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Author Topic: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?  (Read 30961 times)

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What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« on: September 24, 2013, 02:19:48 PM »
I met up with a friend from out of town last night for drinks. It came up in conversation that she's originally planned to stay a night at her SIL's apartment, but after dropping her stuff off there she realized the situation wouldn't work and decided to go home early. She didn't give many specifics other than the SIL seemed to be very busy with work and holding work meetings at the apartment, including during the evenings, and she felt like she'd be in the way. It made me wonder about other people's deal breakers for being a house guest - what would make you turn on your heels and find a hotel? Or turn down an invite altogether? Here's my list:

-unhygienic accommodations. I have a thing about bad bathroom mold in particular.
-safety issues - I have in-laws whose hoarding creates a serious fire and health hazard.
-unruly children - I posted recently about my coworker's experience as a house guest where the host's child hit her with a hockey stick and spat at her.
-hard core drug use - I can deal with inebriated hosts and am far from uptight, except in the case of hard drug use. It makes me highly uncomfortable even if it's "just" recreational.

Other than that, I have happily slept on futons, couches, etc. in places ranging from nicely kept houses to warehouse spaces without full bathrooms, and enjoyed the whole range of experiences.


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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 02:30:05 PM »
I don't ever want to stay again at the home of a couple who decide to get a divorce while I'm there. I didn't know this was going on until after I left, just that everything was really weirdly awkward even though they'd been psyched about my coming when we first planned the trip. When the news broke about a week later, it all made sense.


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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 02:30:52 PM »
A smoking house (even if the owners smoke outside only because the smell gets in everything)
Unruly pets or children
Filth (have never seen a hoarder personally but would include that)
Angry (arguments, bad relationships)
Casual invitations to people (they don't really know)
Too much drinking (more than social)
Drug use


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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 02:34:11 PM »
For me, its pretty much everything. I'm not even comfortable staying in a Bed & Breakfast where I'm paying for a private room in someone's home and its a business transaction. Homes are so very personal, I'm never comfortable staying in one as a house guest.

On the upshot not every wanting to stay in anyone's home makes it super easy and non-awkward to always insist on a hotel when visiting, I can very honestly say "its me, not you" and sine I do it to everyone, no one ever needs to take it personally.


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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 02:46:21 PM »
I don't have many issues, honestly.  All I ask for is a clean bathroom, a comfy place to sleep (a futon or sofa bed is fine), coffee in the morning and being able to go home without smelling like an ashtray. :P I've been to homes where I had to wash everything in the morning, even clean things, because they were saturated with cigarette smoke.
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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 02:47:34 PM »
The only dealbreaker for me is the host actively getting it on with her boyfriend in front of me because she thought I'd "be in the bathroom longer". Yeah, I grabbed my stuff and left.

Strangely enough we're still friends... I just never stay at her home :)


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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 02:56:19 PM »
I need to feel clean, safe and welcome.

If someone makes me feel like I am a burden to them by being an invited guest, I will unburden them.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 03:00:51 PM »
I won't ever stay at the home of a smoker.

I also won't stay at a home with small children, unless I have my own space where I can close the door.  I don't mind if it is the study and my host/ess needs to use the computer but I don't like small children having access to my things.  I carry pain killers, anti-nausea meds and decongestants/antihistamines with me at all times and I don't like having to worry about the kids getting into them.

And like Goosey said, clean, safe and welcome.
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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 03:05:15 PM »
If the hosts come at me with too many house rules I insist we both will be better off if I stay in a hotel. One or two rules like no food or drinks in the living room probably wouldn't be a problem, but if it starts to stray into: no food in the living room, TV off at 9:00 pm, everyone must be up by 8:00 am, no more than 15 minutes in the bathroom in the morning... I completely understand "their house, their rules" and I respect that, but all the rules would make me anxious the whole time I was there.

Also, too many people (of any age). I just need alone time to de-stress, especially when traveling, so if there are people everywhere, I can't cope for more than about 12 hours. I enjoyed college immensely and had great roommates that I'm still friends with, but my year in the dorms was rough for me. I spent a lot of time finding isolated corners of the campus.
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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2013, 03:13:18 PM »
Absolutely no smoking. Nope.
No filth. Haven't picked up the bathroom? Okay, I'm not thrilled, but as long as I'm not showering there, I'll deal. If you have roaches and excrement? No way.

