How to Make Your Guests Feel at Home
Growing up, I spent countless summer breaks at my grandparents home. We lived in different cities, and visiting them meant the world to me. My grandmother was Mrs. Etiquette impersonated. Elegant, classy, empathetic and thoughtful. Although the highlight of my visits was spending time with my grandma and grandpa, and quite honestly, I couldn’t have cared less about how many bouquets of flowers she had around the house, she always put small touches before our arrival and during our stay, to make sure we knew we were welcomed. Because the apple doesn’t fall from the tree, I’ve grown up loving having guests over and my house is always open to friends and family visiting from abroad. I believe in a little hospitality, a welcoming attitude, and a few extra touches that let guests feel special and know I’m happy they are visiting.
Here are a few ideas to help overnight guests feel welcome and comfortable at your home:
Send a pre-arrival email or text message. A couple of days before my guests’ arrival, I like sending them an email or text message to let them know I’m looking forward to seeing them. I include my address and transportation information.
Prepare the guest bedroom. Guest bedrooms are often underused and tend to become home to the closet where we put all of the clothes we can’t fit in our own closet. Before guests arrive, take the opportunity to clean, dust and uncluttered, and open up enough space in the closet for your guests to unpack. Lay a fresh set of bed linens (I like spraying them with linen spray), put an extra blanket and pillow in the closet, and some magazines, a little snack or chocolate and a pitcher of water on the nightstand.
Get the bathroom ready. Besides making sure the bathroom is sparkling clean, I provide guests with a stack of fresh towels, open up space in the drawers and counter for them to unpack their toiletries and put a clean glass with a new toothbrush and a travel-sized toothpaste on the counter.
Do you know what’s the first question I’m asked when a guest arrives? What the Wifi password is. I know they’ll need it, so I’ve started printing a small note with the Wifi password and my alarm code.
Keys. Providing guests with a copy of my house key allows them to freely come and go without feeling like they are bothering me.
Food is important to me, so before my guests arrive I make sure to stock the fridge and pantry with a variety of snacks and beverages for them to enjoy. I make sure to let them know that they can get whatever they want, whenever they want. The first morning I wake up early and visit the bakery around the corner from my house and bring back freshly baked muffins and croissants.
A couple of days after my guests leave, I send them an email or text message to let them know how much fun it was having them over.
Being a good host doesn’t require you to summon Martha Stewart. A few touches here and there can truly make your guests feel at home.