibility to provide them with a certain type of experience &mdash; clean accommodations, local intel, and general knowledge on how to get from A to B. That&rsquo;s all they&rsquo;re looking for, really; if they wanted four-star service they would have booked a hotel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-your-own-hotel-deal">Negotiate Your Own Hotel Deal</a>)</p> <p>Hosting friends and family, however, is a different dynamic. They require more of your time and effort &mdash; and secretly want a higher level of hospitality. I&rsquo;m happy to provide it, of course, but the situation can go south rather quickly if you&rsquo;re not on top of your game.</p> <p>To help you maintain your sanity &mdash; and send your guests off with smiles on their faces &mdash; here are a few things that I&rsquo;ve learned along the way.</p> <h3>1. Provide Fresh Linens, Toiletries, and Other Grooming Products</h3> <p>When hosting guests, I recommend offering everything a hotel has in terms of linens and grooming products &mdash; within reason. Fresh linens and towels are a given (although I&rsquo;ve stayed with friends who are stingy with their towels &mdash; you know who you are), but a lot of hosts forget that travelers sometimes overlook the small stuff when packing &mdash; shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, razors, etc. For this reason, I keep a small stash of these items in the pantry. They were all free or low cost, too; I take a few extra on my way out of the hotel, or I pick up bulk packs for about a dollar each at local outdoor markets.</p> <p>Be mindful, too, that some people are a little more high-maintenance when traveling. Many ladies require a hair dryer &mdash; and after several requests, we bought one for our guests, to their delight &mdash; while other folks, both male and female (myself included), must have access to an iron when away from home. We&rsquo;ve got our guests covered there, too. I know what it&rsquo;s like to have to go to a nice restaurant in a wrinkled shirt while on vacation &mdash; something I would never do at home. Having these products and accessories on hand will not only help your guests relax and have a better time, but they&rsquo;ll appreciate your attention to detail and thoughtfulness.</p> <h3>2. Have Healthy Snacks and Fresh Fruits Within Reach</h3> <p>When guests are on vacation, they want to sleep in. Doing so, however, could mean that they&rsquo;ll miss breakfast around the corner. To make sure they&rsquo;re fed and ready for their day, I always have cereal, bagels, fresh fruit and/or yogurt available. It&rsquo;s great to grab and go, and these items also give your guests something to snack on later in the day, which helps them avoid spending a ton of money on unhealthy in-between meals. Don&rsquo;t forget to put it in plain view, too. Your guests may feel uneasy about rummaging through your fridge or cupboard to find the goodies. When it&rsquo;s out in common areas &mdash; the counter! &mdash; that usually indicates that it&rsquo;s fair game. Of course, you can also tell them to help themselves as well.</p> <h3>3. Stay Current on Local Establishments, Deals, and Events</h3> <p>One of the first things people ask when they arrive at our place is &quot;where are the good bars and restaurants?&quot; Luckily, we have several just around the corner (we live in NYC). If you live further away from highly populated areas, consider collecting local take-out menus (with coupons, if possible) to create a mini directory of the places you personally recommend. In that directory, also keep a log of each establishment&rsquo;s happy hour specials and hours; everybody enjoys a little R&amp;R, especially when it&rsquo;s half off. In addition, I also visit the tourism bureau a couple times a year to pick up maps, deals, and event listings so I&rsquo;m always tuned in to what&rsquo;s going on when my guests arrive. For instance, I know that the MoMA is free on Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. Thus, I will give my guests that info when they arrive, so they don&rsquo;t inadvertently pay for something that they could have gotten for free.</p> <h3>4. Direct Your Guests to a Nearby Market to Buy Their Own Food</h3> <p>Even though I suggested that you provide breakfast and snack items, I highly recommend that you kindly inform your guests where the nearest market is so they can buy any other sustenance they require. If you fail to do this, you could be eaten out of house and home. Most people get the hint, but if you&rsquo;re afraid some guests may not be so adept, try this approach. When you get to the kitchen during the requisite tour, stop at the fridge. Tell your guests that they&rsquo;re welcome to anything you have, but you&rsquo;d prefer it if they&rsquo;d purchase their own juice and milk, since you tend to consume a lot of those particular beverages and they&rsquo;re rather expensive. Guests will absolutely do this, and while they&rsquo;re at the supermarket they&rsquo;ll pick up other items they want to eat during their stay. It&rsquo;s a brilliant strategy &mdash; you still come off looking generous and your guests have more of the snacks they love.