The Best Guest

We travel – a lot – and while most often staying in hotels during city jaunts, there are occasions when we stay with a friend or loved one. Last weekend, I went to Richmond and stayed with friends overnight, but there’s the famous quote “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”

Summer is prime season for beach invites or long weekends with friends, so what’s the best way to secure your invite next year? Here are five simple tricks to guarantee you’re at the top of the list.

  1. Have a conversation with your host ahead of time so you know the plan for the visit and what you’ll need to pack. Make a plan and decide what you’ll need for each outing (or, loungewear that’s appropriate if you’re hanging at the house) and only bring the essentials.
  2. Leave no trail behind. Pick up after yourself, rinse out the sink if there’s a splat of toothpaste and help out where you can. I often offer to help clear the table, pick up coffee the next morning or strip the sheets before I leave. Even if they say “no,” it’s always nice to offer.
  3. Keep the visit short. (see quote above about the fish!)
  4. Bring a gift. Coffee, candles or homemade goodies are my favorites.
  5. Send a “Thank You” note. Share a favorite memory, your favorite meal or highlight from the trip, along with your heartfelt gratitude.

While the adage “what’s mine is yours” or “my house, is your house” is charming, please don’t take it to heart. It’s still their home and you are a guest.  Be kind, courteous and charming.  Since I’m an “early to bed, early to rise” kind of girl, I also pack my iPad or book to read quietly before others get up in the morning.