5. Say your good-byes with grace.
Donít leave the place a shambles when it comes time to make your exit.
Wipe up your detached hairs from the bathroom floor; empty the
wastebasket in your room. Strip your bedding, and ask your host where you should
place the dirty linens. If s/he responds with an unhelpful
"Wherever," fold sheets and pillowcases up neatly and stack
them at the foot of the bed. Fold any blankets or bedspreads that youíve
The little niceties Ö
6. Treat them to a meal
Food, really, is the best form of bribery. Iíll forgive just about any
etiquette violation if my guest is so kind as to treat me to a nice
dinner, whether at a restaurant or in my home. If you canít treat your
hosts to a good meal Ė they donít have time to eat out, there arenít
any good restaurants nearby, youíre a terrible, terrible cook -- at
the very least offer to pay for a round of groceries.
Or, Bring Your Own Towel/Toiletries. Not every host
subscribes to the Martha Stewart school of insane host generosity. Just
because youíre super-homey and have two complete sets of guest towels
ready at all times doesnít mean that your very busy, med student host
friend will be similarly prepared. And while you probably know your bud
well enough to guess whether theyíll be annoyed if you steal their
toothpaste, or grossed out if you use their soap, itís always a little
irksome if a guest just assumes that these things Ė which after all,
do cost money Ė are theirs for the taking. If you do happen to forget
your Pantene, at least have the courtesy to ask before you filch too
many dollops of that fancy Aveda shampoo.
8. Offer to help out with the dishes.
You absolutely, positively should wash at least your own dishes, but itís
really nicest to do everyone elseís as well. Sure, your host may
ultimately insist on doing the honors, but at the very least, itís
considered good manners to ask. If you do find that your host gets to
the task before you have a chance to do so, dry the dishes, put away
leftovers, wipe the table, whatever Ė the idea is to make your
yourself useful. Everyone loves a guest who does those icky household
chores for them.