The funny thing about summer in New York City is that no one seems to want to spend summer IN New York City.
Apparently the lure of a picnic in Sheep Meadow isn’t enough to override the hot trash smell that permeates the city, so everyone who can do it escapes to summer share houses.
Whether you’re going to the Hamptons, Fire Island, Montauk, the Jersey Shore, or somewhere that hasn’t yet been overrun by 20-somethings in bikinis, you should be prepared.
The concept of throwing together a large group of adults in one house that may or may not have enough beds for each resident might sound insane to non-New Yorkers, but the reality can be the best weekend of your summer. If you’re ready for it.
So before you book your ticket for the Jitney or scramble for a seat on the LIRR, check out these 20 tips.
1. Plan ahead
This might sound like an obvious one, but seriously kids. Don’t pack the morning of, because you *will* get pregnant and die. I mean, forget something important.
2. Make a packing list
Speaking of packing—make a list of everything you need to check off as you go. Might seem anal retentive... until you arrive at the house and realize you forgot underwear.
3. Make travel plans
Figure out how to get where you’re going before you’re on your way. If you’ve ever been in Penn Station during heading-to-the-Hamptons season, you know it’s a madhouse. And no one likes the person who gets in everyone’s way because they have no idea what they’re doing.
4. Purchase provisions ahead of time
At least consider it. Yes, your luggage is heavier if it’s filled with a box of rosé and three days worth of snacks, but prices wherever you’re going are going to be jacked up, and your luggage on the way back will be much lighter once said provisions are consumed!
5. Actually talk to the other members of the house about what to bring
Speaking of bringing provisions. Make sure everyone in the house isn’t bringing bread and no one’s thought about what you’ll put on it. Talk to the organizer to find out what the house is already stocked with: linens? Paper products? Solo cups (They’ll be needed for #10)?
6. Pack your own toiletries
You’re not going to a hotel, there will not be concierge service to provide you with a toothbrush and mini bottles of shampoo. And don’t be that person who expects to borrow things from everyone else in the house.
7. Bring enough clothes
Do you need a day outfit and a night outfit? A swimsuit and a coverup? Pajamas? Actually think about what activities you’ll be doing and plan accordingly. There may OR may not be laundry in the house, but unless you’re 100% positive, don’t count on it.
8. But don’t overpack
No one wants to 1) be held up by the slowpoke who’s loaded down by too many bags, 2) share a bedroom with a suitcase with an overabundance of contents that explode across the room as soon as you arrive.
9. SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN
NO ONE WANTS SKIN CANCER.
10. Have rainy day activity alternatives
Hopefully it’s beautiful the whole weekend! But it might not be. And your share house might not have Wifi, or cable, or books. Have a Plan B. Even if Plan B is cards and an indoor game of beer pong.
Don’t be like her. While you should never be pressured into doing anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, be open to activities that aren’t necessarily your first idea of fun.
You’re away for the weekend! Be up for adventure! If the residents of your house want to go to the beach but you’d rather lay out on the deck... go to the beach.
12. Be courteous to all residents
Speaking of the residents of the house—whether you’re sharing with best friends, kind-of friends, or strangers, be courteous to everyone. It’s your collective home for the weekend, and you have limited space and privacy. Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated in your own home.
13. Follow house rules
And speaking of the home—there might be house rules. Follow them. Even though you’re paying for your spot, be respectful of the fact that you’re still a guest. If they don’t allow shoes in the house, don’t wear your shoes in the house, even if you always wear them in your own.
14. Don’t complain about the small stuff
There is going to be sand everywhere. It will be fine. Embrace it.
15. Don’t start drama
16. Don’t get lost
You’re not in your own territory anymore. Don’t wander off without telling your friends where you’re going and knowing how to get back. The route back to your share house is not as ingrained in your brain as the route back to your apartment.
17. Don’t spend every moment on social media
You don’t need to know how everyone else is spending their weekend every second of the day. Nor do you need to show everyone else how you’re spending yours. Live in the moment!
18. But make a point to take photos
But actually, you’re going to want that group photo. Take it. Maybe even more than once.
19. Go to some of the less popular venues
It might seem “cool” to go to all of the most popular bars, restaurants, and beach spots, but sometimes you can have even more fun sitting in one of the emptiest bars on the boardwalk with your friends, convincing the bartender to put on early 2000s emo music, and singing at the top of your lungs.
Skip the lines and crowded queues for one night. Surf Lodge isn’t going anywhere.
20. HAVE FUN