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The last thing a host needs are untidy guests. / Hill Street Studios/Getty Images

Staying with friends or family can be a great way to save money as well as reconnect with loved ones. But don’t forget to respect your hosts and their space. “You need to treat your host’s home better than your own,” says Kathy Bertone, author of The Art of the Visit. To avoid aggravating your gracious host, follow these guidelines for guest etiquette.

Dish on special diets.

If you’re vegetarian or get hives after eating certain foods, alert your hosts before they head to the store. Bertone recommends picky eaters pack a few favorites from home. “Don’t expect your host to have that special creamer for your coffee in the morning.”

Suppress your mess.

After going out of their way for your visit, the last thing a host needs are untidy guests. “What stresses the host out is that they feel like the guests are boarders,” Bertone says. Keep personal items tidy.

Give kids guidelines.

“Sometimes children can be cranky,” Bertone says. To avoid tantrums, set expectations beforehand. Remind children about manners. With tweens and teens, lay down rules about using cellphones and laptops.

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