Friday, September 4, 2009

How to be a Good Guest

It's all about etiquette, at least according to Sue Fox, author of Etiquette for Dummies. If you're heading out of town with your family, and you might be swinging by a friend's or extended family member's home, you want to be the kind of person who gets invited back.

The first technique? Ask carefully whether or not there are hotels in the areas when you're talking to the potential host. Don't assume you will get an invitation. Broach the subject lightly, and don't be put off if they simply recommend the best options and move on. After all, there might be more guests that they can manage at the event, and do you really want to be that guest who wears out his or her welcome before she even gets inside? Of course not! Plus, your hotel hunt might just deliver a gem that you simply can't ignore.

That being said, be sure to keep some other rules on hand to be a perfect guest, even if you do decide to book a hotel for a few night's visit.

Keep Your Stay Short
At the start of your vacation, decide the exact start and end of the visit. Try to spend some time out of your host's house to visit cool landmarks, and don't try to stretch out your stay any longer than planned. “Fish and houseguests stink after three days,” they say, and many believe that's true.

Be Up Front with Everything
Showing up with the kids? Bringing your new boyfriend? Warn your hosts about any unexpected or unusual arrivals bound for their door, even if you'll be headed to their house just for the day. Every host deserves to know how many are showing up at their bbq or gathering, just like you'd tell a hotel the same when booking. Don't wear out your welcome as soon as you arrive!

Maintain Contact
Double-check your plans with your host before you get there, and be sure that you receive directions and check events a proper amount of time before you show up. Call on the morning of the day you will arrive to be sure that none of the plans have changed—and offer to bring anything along when you arrive.

Consider Half-Half
Staying one night at your houseguests' and another at the hotel is completely fair. Look up some hotels close to the location, and consider staying at them to take in a different view of the location you're checking out with your hosts--and to preserve your relationship with said hosts.

Hotels to Consider
Vacationing in Chicago?
The Westin Michigan Avenue
The Westin Michigan Avenue is on the Magnificent Mile, located close to the upscale shops of the Water Tower Place. Right near the loop and business stops if necessary, it has an elegant element and has unparalleled service for business and leisure guests. With 752 guest rooms (including 23 suites), you'll find a place no matter when you're planning that vacation.

Traveling to Chicago?
The Langham, Boston
Downtown Boston is bustling and adorable, and staying in the middle of the action is a good way to balance time in suburban paradise. This AAA four-diamond Boston hotel is a national architectural landmark and a very fine hotel. Be sure to visit the New England Seaquarium, the Freedom Trail, and the waterfront while you are there.

Traveling to Texas?
Four Seasons Hotel Houston
This hotel has got the summer charm and elegance that you expect in Texas, while still keeping you close to business and financial districts. There are plenty of museums in the arts district to enjoy, and shopping centers await at a variety of locations. America's fourth-largest city will impress you just as much as this high-class luxury hotel will.

Traveling to Seattle?
Fairmont Olympic Hotel
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel is located right in the center of Seattle's business and entertainment area, making it a convenient stop for the Seattle Art Museum, Pike Place Market, and the convention center. If you happen to book yourself a deluxe room, lounge around on your oversized ottoman and armchair in perfect luxury hotel peace.

Don't forget your manners!

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