With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, many of us are getting ready to host guests in our home. Their visits may be as short as a Thanksgiving dinner or as long as a few days or even weeks if they are traveling from afar.
While I love traveling, I am not particularly fond of actually being away from home. For starters, I don’t particularly enjoy living out of a suitcase. Add to that the discomfort of a new bed, new pillow, new sounds, and new environment, and I’m like a fish out of water. By the time I adjust to my new environment, it’s time to go home.
I am perhaps more sensitive than others when it comes to being a guest in someone’s home simply because my sense of comfort and peace comes from having my own space and routine. Because I know how uncomfortable it is for me to be a guest in someone’s home, I make an extra effort to make my guests feel at home when they’ll be staying with me for an extended period of time.
Here are some of the things I do to prepare for guests and to make them feel as welcome as possible.
When I prepare for guests, I try to think about what I usually need (and may have forgotten) when I am traveling. Shampoo? Lotion? A blowdryer? Although your guests may have prepared for their visit, they may not have thought of everything.
As a hostess, you can make their stay more pleasant by providing some basic necessities and toiletries. A set of towels on their bed and a basket or tray in the bathroom with a few basics can go a long way in making your guests feel welcomed and cared for. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can even hang a bathrobe behind the door and put some slippers by their bedside. These little extras can go a long way in making your guests feel wanted and comfortable!
A couple of years back I visited the island of Mykonos and stayed with a friend whose family owned a home there. We were in this beautiful home in the middle of the mediterranean, and yet my most vivid memory from that trip isn’t the beautiful blue water or the sandy beaches. It’s my friend’s preoccupation with the sand our flip flops tracked into the house and the coffee that spilled on the marble counter that could so easily stain.
My point is that when you have guests, they may not be aware of all the nuances of your house. And they shouldn’t have to be! You can give them a heads up if there’s something they absolutely must know but apart from that, just let them be. The last thing you want is for your guests to feel like they are walking on eggshells.
Be ready before they get there
There’s something very awkward about walking into a home and seeing the host running around looking for blankets, making your bed, tidying up the bathroom. As a guest, it is very obvious that all of these things are happening because of you and you are not sure if you should help or just get out of the way.
An easy way to make your guests feel welcome is to prepare for them well before they arrive. Make their sleeping arrangements, take out their towels, put some water by the nightstand and a book or two that you know they will enjoy. Having your place ready for your guests before they arrive will ensure that they walk in and feel relaxed rather than uncomfortable.
Set them up with technology
How many nights have you lied in your bed scrolling through Facebook before falling asleep? How badly would it suck if you had to use your mobile data to do said scrolling when there is a perfectly good router staring you in the face from across the room?
Give your guests the wifi password, or at least have it written down somewhere very visible.
Make your guests feel welcome
Last but not least, take that extra step to make your guests feel like you are actually happy they are there! Do a little digging ahead of time and find out what their favorite magazines are, what they eat for breakfast, what their favorite drink is and make sure to have those things on hand when they arrive.
For ideas on things to keep by the nightstand for extra comfort, take a look at this article.