Honey “They” are home!

Honey they are home

I recently came across a joke on the vacationing habits across the globe about how an American family would plan a skiing trip to Aspen and an Australian family may decide to explore the Great Barrier Reef, but when it’s time for holidays in India, the first option is always “chalo maama ke ghar” (Let’s go to uncle’s house). As I laughed hard at the joke, I couldn’t fail to notice the truth in that statement. Irrespective of our geographical location, come holidays/summer vacations/festivals, we love to visit our friends or families; and mostly it is just them.  Culturally, we are conditioned to seek company of our own kin and unlike in other countries, in India the definition of family extends to the mother, father, children, grandparents, great grandparents, uncles, aunts, first cousins, second cousins, second cousins- first cousins and even Pammi aunty living across the street. And for what it’s worth, these close ties are what keep the family circle going.

Having said that, it is imperative that we don’t take this age old system of vacationing at someone else’s house for granted. Times are changing; people have busier lives and whole lot of commitments. Though hospitality is still a big part of Indian culture, the definition of the same may however vary from person to person. So, here is a list on good houseguest etiquette, which will ensure you are re-invited to aunty Pammi’s house in Milwaukee yet again.

#1 – Always and I say always discuss your plans well in advance.

On most occasions, it’s best to check with your host about a convenient time to visit them. In case you are travelling for other reasons and want to squeeze in a quick visit to their house, let them know of your plans and discuss the possibilities of a visit.

#2 – Check on the house rules and stick to them.

As the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Check with your hosts on their daily schedule and catch up as fast as possible. Adjust your dining and sleep schedule with theirs because you need remember that you are at someone else’s house and not a hotel. The idea is to enjoy each other’s company and not cause inconvenience to anyone.

#3 – Lend Hand wherever necessary.

As happy as your hosts are to have you over, entertaining house guests can be very demanding. Try to support the host in all that you can. Offer to help in the kitchen, in doing the laundry, clean up after dining and anything else that can make their lives a little easier.

#4 – Be flexible and considerate of others.

The living space designed to accommodate you on a short-term, temporary basis is the full-time home of your hosts. So be ready to adapt to their preferences and patterns. Don’t insist on having your way; expecting the hosts to plan things as per your convenience is unrealistic and inconsiderate.

#5 – Discuss your schedule with the host.

When staying with someone else, you cannot walk in and out of the house as you like. The family you are staying with would like to know your plans so that they can plan their own activities accordingly. They are in charge of the house and ensuring your stay is comfortable, uncertainties from your side will be extremely inconvenient for them.

#6 – Keep your children in check.

Just because people say feel at home, don’t let go of the reins of your family.  Your children are your responsibility; you cannot sleep in and expect the hosts to look after your noisy brood or let them wreck their surroundings. Just like you are ensuring that you are not causing any inconvenience to the hosts, make sure your children aren’t either.

#7 – Seek permission.

Remember, you’re a guest!  So, seek permission before you start using things. It’s just polite.

Just don’t take up space in wardrobes and washrooms. Check if it’s okay for you to use certain spaces. Leaving your personal items in common areas and then poking around the entire house to locate them can be very awkward and uncomfortable.

#8 – Don’t be territorial.

Just because you have been given some room and space, doesn’t mean you become territorial and expect exclusive rights. By giving you your own space, the hosts are being gracious and on your part you should ensure that you let them know that you are not taking things for granted. Keep the doors open, with beds neatly made, so that anyone can use it.

#9 – Leave things as they were.

On the day of departure, strip the bed and place everything back to where it was. If your hosts had given you anything to use, like hair dryer, creams, nail clippers etc., hand it back to them.

#10 – Appreciate the hospitality and thank the host.

Thank the host before you leave and sending a hand written thank you note goes a long way in showing your appreciation for the hospitality that is shown to you.

Now, if the tables are turned and you happen to be the host, there is a great read I came across on the net, do take a look Click Here (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-be-a-great-host-13-tips-201915). Hopefully, this article should make everyone’s life a little easier and more importantly happier. Have a happy, happy family time.

IMG_7895Founder and principal consultant for impact360 – Training & image consulting solutions. Having spent most part of my professional life, in the learning and development domain, I have come to realize that what drives me is my passion for sharing knowledge, skills and different ideas. The world is my oyster and I love to explore anything and everything (personality development, behavior management, communication, motivation, parenting, appearance management , styling, global etiquette, DIY projects, etc, etc,) and that’s what translates in my writing.


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