People love crashing… with friends guys! You didn’t actually think we were writing a blog to prep you for… nevermind.
Crashing with friends or family is such a fun and easy way to enjoy a trip and can save you tons of money. That being said, these are a few guidelines we live by to ensure our time as a guest goes smoothly, as does our trip.
- Be grateful for your accommodations. Dude, everyone hates an air mattress! Have you ever met someone that saw an air mattress and was like, “Oh my gosh, YES! I love air mattresses, they’re so comfy!”… No way! They’re horrible. One night on that thing and you never walk straight again. Still, keep in mind, whether its a lush guest room or the dreaded air mattress on the floor next to Fido’s bed, your hosts are putting themselves out to give you the opportunity to stay for free, and air mattress or not, that’s no small favor.
- Stay out of the way. Unless your host has given you a guest room with it’s own bathroom, or has taken the week off to spend with you, be aware that you’ll be operating around other people’s schedules. This means steering clear of the bathrooms when they need to get ready for work or bed, out of the kitchen areas when they’re packing lunch, making dinner etc. The more normal they feel they can keep their schedules with you around, the more apt you are to find them in calm, good spirits, and also be invited back.
- Rent a car! Think about how much money you’re saving not having to rent a hotel room! Don’t make it harder for your hosts by having to be driven everywhere you want to go. Sometimes they’re going to be tired from work or disinterested in seeing the things that may be fresh for you, but typical for them. Having this independence will help you get out of their hair when they need to unwind, but also the freedom to accomplish as much as you want! Don’t have a license? Pretty much every place has Uber, Lyft or some version of car service. We’ve called Uber boats in Greece! No excuses!
- Find balance. It’s easy to want to spend all of your time with your host if it’s someone you truly adore. It’s just as easy to spend all of your time independently and barely see them at all. Do your best to read the situation and find what works for everyone. Some hosts love playing tour guide – embrace this and have a blast! Other hosts just want to watch TV with you after their workday, embrace that too. Just be careful that you’re not being so independent that you make them feel ignored and used, or so involved that they have to constantly pay attention to you. Nervous about how to figure this out? Pay attention to what your host offers without you making suggestions. If they say “hey how about a museum tomorrow”, then feel free to take them up on it! If they’re not making many suggestions throw yours in and invite them so they can choose their level of engagement, “I think I might go to the museum tomorrow, if you want to come.” This way they know you’re taken care of so they don’t have to commit to something if they don’t want to.
- Find a gesture to say “thank you” as valuable as one night per three nights you’re there. Confusing? Here’s an example: You’re staying 3 nights with your sister in Portland. One night in a hotel room there costs about $90. So you take her and her boyfriend out to dinner. There for 6 nights? Maybe you pay for dinner and the cocktail bar you guys go to afterward. Remember, they’re saving you money by putting themselves out, so put yourself out a little too. It’s a nice way to say thank you and earns points toward being invited back by showing your true gratitude for the favor – plus it gets you all out together!
- Send a thank you! So you said thank you. You hugged thank you. You bought a thank you dinner. Still, send a card. It’s an old formality that goes a long way. Let them know you realize how taxing it can sometimes be to add guests to your daily life, and that you appreciate they were willing to do that for you.
- Host someone yourself. The best way to learn what guests should and should not do is to host guests yourself. See what makes you happy and what really makes you tick. You’ll learn quickly that having guests can be really fun but also really difficult. Also, remember that if possible given your living situation, you should be willing to return the favor to anyone you stay with!
- Communicate. Communication is key. We all know that. But actually letting your guests know your plans, the things you want to do, what you’ve scheduled for yourself, etc makes it so much easier for them to set their expectations.
- Have fun. At the end of the day the more fun everyone has… well… the more fun everyone has! Hah. So have fun!!!!