Editor’s note: The following guest post was written by Robert Reid, the US travel editor for Lonely Planet.
This will be my final blog post for you all! And this is your last chance to download any of our 15 free mini-guides off our website so go now and collect them all before they go away on September 5th.
Since this weekend is Labor Day, I’m sure many of you already have your travel plans set. Thus, I won’t give you new suggestions for where to go but rather give some advice that you can perhaps use this weekend, and for years to come.
With rising airfares, hotel costs, and gas prices, people fortunate (and unfortunate) enough to live in destination-friendly places often get a double-dose of cousins and friends dropping by to set up camp for a few days, or more.
But being a good host or guest isn't easy, so how do you make sure you're still friends at the end of the stay, and maybe even have plans for doing it all again next year? We need rules! So, we polled the Lonely Planet staff, and came up with a set of rules for hosts and house guests alike.
Lonely Planet co-founder Tony Wheeler was one of the first to offer a rule for house guests: "The oldest line is still the best — guests and fish begin to smell after three days. Or, like fish, guests should go off after three days." There you have it — Rule #1: Three days max, even for family. If you're staying longer, get a hotel.
A general rule everyone should follow: have fun, but remember to play fair.
For house guests:
- If you borrow your hosts' car, fill up the tank.
- Contribute to food: assist in shopping or offer money for groceries. Or replace things like milk and toilet paper as they are used. If you have dietary restrictions, bring your own food. Do the dishes. Or take your hosts out to dinner.
- Send a hand-written thank you note. It's a nice touch.