DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have started using a website that enables travelers to rent private homes directly from the owners. I enjoy staying in someone's house much more than in a hotel.
However, I am not 100 percent clear on the etiquette differences between this versus a hotel or the private house of friend. I do know (or guess, rather) that a hostess gift is not needed; however, as I would in a private house of a friend, I do strip the bed prior to departing. Are there any specific rules Miss Manners recommends for travelers using such services?
GENTLE READER: With limited exceptions, good hotel manners are sufficient. Note, however, that Miss Manners' idea of good hotel manners includes not stealing the unused toiletries, rearranging the furniture or scratching the end tables.
The differences will be for any reasonable requests made by the renter and clearly necessary to the functioning of the arrangement. This can include taking one's trash out, cleaning the dishes one uses and admitting the maid, but should not extend to repairing the plumbing. Stripping the bed is polite although not required.