My brother and his girlfriend are visiting me in Nashville this week, and I’m so excited (and honestly, a little nervous) to host my first real live house guests. I mean, I’ve had friends crash on my couch for a night or two at various apartments, but I’ve never really had people fly to a new city and stay with me — and for a whole week too! I’m dedicated to being the best host I can be, so I’ve been eagerly compiling bits of advice for having house guests, and polling the other Frisky ladies for their favorite hosting tips. Check out our top 10 after the jump, and feel free to add your own tips in the comments!
1. Provide the most comfortable bedding possible. Because no matter how many fun activities you give your guests during the day, their trip is going to suck if they can’t sleep. If you don’t have a guest room (and who does?), the couch or an air mattress is totally fine, but make sure to include some comfy blankets, sheets, and non-crappy pillows. Oh! And don’t forget freshly cleaned towels too.
2. Let them know right off the bat what they’re welcome to use/eat/etc. so there’s no confusion or awkwardness. Have you ever stayed at someone’s house, woken up starving, and not known if their extensive cereal collection was in the “things you’re allowed to eat” category? As a host, it’s your job to make sure your guests know what they’re entitled to.
3. Show them where the controls for the heating and air conditioning are in their room so they can adjust as desired. If you don’t have that, provide the necessary space heater/fan.
4. Leave out the passwords for Wi-Fi and Netflix/Hulu. This also saves you the embarrassment of having to spell your ridiculous Wi-Fi password out loud.
5. Give them their own set of keys. Coordinating schedules to make sure you’re there to open the door/lock it behind them is a drag. Make your guests feel comfortable coming and going as they please.
6. Have a few fun activities planned. Look ahead and find a few optional things that you guys can do together during your stay, and also cool stuff you’ve already done so they can do it on their own. For example, “Oh, I loved the ‘Chaos Into Couture’ show at the Met. You should check it out Tuesday when I’m at work.”
7. Don’t micromanage your guest’s schedule. Having some planned activities is great, but make sure your guests have as much freedom as they want/need.
8. Make sure they have easy access to transportation. Especially if you’re going to be busy during the day and they need to entertain themselves. Cab numbers and directions to the nearest bus or subway station are helpful; use of a car (if you can spare it) is even better.
9. Stock your bathroom and shower with yummy smelling products you don’t mind sharing. As a traveler, I am a master at forgetting important shower products like shaving cream and moisturizer. I am always so appreciative when my hosts make these things available to me, and I vow to return the favor when they visit me!
10. Take out the trash and cat litter so it doesn’t smell. Speaking of not-so-yummy smells, you don’t want your guests’ first impression of your abode to be kitty crap or leftover mac and cheese languishing in the kitchen garbage can, do you? Freshen up the place a bit by emptying out trash and litter receptacles, and maybe add a vase of fresh flowers to the kitchen table while you’re at it. Little touches like that go a long way to creating a warm, welcoming environment.
Anything you would add to our list?
[Photo of welcome mat via Shutterstock]