How to Be a Good Cottage Guest (and Get Invited Back Next Year!)

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It’s cottage season! And whether you call it a cabin a cottage or a country house, you can count yourself as lucky if you score an invitation to a little slice of nature and relaxation. But before you pack your swimsuit take a moment to remember the guest etiquette!

We asked you about the rules for cottage guest etiquette. And here’s what you had to say:

Don’t Come Empty Handed

Common sense for any guest, but especially important when you are staying the night. Bring a gift. Or a gift basket, suggested one reader. You were fairly unanimous about bringing wine and beer. Do a grocery shop before you arrive, and ask your hosts what they need.

Make a Meal

If you are close to a restaurant, you can always treat them to a meal in town. But most hosts will be happy if you come prepared to make one special meal, such as a barbecue or big breakfast.

Clean up After Yourself

Pitch in with dishes and setting the table for meals. Leave your room and the bathroom the way you left it. A few readers mentioned stripping the bed of sheets before you leave — a small but thoughtful act!

Respect the Property

Know the water rules: Is there a limited supply? Can you drink the tap water? Are long showers discouraged? Accidents happen, but if you break something, own up to it, and don’t wait for your hosts to discover the damage at a later date. If you bring pets, clean up after them. It might be nature, but don’t leave “surprises” in the woods for others to step in.

Have Fun and Relax!

Act like family (but without the sibling rivalry!). Make time to connect and have fun with your hosts, but remember it’s okay to give and take space. Tired? Take a nap! Grab your own beer or brew a pot of tea and sit back with a book for a couple of hours then head out for a swim. Cottage time is all about relaxation and kicking back with people you like. Make it a fun time!

 

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