We have guests coming this week and I am so excited about it! An extension of my love for hosting parties and events in our home is catering to guests who are staying with us and having a house full of people. There is just something about making people feel welcomed in our home that warms my soul. Sometimes though, hosting can be stressful and it’s hard not to feel like you are on 24/7 host duty or have to cater to them every waking moment.
When planning to host guests, I imagine the way that I would want to feel when arriving at someone’s house and what types of things would make me feel most comfortable during my stay there. I also like to make their stay as easy as possible for them and myself by ensuring that they have everything they need upon arrival, know the “house rules” and feel like they are more than welcome at all moments of their stay.
“Mi casa es su casa” (my home is your home) is a coined phrase for a reason, so do your best to make your guest feel at home, whether you have an entire guest room, a plush couch or just an extra air mattress. Don’t take it overboard with the rules and don’t over plan. If you need a break to watch your favorite show or run an errand, let your guests know you’re running out and will be right back, giving them a chance to unwind and freshen up in the meantime. If you have a non-negotiable like not allowing smoking, make it be known up front so that everyone is on the same page. Letting someone in your space for an extended period of time is intimate and sacred so have your boundaries, but also keep it simple and make it fun!
Here are 10 simple and thoughtful things you can do to give your guests the most welcome stay!
- Give your guests a welcome basket and let them know you’re happy to have them there. Have fresh towels, washcloths, razors, water bottles, extra soap, flowers, a candle, even a small bottle of champagne to say “stay awhile!”
- Make their sleeping space as comfortable as possible. Provide high thread count sheets, a warm blanket and fluffy pillows and have the space ready and additional stuff available for them in the guest room or couch area.
- Stock up on other thoughtful supplies for them. Think about random things that they may need during their stay or that they may have forgotten such as lotion, body wash, toothbrushes, extra toilet paper, tissues, etc.
- Have important information handy. Keep the WiFi password, telephone numbers and your address posted so that they can refer to it if needed for Uber, taxi or just to get around.
- Make a spare key. Allowing your guests to feel like they can come and go as they please makes them feel right at home and not so restricted if they want to get out and explore on their own. A little note about local stores, coffee shops, restaurants and markets could be helpful too!
- Stock up on their favorite snacks and food. Find out what they love to snack on, their favorite coffee, tea and/or wine and favorite cereal and have it all ready for their arrival. It will show you went the extra mile to welcome them!
- Plan a little in-home dinner or gathering. Invite a few close friends over for dinner so they can meet your friends and you can keep it casual and cozy. Whether it’s just a small dinner or some wine and cheese, this will set the tone for an amazing weekend!
- Have an obvious storage space for their things. Whether you can offer an extra drawer, closet space or just a basket for their things, this gives your guest a place to unpack a little and not feel confined to just their suitcase or toiletry bag.
- Set out books, magazines, photos and other warm and inviting items. This will make them feel you took a few extra moments out to plan for their arrival and give them stuff to thumb through or check out during down time. Obviously have a few pics of you and them! lol
- Keep the kitchen open 24/7. Have quick grab-and-go snacks and maybe even pre-cooked meals like soup or pasta salad that they can have access to so they don’t have to lift a finger to cook and aren’t scrounging for food. Setting out some utensils, plates and cups is helpful to so they don’t have to go through every cabinet looking for things.
- BONUS: Have a loose plan for them. Talk to them about a week in advance to let them know the loose plan for their stay so that they can come prepared. The last thing you’d want is for them to arrive with only casual outfits if you’ve planned a nice dinner out or come without a bathing suit if you planned some pool time.