At Home: 5 Simple Ways to Be a Better Host
I have never been good at spending the night at places that aren't home. I love going on adventures and being outside, but I prefer to cozy up in my own bed when the day is over. I have always been like this. I remember when I was younger pretending to be sick at a friend's house so that I wouldn't have to spend the night. While I have come along way and have spent months away from home traveling, I think that there are certain comforts that hosts can provide to ease the stress of their guests.
While it is sometimes difficult for me to stay in places that aren't my own, I absolutely love to host. I love making tea and cooking for visitors, organizing our spare room, and planning out their stay. I use these 5 tips to prepare for guests staying with us---I hope they inspire you to host some amazing visits!
1. Be Prepared Prior to the Arrival of Guests
Leave yourself time prior to the arrival of your guests to prepare their space. Nothing is more stressful than arriving somewhere only to have your host rushing around and making you feel as if you might be intruding.
2. Provide Comfort Items
These items should be provided without guests having to ask. Having a small tray or basket with a few of these items can really amp up comfort levels in a new place.
- Water bottles or a water pitcher with glasses
- Small first aid items: ibuprofen, eye drops, band aid
- Bathroom items: extra toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner, clean towel(s)
- Snacks: granola bars, pretzels, almonds, etc.
2. Supply Clean Sheets and an Uncluttered Space
When arriving as a guest there is nothing better than having an area that you can use to put your things and to go to if you need a little alone time. Providing clean sheets, a warm blanket, and pillow are essential to the comfort of your guests. Even if you do not have a separate room for your guests, recreate the area they will be sleeping into a dedicated space for them.
Don't have an extra bed or air mattress? Make the couch up as you would a bed and always provide an extra pillow or blanket. Making your guests feel as if they are intruding in your personal space is the last thing you want to do. Creating their own space, even if it is simply a small table or corner of a room dedicated to their things, can help bring stress levels down.
3. Provide Information
Are your guests arriving late? Or maybe they are getting in when you are still at work. Leave details for your guests near their dedicated space. A welcome note with brief details about the house or space can really help ease stress. If you have wireless internet available for guests, make sure to have the name and access information available if it isn't public. If they need access to a computer but didn't bring one---leave clear directions for using a guest account set up on yours. Where will they be staying? Point them in the direction of the area they can place their things. And always point out the most convenient bathroom for them to use.
If you will be sharing a bathroom with your guests, make sure that it has been tidied up. In addition, let them know your schedule. Do you get up early and shower? Or maybe you just need 15 minutes in the morning to freshen up. Helping guests know when the best time to get ready in the morning is a great way to provide comfort.
4. Try to Plan a Little
As a guest there is nothing more stressful than having to decide about what things you want to do in an area you haven't been or don't know a lot about. If a guest is visiting and wants to learn more about the area you live, plan a few spots including your favorite restaurants. If guests are just there for an overnight or know all about the area don't feel the need to provide a structured itinerary, but definitely have some options available.
And remember guests will most likely be a little worn out from traveling, even if they are coming from close by. Leave some room for downtime.
Pay attention to the details. Is your guest a light sleeper? Provide a sleeping mask and earplugs if you live in a noisy spot. Are they arriving late? Don't keep them up too long, offer them time to get settled, and to go to bed right away if they're exhausted. Provide a night light in their space or in the bathroom they will be using.
If your guests have never been to the area you live, a small local trinket is always a nice touch. Local chocolates or sweets are the perfect welcome gift. Flowers in the room or area they are staying can brighten up the mood. The addition of small things like this can really ease traveling anxieties for guests and make them feel welcome.
What ways do you help guests feel comfortable? I'd love to hear your hosting secrets! Let me know in the comments.