Being invited to stay overnight in someone's home is an honor—one you shouldn't take lightly. And as the guest, you have certain responsibilities toward the host.
Valuing Your Host
Have you ever worried that being an overnight guest is an imposition to your host? In most cases, the host wouldn't have invited you if they felt that way. Regardless, it's important to show your gratitude with a note to say thank you for hosting, even if you already brought a host/hostess gift.
Staying overnight in someone's home can be an enjoyable experience for both the host and the guest if you show respect for each other and don't forget to follow proper etiquette guidelines. However, it still requires a considerable amount of work for the host, which you must recognize as the guest.
Think about all of the things your host did to prepare for your visit. Chances are they purchased extra food, washed sheets, planned events, and rearranged their schedule to accommodate you.
While you were there, they entertained you, cooked meals with you in mind, and dealt with disruptions to their normal routine. And after you left, they had to bring their house back to pre-visit order.
What Goes in the Thank You Note
When writing a thank you note after spending a night or more in someone's home, the first sentence should have the words "thank you," "appreciate," or something along those lines. The next sentence should expound on that by expressing something specific and positive about your stay.
Feel free to mention more than one detail you enjoyed about the visit. For example, you may want to write about the comfortable accommodations and the delicious meals. Close with a statement about the future, such as an offer to reciprocate.
When to Send the Thank You Note
Don't wait long to send a letter of appreciation to your host. If you do it the day you get home (or sooner if you have other stops along the way), it won't weigh down your to-do list after your trip. Never wait longer than a couple of weeks to send a thank you.
Overnight Stay Thank You Note Samples
Dear Mrs. Zully,
I want to thank you for being so gracious and opening your beautiful home to me last weekend. I had a wonderful time chatting with your family. I would love to reciprocate and have you stay with me next time you visit Nashville.
Dear Sam and Sally,
Thank you so much for having our family in your home. We haven’t been able to stop talking about the comfortable beds, delicious meals, and delightful conversation. We look forward to seeing all of you again. Maybe you can stay with us next time you come to Idaho.
Thank you for opening your lovely home to my husband and me last weekend. I had a great time, and I'm happy that our husbands finally had an opportunity to get to know each other. If you and Mike can ever get away, Patrick and I would love to have you stay with us.
Thank You Gift
If you spent several nights in someone's home, it's a good idea to send a gift along with your thank you note:
- Gift card to a favorite restaurant
- Spa basket
- Coffee table book
- Photo album with pictures from your visit inside
The gift doesn't have to be elaborate, but it should be something you know your host will like.