As for the rest, it's mostly "I can tough it out for one night to save money":
I can't do more than one night, if that, on an air mattress or futon.
If you have kids, I'm going to stay elsewhere long-term.
If we have vastly different schedules, I'm not going to get up at 5am with you, or stay up until 2am watching loud movies.
If you are dirty, I'm staying at a hotel.

I have a friend who is very disorganized, has cats and a toddler, and a futon. I can crash there overnight without problem, but anything else, and I'd be booked into a hotel.


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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 03:17:59 PM »
Last visit home, I told my parents that if their next house is as cluttered as the current one (and as unsafe for visiting toddlers), we would stay at a hotel.  They're moving soon, so I expect that even in the worst case scenario, there will be at least a few years before they reach the current level of clutter but seriously, it's oppressive.

As I've gotten older, my standards have gotten higher.  In my 20s I would never mind crashing at a friend's place if it weren't that clean.  These days I notice dust and dirt more so I would be less comfortable staying somewhere that the hosts hadn't made an effort to clean up.

Although I haven't had to deal with this, a smoking household is a non-starter.  I've had to change so-called non-smoking hotel rooms and rental cars because of lasting smoke smells.


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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 03:55:34 PM »
Filth - I don't mind lived in house-papers, toys, and stuff, but I went to a friends house and it was just so disgusting I was getting the willies.

Drug use - No, just no

If I don't get along with all family members - I had a friend I dearly loved, but her husband and I just did not mesh and altho I was always nice and polite, he would barely grunt at me when I would try to speak with him.  A weekend of that was uncomfortable because it was so obvious he didn't want me there (he actually hated anyone at his castle).

Too many people crashing there- If everyone and their brother is staying and I end up with the ice cold shower because I got to go last, no.  I am friendly but not into commune living.  I would have loved to stay with some relatives I was reconnecting with a few years ago, but there were so many of the family in town (and I had an absolute blast with them all) but it was just too many for the space and the hotel was close enough that I still spent a lot of time with them and still had my own bed and a hot shower.  I am getting too darn old to sleep on a floor.

I will adjust my schedule to my host's, will follow their house rules, have no problem helping out, buying groceries, taking them out for a meal but the above ones make me run for a hotel.

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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2013, 04:15:27 PM »
A comfortable-for-me temperature. I am less tolerant of heat than many people, and at some point I'm going to have to decline invitations from people without air conditioning. I also don't want to freeze: my in-laws believe in keeping the heat low and wearing multiple sweaters, and while I can understand that in principle, it means that I can't comfortably go to the bathroom at night (when they have the heat at its lowest) or take a bath or shower, because eventually I have to get out of the hot water and then I'm dripping wet in a 50-degree bathroom.

And not to feel unwelcome. That can mean being on good terms with the entire household, or a friend who has a reasonable agreement with their housemate about guests. ("Reasonable" meaning they have in fact talked it over, rather than either party assuming that of course guests are okay, and that I know whether the housemate I don't know is going to be "Hi, Mike" and then we go our separate ways, or I'm going to be having dinner with my friend and the housemate.)
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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2013, 04:19:21 PM »
I am pretty picky, I admit. I would really just rather stay in a hotel--I get my own space that is clean, quiet, and secure without having to share with others. I know people try to be hospitable, but sometimes we just have different lifestyles and expectations, and I always feel like I'm walking on eggshells when I stay in other people's homes, trying to not get in the way, not take too long in the bathroom, not leave my stuff lying around, going along with what they want to do, that kind of thing. After I've stayed a couple days at someone's house I usually just say to myself, "Never again" (for that person, but also strengthening my resolve to avoid it with everyone).

It's kind of like WillyNilly, it's not like people are really doing anything wrong, it's just that I can't be comfortable in their homes for that long.


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Re: What are your deal breakers as a house guest?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2013, 04:29:24 PM »
No smoking or drugs besides alcohol. I can't breathe when someone smokes tobacco, and I don't want to be around illegal drugs. Chewing tobacco grosses me out in all kinds of ways.

I would prefer that the person I'm staying with be okay with my singing randomly, but A) I wouldn't do that during their TV programs or something, and B) I will do my best not to sing if they ask.

I also need three pillows to sleep, but that's a me thing. I try to bring 1 or 2 of my own so I'm not being a massive pain to my host. I also am not a fan of sharing a bed with any pet, no matter how cute.

Otherwise, I'm pretty laid back. Obviously, nothing gross, and I would like a heads-up if they're doing a shrimp boil so I can sit outside till all the pots and pans are scrubbed or in the dishwasher. But if I had to sleep on the floor with three pillows and a blanket, I'd be pretty cool with that.

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