Samantha Brown's Tips For Being A Good House Guest When Traveling This Holiday Season

Picture this. You've arrived at your loved one's house for the holidays and they pull the main course from the oven, only for you to realize you forgot to mention your allergies. You sheepishly get up to whip together a quick dish in the kitchen and notice that you're in your socks when everyone else in the house is wearing shoes. You run upstairs to grab a pair of shoes from your suitcase, only to accidentally let the dogs out, who come barreling down the stairs and run wild in the kitchen.

Listen, a little holiday chaos happens to the best of us. But all of these cringe-inducing moments can be avoided with a little prep work. With the holiday season in full swing, Travel Channel host Samantha Brown recently shared a few tips on how to be a good house guest over on her blog Samantha Brown's Places to Love. Let's just put it this way: communication and mindfulness are key.

Communicate your preference in advance

One of the joys of staying in someone else's home is that it's a chance to step outside of your usual routine. That said, your picture-perfect holiday vacation can hit a few snags when people aren't on the same page. To set everyone up for success, let your host know in advance if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions. Ask what you can bring to help relieve some of the burden of cooking, like a side dish or a dessert. That way, you can stick to some of your preferences while doling out extras for everyone to share. If you have kiddos with restrictions, be sure to pack plenty of snacks they can eat on the side, just in case.

Along that same vein, ask about the home's quiet hours and be mindful of your noise level at night. If you're sharing a bathroom with other people, get clarity around shower schedules. While you're getting ready, try to stick to the basics. This isn't the time to do a full-on bathroom routine, says Brown on her blog. Instead, do what you can from your bedroom and free up the common space for other people to use. Let your flexible attitude be your most memorable trait.

Be mindful of your impact around the house

While you should enjoy yourself and relax — this is a vacation, after all — perhaps don't relax too much. For example, at a hotel, you might feel comfortable keeping your bed unmade, throwing towels on the floor, and leaving the trash can full without worry. As a guest in someone else's home, though, it's best to pick up after yourself and keep your space tidy. The last thing you want to do is to create extra work for the host, who is likely already pulling out all the stops to make your holiday travels less stressful.

When you're getting ready to wrap up your visit, ask what you can do to help, like putting fresh linens on the bed, doing some dishes, or putting all the used towels in the laundry room. Even if they turn down your offer, it's a meaningful gesture. Lastly, before you leave, always make sure to tell the host what a wonderful time you had, Brown writes on her blog. Follow up with a promise to do this again soon, perhaps at your house next year.