As you woke up this morning to the sound of your mother or another houseguest meandering around your kitchen, were you asking yourself “Do I really love holiday leftovers?”

Houseguests are always interesting.

I traveled to Wales not too long ago. For those of you who don’t already know the answer, let me ask you a Jay Leno-ish kind of question. Is Wales a country or is it part of England?


I don’t really know what it is.  Actually, they think it is a country.  It is actually part of the United Kingdom, but it’s not really England. So, Wales wants to be its own country.

Anyway, when we were in Wales we stayed with a couple of friends. Let me tell you something about houseguests and about being a houseguest.

My Grandmother used to say that houseguests were like fish — they tend to stink after three days. So you either need to cook the fish or kick the houseguests out after that.

If you do have a houseguest, though, you need to make them feel special. When we were staying with those friends in a beautiful castle in Wales, it really opened my eyes about the right way to treat a houseguest.

I mean, I am pretty good with houseguests, but these guys just went over and above the hosting call of duty. They picked us up from the airport. they took us out to dinner.

That is really important by the way. When you have a houseguest in from out of town, do you take them out to dinner or do you expect them to take you out to dinner?

When people come to visit you, it is really nice to take them out to dinner. Treat them to a good meal.

They made the trip cross-country to meet you. The least you can do is take them out to dinner.

Also, you need to remember some of the “little things” that equal a nice experience for your houseguests. Did you put nice clean towels in the bathroom (or did you leave out the towels that have been hanging in the bathroom for the past two weeks)?

Did you change the sheets on the bed? I have stayed at people’s houses and slept in beds in which I swear their dog slept the night before.

I have stayed at people’s houses where they have expected me to pay for all the meals when we went out to dinner. It’s like they think, “Well I am giving him a place to stay so the least he can do is treat me for dinner every night.” I even had one host actually say that out loud to me one time.

I would rather get a hotel room sometimes. I have stayed at people’s homes where the accommodations at any hotel would be much cleaner.

When you have a houseguest, you give them the royal treatment. You make sure you treat them well.

You pick them up from the airport or, if you can’t, you make arrangements for a cab. Make sure you treat them to dinner. Show them a good time.

Offer the keys to your car or take them out to do something they enjoy. Educate them a little bit about your town.  If you don’t want to do everything with them, give them a list of things they can do in your town.

Pick one of your favorite restaurants and take them there. Choose a restaurant they can’t go to in their hometown (and don’t pick a chain restaurant like an Applebees).

The bottom line is that you need to treat your houseguests really nicely, because traveling is hard. I traveled for about three weeks and, I have to tell you, I felt like royalty at each person’s home at which we stayed. That is how every houseguest should feel.