Nine Basic Etiquette Rules to Follow When Visiting Family or Friends

If you’ve been wondering why your favorite aunt or best friend hasn’t extended an invitation after your last visit, your guest etiquette may be the culprit. This can be confirmed if you remember leaving your room a hot mess, overstayed your welcome or left without even saying thank you.

Here are nine basic etiquette rules to follow, especially if you would like to be invited over again.

1. Impress Your Host With a Thoughtful Gift

Start your stay on the right note by bringing a thoughtful gift for your host. It can be anything from a bunch of beautiful flowers and a bottle of wine to more personalized gifts for close relatives or friends.

2. Let Them Know How Long You Plan to Stay

Presenting your itinerary upfront, preferably before you show up, will make it easier on your host to plan their lives around your stay. Also, make sure that you understand their schedule and adjust your stay accordingly.

3. Understand House Rules

Your home may not run on the same rules as your host’s so there is no harm in asking for and understanding any specific rules they may have. For instance, remembering to close the door behind you to keep the cat from running out or leaving the porch lights on, in case you are the last one to get in at night.

4. Carry Your Own Food

If you are very particular about the food you eat, for instance, if you are vegan while your host is a meat-eater, it would be advisable to carry your own groceries to avoid inconveniencing your host. Your host might also appreciate the gesture if you chip in to buy some of the groceries, especially if your stay is long.

5. Keep the House/Room Clean

Remember that your hosts are providing a part of their home for your stay, so make sure you keep your room and premises clean. Also, remember to clean up after yourself at the end of your stay, ensuring that all the used towels reach the laundry baskets, the bed is neatly made and the room doesn’t look like a hurricane just swept by.

6. Extend a Helping Hand

Extend a helping hand, whenever possible, and you might just ensure yourself a future invite right there. Be it helping with the laundry or the dishes or taking the dog for a walk, every small help may be appreciated by your host.

7. Respect Your Hosts’ Personal Space and Time

Respect your hosts’ personal space and time and understand that they are not on vacation, you are. Just because they have allowed you to stay for a week does not mean that they need to set aside all their personal activities to entertain you 24×7.

8. Cook a Meal or Take Your Hosts Out to Dinner

If you are a pro in the kitchen, you can offer to take over dinner for a few days during your stay or you could cook one special meal for them. If cooking is not your forte, take them out for a good meal as a token of appreciation.

9. Leave a Parting Gift and Thank You Note

Consider leaving a meaningful parting gift, to appreciate their hospitality. Be it a box of chocolates or cookies from a local bakery, the gesture will be appreciated. Leave a hand-written thank you note with the gift or mail one after you go home and you’ll be the best guest they have ever hosted.


DiamondJanuary, L. (n.d.). Houseguest Etiquette: 10 Rules for Staying in Someone’s Home. Retrieved from

11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette. (n.d.). Retrieved from