When staying at someone else's home, make sure you make an offering of gratitude -- and I don't mean a stupid post-it note on the fridge with the word "Thanks!" scrawled across it.
- A gift is cheaper than a hotel. Show up with a hostess gift - even if you're only staying for one night. A bottle of wine, a bag of nice coffee beans, or sweets are nice -- anything that you think your host would appreciate.
- Do not bring hostess soaps. Nobody likes those. And they stink to high heaven.
- When visiting a home that includes small children, a little something for the little somethings is always nice.
- Staying for a few days? Or a week? Buy your host(s) at least one meal, if not more.
- Short on cash? Cook for your host(s) one night. Or morning. We loooove to be waited on.