Home Hosting tips
Contact other members well in advance and
confirm your arrival date and time a week or two before you arrive. Take into
account time zones and summer/winter time.
Make sure that you know where they live and
how to get there. It's probably a good idea to have their phone number so you
can inform them of any delay.
When you arrive
Get off to a good start. If your hosts have
proposed that they come and fetch you somewhere: be on time.
Your hosts do not expect anything in return
for their hospitality, especially not money. But it probably is a good idea to
offer a token gift when you arrive. Something typical of your country or region
will always be appreciated.
Be aware of cultural sensitivities. A gift
that seems perfectly acceptable to you may appear inappropriate to your hosts. Some
people may not unwrap or even look at your present while you're there. Don't
bring alcohol until you've figured out your hosts' (non)drinking habits.
During your stay
Don't expect the person or family that you're staying with to entertain, pamper or care for you. You are not a paying guest in a B and B or a family hotel. You are there by invitaion only and people do what they can. And because they don't expect anything in return, their welcome and their efforts are priceless.
They have their own agenda, routines and priorities. Don't get in the way.
Ask about house rules (smoking, playing
music, tv, removing shoes, use of heating or air-conditioning, etc.)
In the morning, your hosts need to get
ready for their own day. Be mindful when you use the bathroom or kitchen.
In the evening, your hosts will need some
time to unwind, discuss private matters, help children with home work, etc.
When you leave in the morning, check when they will be back and suggest that
you'll return an hour after them.
Some of the most interesting conversation
topics can be quite controversial until you've got to know each other a bit better.
If your hosts suggest doing something together, accept their proposals. Never turn down a proposal for a "guided tour".
You will probably want to express your
appreciation to your hosts in some tangible way. Here are some suggestions:
- do a household or gardening chore
- go shopping for them and pay (part of)
the grocery bill
- pay for a full tank if they have been
driving you around
- cook them a meal or treat them to dinner or lunch.
When you leave
Leave everything as clean and tidy as you found it, give each other a hug, and keep in touch.