I love the flexibility that summer brings. With supervisors taking time off to go on family vacations, weekends get a lot more flexible. For instance, it's 11 am on a Friday and I am on a bus from Washington to New York. I hibernate all winter, so summer is the perfect time for me to get in all my mini-reunions. And because summer is high tourist season and hotels are pricey (especially in cities like Washington and New York) it is the perfect time for the "weekend crash". The "weekend crash" is when you call up your BFF from college and say, "Hey, what are you up to this weekend? I was thinking I'd come visit. Oh, and by the way, would it be cool if I crashed at your place?" Usually, that works just fine between friends, but after the jump are a few tips on how to be a good weekend crasher and not wear out your welcome.
- Be sure to plan an arrival that works for your host, especially if he/she needs to meet you at the airport, bus stop, etc. A guest that requires you to turn your day upside down is off-putting, to say the least. If scheduling is a concern, be flexible and ask if there is a more convenient place to meet up, i.e. maybe you should take a cab to your host's home, workplace, etc…
- Mi casa is not exactly su casa, so make sure you ask where the appropriate place to drop your bags is before you toss them on the couch.
During Your Visit
- Be flexible. Things won't always go according to plan. Your host may be called in to work last minute on Saturday. Don't make them feel bad about this. Just look at the time as a chance to explore on your own.
- Tidy up. When you're staying at someone else's home, it can be challenging to figure out how to keep your stuff out of the way. But, even if there's not a designated spot for your stuff, keep it in neat and discreet stacks or groups so that it doesn't overtake your host's space.
- Be courteous. Help out in the kitchen with dinner or with the dishes afterwards without being asked. These small gestures go a long way.
- Tidy up. Make sure things are more or less as they were when you arrived. Ask where to place dirty linens and towels.
- Leave no trace. Kind of joking, kind of NOT. We've all been/had one of those guests that leave things behind that you feel obligated to mail. I can't promise that I will mail any forgotten items promptly, or at all, unless it's super important, so it's better for everyone if guests double and triple check and leave with everything they brought.
- Give thanks. Hopefully, you spent the whole weekend eating, drinking and being merry AND you had a free place to stay (!), so say thank you. Verbally, of course, but this should also be done in writing. I know it can hard to remember to write and mail a thank you note after you get back to the grind on Monday morning, here's a tip that I do:
Pack a thank you card in your weekender and after the hangover subsides Sunday morning, pen a short missive and leave it somewhere your host will find it as a pleasant surprise. It's just as good as mailing it and shows you really appreciate your friend's hospitality.
Any other advice for summer guests/hosts? Happy crashing!