Be My Guest
9 Tips for Being Invited Back
6. Earn Your Keep
"Be entertaining, sing for your supper, contribute to the conversation, and make yourself indispensable," advises Ray. Hosts will appreciate help, especially if you're one of several guests. He was recently in Millbrook, N.Y., for the Mashomack Polo Challenge, and the woman whose house he was staying in decided to throw an impromptu cocktail party. "People didn't show up until 8PM, and what she thought was going to be drinks on the patio turned into a dinner party for 20," he recalls. "The five of us who were staying at her house became the staff."
7. Unplug in Public
It can be hard to stop yourself from checking your BlackBerry or iPad while staying with friends. Nevertheless, Ray urges houseguests to limit their technological tinkering as much as possible. "Phone and iPad use should be reserved for the privacy of your room," he says. "If there are extenuating circumstances, like a parent with kids elsewhere, then simply inform your host. People know that we have jobs and important matters to attend to, but your phone should never be the ninth guest at the dinner table." A friend of Ray's has teenage children and therefore does not allow technology at the table. "The rule was designed for her children, but it is meant for everyone," he says.