There is more to being a good houseguest than just being nice and doing your part to help out. And family members, take note: Guest manners are called for, even when you stay with relatives. Here are some important things to consider when you plan to stay over at someone’s home:

Definitely Do:

  • Make your visit short and sweet. Generally keep your visit to no more than three nights.
  • Bring your own toiletries.
  • Make your bed and clean up after yourself. Keep your bathroom clean: Wipe up any ring in the tub, shaving cream residue in the basin, hair on any object or surface, or dirt on soap.
  • Offer to help out, especially in the kitchen (unless your host objects).
  • Be adaptable. Be ready for anything—or for nothing.
  • Show that you’re enjoying yourself.
  • Offer to pitch in for groceries if you are staying more than two or three nights.
  • Double check to make sure you have all your belongings before you leave.
  • Bring or send a gift, or treat your host to a night out.
  • Send a handwritten thank-you note following your visit.

Definitely Don’t:

  • Ask to bring your pet. If you must travel with your pet, inquire about a good kennel in the area or offer to stay in a hotel. This also gives your host an opening to invite your pet if they wish.
  • Accept an invitation from someone else during your visit without first checking with your host.
  • Use your host’s phone, computer, or any other equipment without asking.
  • Use more than your share of hot water.
  • Snoop!