Be My Guest
9 Tips for Being Invited Back
2. Call Ahead
Before you arrive, check in with your host. "You should always call ahead because they'll want to know what time you're arriving. Then say, 'Can I bring anything?'" says Ray. If they decline, once you get there, Ray suggests, "Go to your room, drop your bags, freshen up and come back downstairs. Take stock of the situation. If you have your own car, run to the liquor store to get extra wine for dinner, or go to a bakery to pick up dessert." The key is to "become a help, not a hindrance."
3. Arrive With a Gift
In addition to calling ahead for any last-minute help you can provide, it is customary—even expected—that you arrive with a gift in hand as well. "What you bring them depends on your relationship to them," says Ray. "If they are great friends, then you likely already know their taste and that should help guide you." But if the person is merely an acquaintance, Ray says, then stick to "safe" gifts, rather than something decorative like artwork or a pillow. "That would be really presumptuous," he says. "Opt for something to eat or drink, a game or a book, something that would not interfere with their design scheme."