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Make sure you clear your visit duration with the hosts as far in advance as possible—at their invitation, of course. The last thing you want to do is take advantage of your host. You may call it spontaneous and fun, but your cousin and her husband may call it inconvenient. A grateful guest always brings their host a gift —at least a little something to show their gratitude.
No need to haul something huge and extravagant to their place. A local treat from your hometown bakery, a beautiful coffee table book, flowers, a nice candle, or bottle of wine all work perfectly. Get them something on theme: beach towels, a beach bag, or cocktail-themed gift would be perfect.
When you arrive, gently inquire about how things are done to avoid any misunderstandings. What time does everyone usually wake up and go to bed? Anything you should know about the kids or pets? Should you leave the thermostat alone? Also, refrain from finishing the leftovers or milk but if you do, replace it. Try to limit screen time around them and only check s, texts, and social media in the privacy of your own room. Before you walk down the hall covered by only a towel, curse or tell inappropriate jokes freely, or come downstairs for breakfast in your PJs, take cues from your host—when in doubt, err on the side of modesty.
Unhelpful guests rarely get invited back. Things you should offer to do: Help prep or cook meals; set the table and do the dishes; drive people in your car; occupy the kids while their parents take a well-deserved nap; fix a little something around the house if you have the skills; or take the dog for a walk.
Your hosts might be happy to see a Broadway show or the Lincoln Memorial for the third time, but they may also choose to get some things done while you sitesee. Your friend might actually be working during the day, so being able to entertain yourself will be a godsend for both of you. Let your host know your plans and when you think you will get back. The last thing you want is for your host to have to hire a cleaner after your stay. On your last day, triple-check the bedroom and bathroom for your belongings, and strip the sheets and put them in a pillowcase at the foot of the bed.
Do a quick wipe-down of the counters in the bathroom for toothpaste, extra cups, or loose hair. And, of course, return any items to their place, like a book you borrowed from the bookshelf. Throw in a specific detail about how much fun you had doing a certain activity, how hard you laughed at a particular story, or how delicious a specific meal was. Finish with an offer to open up your own place later on. For an optional but memorable thank you, pick up a fresh bouquet of flowers and leave them in a vase on the kitchen counter with your note before you leave.
Otherwise, mail your card within two or three days of the end of your visit.
By Real Simple Updated August 02, Save FB Tweet More. Trust us, this is how you get invited back.
Start Slideshow. Black and white day planner and calendar. Woman with luggage knocking on a door. Friends showing up on the doorstep to another friend's home. Woman on her phone in the kitchen.
Woman in pajamas looking in the bathroom mirror. Dishwasher with blue and white dishes. Woman biking alone. Birdseye view of toiletries. Woman putting white sheets on a bed.
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