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Be the perfect guest

By Faeza
24 June 2016

Image: Coast 2 coast chronicles Image: Coast 2 coast chronicles

A visit from relatives in June is not supposed to surprise you as much, as such is expected at that time of the year.

The holidays is a time for family; a time to share and be jolly. But it is also a period where most people overspend trying to please visiting relatives.

As much as the season can be joyous, it can also be stressful, with family members visiting or you not knowing what is needed from you when visiting them. These are the things you need to consider to have a stress-free visit:

GROCERIES

Food is very expensive, so when you visit a loved one or you are playing host this season, you should bear in mind that the price of food has gone up. It's always a great idea for all working adults to contribute towards the cost of food during this period. This way, there is plenty of food for everyone to feast on and no one is feeling like they are carrying the burden alone while others are just enjoying free food.

ACCOMMODATION

Careful consideration needs to be taken when deciding to take your whole family to visit a relative. Their house and beds may not bebig enough to accommodate you all. So before embarking on that long trip for a sleepover, call the host and ask if they will be able to accommodate you and your loved ones, and if any of you need to bring along sleeping bags. This will prevent awkward moments where you find that there is no place for you to sleep.

ELECTRICITY

A lot of appliances need electricity to function, from the television that the children love so much to the washing machine, the kettle, the fridge and the geyser that gives us hot water for that long bath after a hectic day. So it’s only fair that when you visit your relative in June, you help out with the electricity costs and not leave the host with a sky-high electricity bill.

WATER

No one likes to get that enormous water bill at the end of the month. When you are visiting, try to use water sparingly and fight the temptation to fill the bathtub when taking a bath. Being wasteful is rude and can result in people not wanting you to visit anymore. If you are hosting, you should also brace yourself and understand that the bill might be higher than usual come month end, so adjust your budget accordingly to be able to cover the extra cost.

CHORES AROUND THE HOUSE

Sharing is caring and the same applies to household chores. As a host these coming holidays, allow your guests to help you where possible and don't be too critical on how they do the household chores. Allow them to fit in and feel at home. And if you are a guest, don’t expect your host to play the maid and pick up after you. Help out with the dishes and cleaning your room. Doing your part will show the host that you are a great guest.

ENTERTAINMENT

Have a conversation ahead of time about the activities that you will do during the holidays and how much they will cost. Allow everyone to contribute to what they would like to do. This will ensure that no one feels excluded and limit conflict. Remember to pick activities that suit your budget and won’t leave you penniless when the holidays are over.

BATHROOM ETIQUETTE

There is no excuse for not leaving the bathroom clean for the person who is going to use it next. Be a good guest and clean the bathroom after using it. Always leave it in a decent matter. As a host, your responsibility is to ensure that you have enough towels, hand wash and enough toilet paper for your guests. These are the kind of things you can’t expect your visitors to bring along when they come to visit.

THE DURATION OF THE STAY

This is something that needs to be communicated before the visit even happens. It allows everyone to plan properly and make the most out of the family gathering. Long visits often lead to clashes. It's advisable to keep the visit reasonably short unless the host insists that it should be longer.

OTHER NECESSITIES TO BRING ALONG

Arriving empty handed at your relative's door for a lengthy visit is just inconsiderate as things are expensive. Regardless of how much you love your family, the truth is there are a few necessities they shouldn’t expect you to cater for. As a visitor, you need to bring along your own toiletries, toys for the children and a few blankets, just in case the host doesn’t have enough. If you are on a special diet, make provision for that so that your host won't have any problems catering for you.

IS THE VISIT APPROPRIATE?

Surprise visits can be problematic. They are often a nuisance to the person being paid a visit because they might have other plans as they were not expecting visitors. It’s best to call beforehand and see if a visit will suit the family member you are intending to spend your holidays with and agree on a date so that the host can have enough time to prepare for you.