How to Enjoy Your House Guests

Summer is house guest season if you live in a coastal gem of a city like Vancouver, BC! These tips on how to enjoy your guests when you’d rather book them into in a hotel are from me. An introvert who hates making small talk when she wakes up and loves her daily routine.

And I’m not alone…

“I try and put this whole houseguest thing in perspective,” writes Mary on 6 Ways to Stop Stress Eating Late at Night. “After all, it’s good for my kids to get to know their extended family. And I benefit from having houseguests because they do make my house look good. Not because they come wearing a work belt and slinging a cordless drill, but because the mere idea that people from the outside will be stepping foot inside my house sends me on a spree of cleaning, shopping, organizing, and decorating.”

One way to enjoy having house guests is to play games with them – it’s a traditional way to spend time with family and friends. A bestselling game on Amazon is Perplexus Maze Game by PlaSmart, Inc. — it’s gotten tons of excellent reviews, and will spice up your time with your guests. It’ll ensure they come back every summer! :-)

And, here are a few tips for enjoying your house guests when you’d rather they booked a hotel room…

Accept your wish to be alone, your personality traits, yourself

“I’m so glad to hear there are other people like me!” says Jeannine on Are You an Introvert? A Test for Introverted Personality Traits. “I get so stressed every year doing Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, and I hate overnight house guests.”

This is normal for introverts like Jeannine and me – we find other people draining and tiring. Introverts get their energy from being alone; extroverts get their energy from other people. Extroverts love house guests all year long. The more the merrier! But, introverts would rather be alone…or stay in a hotel and let their house guests rule the roost.

Here’s another woman who isn’t fond of guests staying in her home:

“I HATE having house guests,” says on Who here actually enjoys having house guests? “Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am a creature of habit and hate having my routine messed up…my fiance is out of town and his friend stayed in our guest room for four days this time. Every…single…morning…he was up before 5 am. This wouldn’t bother me, but for the fact that once someone is awake in our house the dog is up too. Once the dog is awake this means I am also awake…I’m the type who wants to make sure my guests have clean towels and the bathroom stays shiny etc, so it was tough feeling like I had to run around for a guest when I’m just too busy. I would much rather have the house to myself. Of course it is a different story if we’ve booked time off for a visit or someone who we haven’t seen in forever is coming to stay.

Am I alone? Is there anyone who actually ENJOYS having a house guest?”

Like, me, is from BC! I wanted to share her perspective to make you feel better if you’d really rather be alone instead of having house guests.

Consider asking your guests to stay in a hotel

Telling your guests they’d be more comfortable staying in a hotel instead of your home won’t be the easiest thing you’ll ever do, but it may be the most honest! Especially if they’re planning to stay for more than four nights. That’s the maximum number of nights for me: four nights. Unless it’s my in-laws – they’ve stayed with us for two weeks, and I was sorry to see them go.

If you suggest your house guests stay in a hotel, give them a list of reasonably priced accommodations. There may be some great B & B’s in a quiet area of your city – or maybe your guests would enjoy staying amidst the hustle bustle of the downtown core.

If your house guest is a family member who is super-critical, you may find When Nothing is Good Enough for Your Mother helpful. Sometimes the best way to deal with difficult people is to change yourself…not your circumstances.

Encourage your guests plan their own time

Don’t let your house guests rope you into planning their summer activities!

How to Enjoy House GuestsWhen someone calls or emails me about staying with us for a weekend in the summer, I often send them a website that lists things to do, see, and eat in Vancouver. I tell them I’ve done those activities and seen those magnificent sights several times so won’t be joining them, but I hope they don’t miss them.

Don’t forget to give them transportation information – car rentals or bus/train schedules. If your house guests don’t have a car, make sure you provide them with the info they need to plan their visit. You can still love and care for them, even if you don’t want them in your house!

Share your schedule with your house guests

I’m a freelance writer and blogger, and I check in with my Quips and Tips blogs every day. I like to post articles regularly, answer comments, and tweak my websites. What helps me enjoy house guests when I’d rather have the house to myself is scheduling my work time. I’ll work for a couple hours before breakfast, or mid-morning, or when they’re sunning themselves on the deck.

One of the best tips for enjoying your house guests is to tell them in advance that you’ll need X number of hours per day for yourself. Be honest that you need your time alone – you’re glad your house guests are around, but you need a few hours a day to do your thing.


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