How To NOT be a bad house guest over the holidays

Wet towels on the floor, signs of snooping in your bathroom cabinet, and letting your kids run wild through your friend's house: if you’re guilty of these, you're probably a bad house guest, even if your hosts are too polite to say so. Don’t make them run and hide the next time you show up on their doorstep. Use our tips to keep the welcome mat out each time you visit.

What’s the biggest sin a house guest can commit? HomeAdvisor, a website that matches customers to local, pre-screened plumbers, re-modelers and other service professionals, conducted a survey of 2000 Americans about the behaviors that are the most offensive. The biggest pet peeve, they learned, was with house guests who stay indefinitely. Don't linger after you said you'd leave. Set a date for your departure and stick to it.

Another etiquette mistake: bringing extra guests along without telling your hosts beforehand. It's worse when freeloading friends leave a big mess for the hostess to clean up. Survey respondents said guests from the millennial generation were the most likely to do this.

And that medicine cabinet? The survey found that hosts really resent someone who rummages around in their personal belongings, whether it’s in the bathroom, bedroom or other area.

Nobody likes undisciplined children running around either. If your kids are visiting with you, make them behave. Don’t wait until your hostess is on her last nerve.

Watch yourself around the refrigerator and the home bar. Your hosts will probably invite you to make yourself at home, and they wouldn't say it if they didn't mean it. Up to a point, that is. Use moderation, so you don't seem greedy.

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