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How to Mooch a Summer House

No beach palace to call your own? No problem! Here's how to score an invite to a friend's summer house -- and what to do (and not do) so you keep getting invited back.

5 Ways to Score an Invite

1. Pet sit. The key here is having a friend with a dog (cat, bird, whatever) who is lucky enough to have a summer home -- and also to head off to St. Barts for a special vacation. If you do, offer to pet sit. Not only will you get the whole house to yourself (besides Fluffy, of course), but your friend will be so appreciative she'll hand over a permanent invitation for the rest of the summer.

2. Hangout...in her neighborhood.. Mention to that lucky friend of yours that you're heading out to her area over the weekend. Maybe you're going to the beach or even just doing an errand there. She'll probably invite you over for lunch or a mojito. And if you have a few cocktails, well, you can’t exactly drive home, can you?

3. Plan something fun...in her neighborhood.. Whether it's wine tasting, shopping, or just going to the beach, plan a weekend activity you know she’d be into. Then invite her after everything’s been worked out. How could she not thank you with a bed with your name on it?

4. "Look" for your own summer place.. Tell your friend you're in the market for a summer place. Ask her a billion questions about her house including its size, location, etc. She'll get sick of your questions and just invite you over so you can conduct "research" in person.

5. Stress out.. Next time you're with your friend, casually mention how “stressed” you've been feeling lately. You haven't gotten a promotion in years and your boyfriend (or girlfriend) won't get off your back about something or another. Hey, everyone needs an escape from the banalities of reality every now and then. Drop a few tears, and you're basically guaranteed an invite to her place for a weekend of destressing.

5 Ways to Get Invited Back

1. Bring a gift.. Thanking your hosts in advance sets the tone for a nice stay. Plus, the more invites you get, the more gifts she gets. And who doesn’t like gifts?

2. Bring food.. Don’t assume you can raid their fridge. They invited you to stay -- they don’t have to feed you too.

3. Surprise them. Let’s face it -- your host will never let you help cook or clean. So take matters into your own hands and surprise them with something nice. You could make breakfast or, if you’re a terrible cook, clean the bathroom while they’re still asleep.

4. Make a quick getaway.. Stay for a day or two, but after that a guest becomes a pest. Even if your friend asks you to stay another day, say no. Make up something you have to get back to and leave. It’ll pay off later.

5. Rave about their place.. Call up a mutual friend (who also happens to be a big mouth) and tell her how great the house was, how much you loved the decor, etc. It’ll get back to your hosts and you’ll be invited back in no time. Flattery is a powerful mooching tool!

5 trips to take with couple friends

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-- The Nest Editors

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