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It’s a privilege when friends invite you to their favorite lake for the weekend, but if you want to score a second (and third) invitation, you want to ensure you’re on your best guest behavior. How so, exactly? Below I have answered some common house guest questions to keep your hostess wanting you back for more adventures!

Over the summer, I’ll be visiting friends who live on the lake. Is it necessary to bring a hostess gift? If yes, what type of gift would be appropriate?

A hostess gift is a wonderful way to show gratitude. Consider the length of your visit when choosing a gift. If it’s a longer stay, you may want to do something a little more elaborate. Otherwise, even a small gesture is an excellent way to thank someone for their hospitality.

Some of my personal favorite hostess gifts include highlighting items from where I live. The Conner Prairie gift shop has a great “made in Indiana” section. Candles are a great choice if your hostess is not sensitive to smells and scents. If I decide to go with flowers, I always make sure they’re in a pretty vessel so I don’t create extra work for the hostess.

The Linden Tree boutique in Noblesville always has interesting gift ideas. I appreciate that they offer complimentary gift wrapping. My favorite hostess gift ever received would be a beautifully bound set of vintage books. They were tied together with a sweet lace ribbon and work perfectly on my mantle. I often look at them and remember the guest who gave them to me.

If I pack some entertainment for everyone to enjoy during my visit, do you believe the hostess will be offended, as if I came prepared to be bored?

Not at all. Although, being a great guest means you have a willingness to go with the flow and let the hostess lead the itinerary. Be intentional to take part in discussion and activities, and also flexible when plans get delayed or changed.

Is it rude to ask my host for the Wi-Fi password if it isn’t provided?

If you’re staying overnight, most likely you know the host well, and it’s not inappropriate to request the information at the same time you’re inquiring what towels to use and what time breakfast is in the morning.

During my visit, I know we’ll be doing some boating, should I offer to help with the expense of gas for the boat?

If someone asks you to go boating for an evening, I don’t believe it’s expected that you help pay for fuel. However, if you’re enjoying a weekend full of boating excursions, then yes. It’s proper etiquette to offer to help with all boating expenses over the course of a full day or more. This can include fuel, ice and snacks for everyone to enjoy.

At the end of my visit, should I strip the bed linens or just remake the bed?

It is absolutely appropriate to directly ask the hostess what they would prefer for you to do with the linens at the conclusion of your stay. If asked to strip the bed, put the comforter and pillows back on the bed and make it look as nice as possible. Also, at the end of your visit, it’s advised you take your used towels to the laundry room area or neatly place them in the guest bathroom to be collected by the hostess upon your departure.


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