So you’ve scored an invitation to stay with friends someplace amazing this summer. Nicely done! Now make sure you’re invited back by being the very best house guest you can possibly be. Just follow these simple tips:
1. Communicate your plans
Perhaps you’d love to just relax at the beach all day or have purchased tickets to the theater. As soon as you know your schedule, share it with your host so that they can plan when to spend time with you and when to attend to their own needs. Also ask your hosts about their schedule so you can work around anything that they want to accomplish over the weekend. Also communicate well in advance any allergies that may affect meal planning or restaurant selection.
2. Chip in for food and beverages
Speaking of meal planning, make sure you offer to pick up groceries or beverages while you are staying at someone’s home. Don’t just eat and drink what you’d like without offering to replace it. They may not let you pay for groceries, but your offer is surely appreciated.
3. Clean up after yourself
You’re not staying in a hotel, after all, so make sure you make your bed each day, wash dishes after you use them and put away your toiletries instead of leaving them all over the bathroom for everyone to see. Wipe down counters, gather up empty beer bottles and take out the trash if it’s getting full. When it’s time for you to leave, strip the bed, gather all your used towels and offer to do a load of laundry.
4. Bring a gift or take them out
To show your thanks, either bring a small gift with you for your host, leave one behind when you depart or take them out to dinner while you are there. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but a small token of your appreciation will go a long way. Perhaps during your stay you will discover something they could use for the house or they will mention a restaurant they have always wanted to try.
5. Step away from your phone and tablet
There’s nothing worse than expecting to spend quality time with friends and instead finding them glued to their phone or tablet all weekend. Put away the electronics and connect with your host in real-time.
6. Send a thank you note when you get home
Nothing beats receiving a hand-written thank you note from a houseguest, so grab your best stationery and express your gratitude for your host’s hospitality. Mention anything specific that you enjoyed doing or you found particularly thoughtful, and make sure you send it within a few days of returning home.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll soon be packing for another wonderful weekend away.