Flowers on a NightstandThere’s nothing better than an invitation to a friend’s cottage on a cove or a vacation condo in the mountains for a weekend getaway. The mere gesture of a host opening up their home to guests is such an act of generosity, that a reciprocal show of hospitality is almost a “manners must.”

Show your appreciation as a house guest with some of these ideas, and chances are, you’ll be invited back for years to come.

Thank Your Host with Flowers

The gift of flowers before, during, or after your stay is one of the best ways to thank your host. Flowers always enhance a room and create the feeling of a special occasion, which can be as simple as the pleasure of one’s company. If your host is a “planner,” find out who their preferred local florist is and have an arrangement delivered the day before you arrive. Some hosts like to have every detail taken care of when preparing for overnight guests, and will enjoy seeing your reaction to where they have placed your flowers.

If your host loves a surprise, lavish them when you land on their doorstep with fabulous flowers from a talented floral designer in their area by using this National Florist Directory. As an expression of gratitude, be sure to send flowers within a week after you’ve left their home to elicit fond memories of your time spent together.

Pitch In

Figure out a way that you can help out during your stay. If your host is amenable to sharing costs, offer to take a trip to the grocery store with them and chip in on a meal or two. I love it when guests help set the table or clear away dishes when we’re finished dining, since I’m usually the one in the kitchen making the meals.

Tidy up each day by making your bed, and be considerate of your belongings in common areas. In other words, don’t just toss your wallet and cell phone on the kitchen counter like you would at home. Keep your items in your designated guest bedroom, and help keep the host’s home free of clutter.

Surprise Your Host with a Homemade Meal

Make a homemade meal during your stay or simply put together a basket of baked goods one morning if cooking is not your thing. This gesture is top on my list both as a host and a guest. No matter how much you love your friends, being a host can be overwhelming and exhausting at times. The guest that says, “Why don’t I cook tonight while you relax and have a glass of wine,” is always welcome in my home!

What are some of your favorite ways house guests have thanked you for your hospitality?