Get a signed copy of our latest book, Emily Post's Etiquette - The Centennial Edition, for yourself or to give as a gift, and support Vermont's independent bookstore Bridgeside Books.

Join our Substack newsletter for more from Emily Post.

The Golden Rules for Houseguests Hero Label

The Golden Rules for Houseguests

black faucet with water running

There is more to being a good houseguest than just being nice and doing your part to help out. And family members, take note: Guest manners are called for, even when you stay with relatives. Here are some important things to consider when you plan to stay over at someone's home:

Definitely Do:

  • Make your visit short and sweet. Generally keep your visit to no more than three nights.
  • Bring your own toiletries.
  • Make your bed and clean up after yourself. Keep your bathroom clean: Wipe up any ring in the tub, shaving cream residue in the basin, hair on any object or surface, or dirt on soap.
  • Offer to help out, especially in the kitchen (unless your host objects).
  • Be adaptable. Be ready for anything—or for nothing.
  • Show that you're enjoying yourself.
  • Offer to pitch in for groceries if you are staying more than two or three nights.
  • Double check to make sure you have all your belongings before you leave.
  • Bring or send a gift, or treat your host to a night out.
  • Send a handwritten thank-you note following your visit.

Definitely Don't:

  • Ask to bring your pet. If you must travel with your pet, inquire about a good kennel in the area or offer to stay in a hotel. This also gives your host an opening to invite your pet if they wish.
  • Accept an invitation from someone else during your visit without first checking with your host.
  • Use your host's phone, computer, or any other equipment without asking.
  • Use more than your share of hot water.
  • Snoop!