5 ways to make your homestays even better!

Hello Fellow Travelers! what’s up?

Ever invited someone over for perhaps an overnight stay, and have them behave like an obnoxious prick? or have you had the misfortune of being called one?

Well, we all have certain standards of how things should be, and a certain level of sensitivity. Which means, just because we paid for the room/space, doesn’t imply that the owner loses all control. They may be kind and hospitable, but don’t push their buttons. Or let your guests push your buttons.

#1 Talk to each other
Hosts, lay down ground rules in a non imposing manner, and allow a little room for flexibility. Offer, and I say offer, to take them places if you’re cool with it, without making it seem like you’ll ruin the rest of their stay unless they agree to be taken out by you. If there’s a language issue, try to learn a little of their language – just because you gave them a roof and fill their tummies, doesn’t mean that your job as a host ends there.

Guests, if your hosts are shy, or haven’t mentioned any rules and mandates, ask anyway. Chances are they’ll be accommodating enough to give you a relatively relaxed curfew time, and if it’s a little stuffy for your owl-ish tendencies, ask them nicely if they could consider a change in time. If you’re not comfortable being shown around by them, decline very very politely, but if you’re up for it, perhaps you can ask them to show you around. If you don’t speak their language, learn a little before hand, being a “foreigner” is no excuse.

#2 Share Meals
Hosts, if you’re around, don’t assume the guest will eat out every time. Invite them to join you, and when cooking for them, ask them what they’re allergic to, and give them fair warning if it’s a core ingredient of the preparation. Conversely if you’re eating out, or ordering in, it’d be nice to take the guests’ opinion(s) as well. If your guest offers to pay for the meal, go dutch.

Guests, whether eating out or ordering in, always offer to pay. If you’re going to be out for lunch and/or dinner, inform your hosts in advance. If you do eat with them, and I strongly suggest that you do – offer  to help with the dishes, setting the table etc. Meal time conversations can and will give you an authentic experience of homestays, and will let you in on trivia about a place, or even your hosts!

#3 Share Responsibilities
Hosts, this is something that you could cover in the initial ground rules talk if you think you’ll be comfortable with it, or else you can politely ask them to help out, if you think they’re not already doing that.

Guests, don’t be slobs. Clean up after yourself. Pick up your laundry, fold it and arrange it yourself.

#4 Privacy Matters
This one’s common to the Host and Guest, respect each others privacy, especially if there’s a culture clash. I’m not saying tip toe around each other, but if one looks visibly tired/stressed out/upset, a long theses on what you could do, or how your day went is more than unwelcome. If you must, you could ask if everything’s okay, and offer to listen and help in any manner. If they decline, back off.

#5 Smile at each other, once in a while.
Yes. Smile. We don’t smile not nearly as often as we should. So smile at your guest while talking to them to make them feel welcome, and your guest will always smile back. Guests, you could try going first as well. I’m not saying keep smiling like a lovestruck idiot 😛 Even if you’re not the smiling type, you could at least try. 🙂

With that, I’m gonna go!

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