Before the visit:
- Never invite yourself. Just because your buddy Dave lives in Hawaii doesn't mean he has room for, or necessarily wants, house guests. Wait to be invited. If you're not invited but you're dying to go to Hawaii (or any other locale where you have friends/relatives/acquaintances), buy a ticket and book a hotel room, or stay home, cheapskate.
- Take care of your own special accommodations and accoutrements. If you're on a restrictive diet of enzyme-free yogurt and flax-infused chamomile enemas, don't demand your host stock up on these items, especially if they're hard to get. Same goes for special accommodations -- down-free pillows, lint-free sheets. When someone opens their home to you, this is not the time to be a diva.
- Board Fluffy or hire a pet sitter. Don't put your host in the uncomfortable position of having to answer, "Can we bring Fido?" Assume the answer is "no." This is best for all involved.
- Do have some food and snacks on hand for your guests. It is nice to ask beforehand what they prefer, or if they have any food allergies.
- Whatever you stock up on, don't buy the cheap stuff. Never serve your guests something you wouldn't eat or drink.
- Add some touches of comfort: Kleenex in every room, (non-pornographic) reading material near the sleeping quarters, and fresh, clean towels and washcloths are always welcoming. And "welcome" is what you want your guests to feel.
Never go empty-handed
Be nice to your host