Be the BEST Damn House Guest this Summer


Photo Credit – House Dreams

By: Karen Cleveland

Score yourself an invitation to a friend’s cottage or beach house? Lucky you! Charm your hosts so much on your first visit and you just might secure an invite for every weekend until Labour Day. The more pleasant the experience for the people hosting you, the better the odds of keeping your name at the top of the invite list. Here are my tips on house guest etiquette:



· Know what time your hosts expect you to arrive and depart, so you don’t surprise them with an early arrival, hold up dinner plans or overstay your welcome.

· Overestimate the travel time, it’s better to kill 15 minutes by stopping for a coffee and a stretch than it is to show up late.

· Arrive with a little something for your hosts — something to snack on and wine are perennial good bets.

· Make yourself helpful by pitching in with meal preparations and cleaning up.

· Relax and enjoy your host’s space. Having a great time? Do they make the best Caesar you’ve ever tasted? Tell them. They’ll love to hear it.

· Show your gratitude by swiftly sending your hosts a thank you card once your visit is over, telling them how much you enjoyed their company and their lovely space.



· Don’t leave a trail in your wake. Your hosts shouldn’t see your products all over the bathroom vanity or your things strewn across the dock.

· Be negative by complaining. If you can pick the onions out of your salad or tan on the dock instead of swimming in the weedy area of the lake, do so quietly and humbly.

· Make yourself at home to the point of being boorish. We’ve all borne witness to those dirty iPod dock hijackers.


Do you have any house guest horror stories? Which rules to you tend to abide by as a house guest?


Karen Cleveland is a marketer and brander by day, etiquette steward by night. You can follow her Twitter, visit her at or send her questions at


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