Though, before heading out, be sure to follow these cottage guest etiquette tips to ensure a relaxing and smooth weekend.
1. Don’t arrive at the cottage empty-handed
Ask the cottage hosts if there’s any food, drinks or supplies you can bring with you. If they insist you don’t need to bring anything, bring something anyway. A gracious host gift can go a long way or a bottle of wine and some cheese to snack on the cottage deck is generally appreciated.
2. Offer to make a meal
Come prepared to make a meal for the cottage hosts. Whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner be prepared to contribute and set the table. If cooking isn’t your style, you can treat your hosts to a meal in the nearest town.
3. Help clean
Along with making a meal, offer to help wash or dry dirty dishes. This little gesture can help demonstrate that you appreciate the cottage invite and you don’t mind pitching in. It’s also common courtesy to tidy up during your stay and ask the hosts if you can help sweep or vacuum the cottage when the weekend is coming to an end.
4. Respect cottage rules
Find out from your hosts whether there are certain cottage rules. For instance, do they allow pets, are there any septic system restrictions and when are you able to use the boat are a few questions you can ask your hosts. They may also have particular cottage traditions they like to partake in such as campfires and stargazing in the evening.
5. Bring a positive attitude
Along with following cottage rules, be sure to participate in cottage activities. Never been in a canoe before? Ask your cottage host if they’ll join you in the canoe and show you a tour of the lake. Have a positive attitude about the cottage weekend and try not to be a downer. If you continue to not participate while everyone else is, it won’t go unobserved.
6. Limit the complaining
Remember that you are a guest and you were graciously invited to the cottage for the weekend. Try not to complain about the lack of WiFi or cellphone service. If you complain, chances are you might not get an invite back. Also, every cottage is equipped differently, so embrace the good company around you and relax. Cottage season goes by quickly, cherish being outdoors even if your idea of the outdoors means soaking up some sun on the dock and reading a good book.
7. Write a thank you note
Even in the digital age, there is still something special about a handwritten note. A thank you note seems more sincere and appreciative compared to a text message or e-mail. Be sure to mention your favourite parts about the cottage weekend and how much you enjoyed their company.