If you're planning on visiting friends or families this weekend and you want to be invited back, here are some rules to live by.
1. DO: Arrive Bearing Gifts
Pick up a little something (flowers or consumable goods like muffins and jam, yummy treats, coffee or a bottle of wine) to bring with you. By the way, there’s no rule for how much to spend on a hostess present, as it really is the thoughts that counts. But, do keep in mind you’re saving as much as $200 per night on a hotel.
2. DON’T: Expect A Taxi Service
It’s probably not a big deal for your friend to pick you up from the train station, but be conscious of whether you have an "Amazing Race" list of things you must do while visiting. If you’re going to want to run around town, rent a car or look into a local taxi service. Unless she offers, your host is not your tour guide.
3. DO: Join In On The Fun
Let’s say that you’d love nothing more than to chill out on the porch and read Sarah Silverman's new memoir…but your hosts have made plans to take you on an all-day canoe ride. Remember that they just want to spend time with you; suck it up and go with them. (No grousing, either!)
4. DO: Something On Your Own
On the flip slide, it’s okay to give everyone some space. It’s fine to wake up early to grab coffee in town and bring back the paper for everyone, or to hit your bed early one evening.
5. DO: Clean Up After Yourself
We know you know this, but don’t forget to wash your dishes, hang up your towels, make up the bed (or couch) each morning, and strip the sheets the last morning you’re there. The general idea is not to leave chaos in your wake.
6. DO: Play Chef For The Night
Take everyone out for a meal or drinks or offer to make dinner one night, including whipping up a signature cocktail. Martha Stewart has a bunch of original and delicious summer-specific cocktail ideas (like Bing Cherry Mojitos).
7. DON’T: Be A Jerk
Just be the charming, witty grown-up that we know you are. So, don’t bring your un-housebroken Fido. Don’t get wasted and start a screaming match about Sarah Palin. Don’t finish all the half and half or use up all the hot water in the shower. If you’re bringing a significant other, don’t act like you're on your honeymoon. Do say thank you. Often.
8. DO: Be Charming
Joan Rivers famously suggests that if you are a house guest you must come prepared with a few fun stories to share with others, in order to keep yourself (and the stay) interesting. At the very least, skim the paper on the way so you’ll be up-to-date on the latest world happenings.
9. DON’T: Overstay Your Welcome
Ben Franklin once said that both fish and visitors smell after three days. If you’re going to hang out in town longer than that, ask yourself whether a motel room is in order.
10. DO: Send A Post-Visit Thank You
If you brought a present and made a meal, mailing a simple thank you note is enough. If you didn’t bring a gift, send a little something now! Check out Mighty Goods and Apartment Therapy for cool ideas.
Do YOU have a tip we missed? Add it to the comments! The best one gets a LearnVest treat.