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Family travel: How to be good guests

By Brad Tuttle
updated February 21, 2017

Crashing with family or friends? Budget Travel asked etiquette experts to weigh in with tips on how to be the perfect houseguest—you know, the kind that hosts invite back. (See our article "The Delicate Art of Mooching.")

The following three bonus tips are specifically aimed at families:

If You've Got a Baby, Use a Changing Pad

It doesn't matter if you change diapers anywhere and everywhere in your own home. "When you're in someone else's house, use a changing pad, even on top of a bedspread or a rug," says Norine Dresser, author of Multicultural Manners: Rules of Etiquette for the 21st Century. "Doing otherwise can be incredibly offensive."

Keep Snack Time Sacred

If the host's kids aren't allowed snacks at certain times, do your best to make your own children abide—or at least sneak them something on the side, so as not to upset anybody. (Just don't get caught!)

Don't Spoil Everyone's Good Time

Disciplining children is tricky business when you're a guest in someone's home. No one wants to hear parents yelling at their children non-stop. "Don't scold your children in front of everyone else," says June Hines Moore, author of Manners Made Easy for the Family. "Take them away from the game or the dinner table to make your point. But you must discipline them. Your hosts may consider it rude if you're not correcting your children as to proper behavior."

For more tips, see our article "The Delicate Art of Mooching."

And feel free to chime in with your own etiquette tips.

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