</p> <h3>5. Explain General Rules of House Etiquette</h3> <p>We once hosted two girls who were an absolute nightmare. Every time they left the bathroom it looked like a bomb went off at the Maybelline factory &mdash; water, hair, and makeup everywhere. Since then, I tell every guest that stays the night in our home that the sink is off limits as a storage space; they&rsquo;re welcome to keep necessary toiletry items in the shower area, but the sink must stay clean of hairbrushes, toothbrushes, cosmetics and other grooming products. The other thing that really bugs me is crumbs on the kitchen counter. After a particularly messy couple stayed with us and left a trail of food everywhere they went, I put my foot down. During the initial tour, I politely explain to my guests that they can either wash their dishes themselves or put them in the dishwasher and that a quick pass with a paper towel on the counter will get rid of the crumbs in flash. Haven&rsquo;t had a problem since.</p> <h3>6. Suck It Up When It Comes to Climate Control</h3> <p>A home can never be too cold for me, but it can definitely be too hot. I can&rsquo;t sleep if it&rsquo;s too warm &mdash; and too warm for me is 65 degrees &mdash; so staying more than one night with hosts who are climate misers is dreadful. Because I&rsquo;m particularly sensitive to this issue, I&rsquo;m keen to ensure that my guests are comfortable when sleeping at all times. If they need more warmth, I&rsquo;ve got many blankets at the ready. If they need it cooler, they can blast their own private window unit until their noses freeze and fall off. The minimal increase in the electricity bill during their stay is worth the satisfaction of knowing that my guests are comfortable &mdash; and not complaining that I&rsquo;m a cheapo.</p> <h3>7. Make and Offer Meals When You Have Time</h3> <p>Are you making brunch on a Sunday morning? Invite your guests. Making dinner for two but have enough food for six? Invite your guests. Preparing a homemade dish and offering it to your guests will not only save them money and feed them better, but you&rsquo;ll get to spend quality time with the ones you love over delicious food and rousing conversation. And if they&rsquo;re professional houseguests, they&rsquo;ll know how to thank you &mdash; by supplying the booze. Always a treat.</p> <h3>8. Keep Video and Board Games for Rainy Days</h3> <p>You can&rsquo;t predict the weather, and you&rsquo;ve got to be prepared for poor conditions during your guests&rsquo; stay. When it&rsquo;s rainy, snowy, sleety, or slushy, I inform my guests that hidden in the credenza are many popular one and multiplayer board and video <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-family-friendly-games-for-your-holiday-party">games</a>. They&rsquo;re already bummed out because of the weather &mdash; and I don&rsquo;t need them moping around my house, bringing me down &mdash; so I want my guests to be entertained until the storm passes. If they&rsquo;re lucky, they&rsquo;ll get to witness me kill my husband at Mario Kart.</p> <h3>9. Avoid Smothering Your Guests With Attention</h3> <p>Your friends and family came to visit you, yes. But that doesn&rsquo;t mean they want to spend every waking minute in your company. Back up a little and let them breathe. Suggest a few activities they can do on their own while you run a few errands &mdash; anything to get them out of the house and staying active without feeling like you&rsquo;re blowing them off. It&rsquo;s better for both parties if there are a few hours of down time, especially during longer stays; a weekend isn&rsquo;t so bad, but a week can work your nerves. A TV in the guest room helps as well. If your guests are tired or just need a quick nap, they can close the door, turn on the tube and unwind.<o:p> At the same time, so can you.</o:p></p> <p><em>What tips do you have for entertaining houseguests? What are some things that hosts should avoid? Let me know in the comments section.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-houseguests-how-to-be-the-host-with-the-most">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family">5 Ways to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-house-guests-without-going-crazy">How to Host House Guests Without Going Crazy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips friends & family hosting houseguests Thu, 19 May 2011 10:36:29 +0000 Mikey Rox 544690 at http://www.wisebread.com