Visiting U.S. American Homes

Time: Be on time. If you are going to be late, call and let your host know.

Dress: Everyday dress is appropriate for most visits to people's homes. You may want to dress more formally when attending a holiday dinner or other special event, such as a visit to the symphony or theater.

Dining: When you accept a dinner invitation, tell your host if you have any diet restrictions. Cocktails or other beverages may be served before dinner. It is not necessary nor is it expected to accept an alcoholic drink if you do not want one. You may ask for water, fruit juice or a soft drink instead. People may say "help yourself." The message intended is that the guest is welcome to make him or herself comfortable.

Thank You: It is not necessary to take a gift when you are invited to dinner. A written thank-you note sent a few days later is usually much appreciated.

Pets: Many Americans have pets, especially cats and dogs, that are often allowed into every room in their homes. If the presence of pets makes you uncomfortable, let your host know.