Kendall here today! Is anyone else hosting houseguests this weekend? I am for the foreseeable future thanks to vaccines and a new baby who draws an impressive crowd from all over the country! 🤣
Hosting visitors is a fun way to feel like you’re on vacation without the stress of travel, need to pack a suitcase or even take a lot (or any) time off of work. It also lets you act like a tourist in your own city, get out of your typical routine and do things that you normally wouldn’t do. That said, it can also be overwhelming or stressful to have people in your space for an extended period of time (even more so now that we’ve been so accustomed to being alone.)
Depending on who is visiting, you might feel like you have to entertain, host, and be available to them 24/7. This can be especially true for those of you who live in popular destinations (like NYC or by the beach!) and feel like you have to meet up at a nice restaurant every night of the week with friends and acquaintances who are in town for the night!
Because it’s been a minute since most of us have had houseguests (or really anyone at all in our homes), I thought I’d compile a list of hostess tips — to help your guests and you have the best visit possible. Whether your family is planning an extended visit or friends are crashing for a couple of nights, here’s how you can make the most of their stay.
Let’s dive in!
6 Keys to Hosting Happy Houseguests
Anticipate general needs
The first step to a stress-free houseguest visit is anticipating a few general needs: water, WIFI, shower and bed essentials, etc. Once your friends or family arrive and you’ve briefly caught up and welcomed them in, give them a quick rundown of where they’ll be staying/sleeping, where the cups are for water, which plugs they can use to charge their electronics, and how to get onto WIFI. Make sure to write down the wifi password for them. (Because who can remember that ever?)
Be sure to mention any home quirks that they may encounter. Is there an art to getting the shower to the right temperature? Does that light switch not actually turn anything on? Fill them in before they get a chance to ask!
Next up, let your guests know what they can expect in terms of meals and itinerary. This also helps set the stage for any free time they might need/want to fill themselves!
Can they help themselves to the fridge and pantry? (On that note, try to have some of their favorite snacks on hand, if possible! It’s a nice gesture and will make them feel welcome!) Are you ordering or cooking dinner? Is the entire visit planned out or will you be winging each day as it comes? Talking about what you both hope to do during the visit can help you plan out the upcoming days. If you like to sleep in, let them know where they can find coffee/breakfast items or suggest a nice route to the closest cafe so they don’t feel like they need to wait around for you.
This tip goes hand in hand with managing expectations — delegate! Just because you’re hosting doesn’t mean every responsibility falls on you for the whole visit. Let guests know if/when they can make dinner, help you clean up, etc. If you’re hosting multiple people, give everyone a job so they don’t have to keep asking how they can help (but even if they don’t offer, give them a task). 😉
This tip also applies to planning out activities. Whether you each take the lead on an activity or you take turns researching and scheduling plans, feel free to share these tasks!
Depending on how long your visitors are staying, you may find the need to set some boundaries upfront for your mental health. If you go for a run each morning, let your guests know that that’s what you’ll be doing until a certain time each day. If you have an appointment or activity during their stay, give them a heads up and offer up a few ideas of things they might like doing or exploring while you’re away.
It’s also ok to sit some plans out. If you feel pressured to do all the things or do something you’re not feeling, simply say no. Maybe your friends are excited to try as many restaurants and breweries as possible over a long weekend and your body and wallet can’t hang, pass on a few of them! Remember that hosting doesn’t make you a 24/7 tour guide for visitors! (In fact, they probably DO want some free time on their own, too!)
Add helpful touches
Consider grabbing a few small, inexpensive items that can benefit both you and your guests!
First up: a sound machine! This is a great tool to offer up as it can mask noises your guests might be unfamiliar with during the night (city streets, weird pipes in your building, the nearby train, etc.) and it can make you feel like you don’t need to tiptoe past their room each night and morning for fear of waking them up. I’ve used this sound machine (less than $20) for years and love it! It also has a small light feature which is helpful for guests too!
Speaking of lights, a few strategically placed night lights can help your guests navigate an unfamiliar trek to the kitchen or bathroom in the dark. These night lights plug into an outlet and automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn.
Another easy idea: Assemble a little basket of travel-sized toiletries and let them know they can help themselves in case they forgot anything. (Those unopened hotel shampoos and lotions you always save from vacation? That’s a great thing to repurpose here!)
Another touch: Purchase an inexpensive “guest bathrobe” or two (you can get great ones on Amazon!) to have on hand (freshly washed, of course!) to add an extra special touch to their stay!
Because everyone is different and it’s impossible to anticipate every need a guest might have, be sure to check in every now and then to see if there’s anything you can help with. Were they a little cold last night? Show them where you keep extra blankets. They forgot a toiletry? Let them borrow your shampoo. They finished their book? Show them to your bookcase!
Hope this was helpful! Happy hosting and have a wonderful weekend!
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