How to Be a Good House Guest

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What's better than owning a beach house? Having a friend with a beach house that invites you for a visit. Here are the rules for being a good guest (and securing a follow-up invite).

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  1. Arrive and leave on time. Ascertain times that work for your hosts before you head out. When working with families, you don't want ot mess up nap times or arrive right as the kids' pre-dinner melt down.
  2. Be tidy. Do not leave wet towels on the floor or dirty shoes in the hall. This is not the Hyatt. Be tidier than you would at your own house. Make the bed and put your dishes in the dishwasher.
  3. Keep on schedule. Visit early risers? Plan on getting to bed early so you can join in the breakfast talk. Even if you are a night owl, it's rude to keep hours that are wildly different than your hosts.
  4. Lend a hand. Offer to cook a meal, take the kids on an outing or organize a treasure hunt. Good guests know it is up to them to pitch in.
  5. Guests do not come empty handed. And they always write a thank you note.

Here are a few ideas for hostess gifts:

Burn a CD of your favorite dinner party songs and present as a gift.
Prepare a basket of gourmet goodies. We are nuts about the Wasabi Roe at Russ and Daughters, be sure to add a local goodie from your neighborhood.
Notecards: Love these pink crab ones from Pretty Printing. (2 for $38)
Crayola Sidewalk Chalk Carton: Perfect for the kids to share ($9.99)
Built NY Wine Tote:Add your favorite bottle of white wine for a picnic-ready gift ($14.99)

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Don't give them coasters or frames--they likely already have hundreds. Am I forgetting anything? Would love to hear your tips.

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