rec property

The problem with owning a rec property is the payback. After years sponging off friends and relatives at their cabins and lake homes, you eventually have to pay the piper when you finally get your own little slice of paradise.

Good guests, it’s said, are like fish. They begin to smell after three days. Whether you’re renting a lakefront property with another family or staying with friends over the long weekend, you’ll want to follow these six recs to ensure you’re invited back.

Time

Don’t be flaky: firm up your arrival and departure in advance. Nothing is worse than spending a glorious summer day indoors waiting for imminent guests when you could be out in the Kananaskis.

kid sleeping

Discuss requirements in advance: Does your toddler need a two-hour nap every afternoon in blacked out room? Does someone have specific dietary requirements? Hash this out prior to your trip so everyone knows what they’re getting into.

boy tubing

Plan your own thing: Don’t expect the hosts to be your only source of entertainment. Cabin fever loves close quarters, so plan an activity at least once a day where your family can get some alone time. Communicate this in advance so nobody’s feelings get hurt.

wine bottles lined up

Bring a thoughtful hostess gift. A bottle of Aussie plonk doesn’t endear yourself to your hosts if they’re old world oenophiles. Figure out what their preferences are and gift accordingly.

heart shaped pancake

Have an understanding of joint discipline: shared spaces are no one’s territory, Ground rules should be discussed ahead of time: Can people eat anywhere? When is bed time? The rules don’t have to be the same for all kids, but getting your child used to the idea there might be different rules, sets you up for success.

clothes line

Make yourself at home. Don’t expect to be waited on. Offer to pay for a meal or commandeer the kitchen for a day. Do some dishes. Stripping your bedding and throwing it in the washer before you leave goes a long way.

Have you ever shared a vacation space with another family? How did it go?