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Brian and I love to travel all year round, not just during the holidays.  More, we love to visit with friends and family while traveling.  It’s always more fun to stay with loved ones vs. a hotel.  If you are one of them you already know this!  We will divert our trip for miles just to visit, to chum with relatives and comrads.  Most recently we stayed with Mason, Chrissy and Trey in Atlanta a few weeks ago while Brian took his electrical test even though it added about an hour drive time and extra gas. This isn’t a practice motivated by frugality.  We aren’t total cheapskates.  But, we do love to visit.  I miss my friends and my family.  It is so great to see them. It’s the best way to learn local lore and culture, to get the best insight on attractions, and to foster relationships. 

As I consider this alternative to traditional travel, I am realizing that it is more eco-friendly than staying at a hotel.  There’s no extra ac/heat used, no little bars of soap and shampoo and no paper for receipts.  While we travel we attempt to be good guests as we hope that our accommodate-ers enjoy our stay as much as we do. 

Tis the season for travel, family, friends, hostessing, and hosting.  I encourage you to forgo the commercial inns to absorb the warmth of those that you love.

Here are a few of my tips for being a good house guest.  Is there any thing that you do special when you stay at someones house?  Let me know. Leave me a comment.  I love fresh ideas, 

Here are a few things I like to do when invited to stay overnight at someone’s home:

  • Bring a bread-and-butter gift. This is a token gift to thank your hosts. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just thoughtful. Something to eat is always appropriate. I like to bring representations of our geographic area like Vidalia Onions, for instance.  We took Chrissy and Mason two bottles of wine from our local vineyard, Meinhardt Vinyard.  
      I know that Hopuliket Red can ONLY be found in Statesboro. It is a gift unique to our hometown!
  • Help prepare at least one of the meals during your stay. This can be an alternative to taking everyone out to eat at a restaurant, especially with busy schedules. A breakfast casserole is always easy, coupled with fresh fruit and a bread.  When GG recently visited us she brought a recipe with all of the ingredients. It was nice to know that it was one less meal that I had to plan and prepare for.  Plus, it introduced us to a new dish.  You can see the details on my earlier post, here.
  • Plan lunch away from your hosts. This gives them a break from meal preparation,  time to run needed errands, and a chance to have some time alone. 
  • Bring your own snacks, so that you won’t have to raid your host’s pantry. It’s not nice to eat them out of house and home.
  • Offer to help with any outstanding projects around the home (at your host’s mention). Sometimes it takes a second person for moral support.  My Aunt Peg always helps us finish our crafty projects.  I look forward to her visits because I know that we will get things done!
  • Help with daily chores.  For example, at I emptied Chrissy’s dishwasher and helped wash the dishes.  And, when GG recently visited us she helped me clean my bathroom from top to bottem. It was really nice. 
  • Make up the bed, strip the sheets, or launder them–depending on your hostess. Hostesses always insist, “Oh, no, you didn’t have to do that!” but isn’t it so nice if you do? I know I always collapse after guests leave!
  • Write a thank-you note upon leaving. Be specific about your trip. Include a photo, if possible.
  • Do all of the above if you are staying with friends. Do them twice as well if you are staying with family.

Note:  It does not cost a lot to be a considerate guest. It’s fun and it’s easy.  So, be one.  Your friends and family will look forward to  your stay!

*Photo Compliments of kenny42952on flickr