Whether you are staying with family or friends for a night or two, there are a few things you can do to ensure you are a good guest.
Bring What You Need - If there are certain foods or beverages you need to have, bring them. Don't unload a grocery store in the home, but, this way, if you are a picky eater or need snacks at certain times for medical reasons (or just to keep the kids happy) you will have what you need, when you need it without imposing on your hosts. This goes for other necessary items such as: device accessories, toiletries, items to keep you busy (so if your hosts have some things they need to do) and in some cases your own pillows. Do your best to be self sufficient during your visit. However, if your hosts have bought a bunch of snacks or drinks, be sure to enjoy what they have provided as well.
Keep It Clean and Tidy - This is a big one when you have kids. When my kids were little, we'd go visit my folks and I would work hard to keep their toys and things picked up around the house and if they made a mess, clean it up right away. I also suggest making the bed in your (and their) room each day and if you are going to keep the door to your guest room open, keep it looking nice. If you have a lot of stuff and it really doesn't look nice, close the door to your room so it's not all out in the open. If you are sleeping in an open space, make sure you put up your belongings and bedding so the room can be used during the day.
Help Out - Along with keeping things clean and tidy, offer to help with household chores while you are visiting. Helping with the table, dishes and anything else you see that you can lend a hand with. Even if you are on "vacation" you are fortunate to get to stay with those you care about (for nothing) so you need to help out. Many hands make light work! Let your hosts know how much you appreciate all that they do.
Take Out - If you can, try to take a time where you can take out your hosts for dinner while you are visiting. It's a nice "thank you" and will give your hosts a break from all the work that goes into a meal for you and your family. If there is something special to do in the area (and your hosts haven't had a chance to check it out) offer to take them. It could be a nice way for you to entertain them for a change, too.
Don't Be a Fish - My Grandpa truly believed in an old saying that went "Two things stink after a few days, fish and house guests". Don't overstay your welcome. If your hosts have requested you stay a bit longer (and you can) you can push it a little bit, but, it's always better to leave with your hosts wanting a little more than being so thrilled when you are gone. There really is too much of a good thing!
Leave It As You Found It - When you are leaving, always ask your host what to do about the towels and sheets and do your best to leave your guest rooms and the rest of the house, like it was when you arrived. Don't leave your hosts with a mess like a tornado was there. The less work your hosts have when you go, the better.
I hope these little helps I have learned over the years of visiting family and friends, helps you have a great stay with others whether it's this summer during vacation time or around the holidays. The better guest you are, the more you will be invited to stay again!--Jen Lush