Make Your Overnight Guests Feel At Home

Be the perfect host with these tips and advice for welcoming guests into your home.

Guest Room
Photo: Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

It may seem challenging to make your guests feel at home, but the key is a little hospitality, a welcoming persona, and, if you want, a few extra touches here and there to make your guests feel special. Here are our tips for being the perfect host for your overnight guests.

General Hosting Tips

Tidy Up the House

Thoroughly clean the house. Use this visit as your motivation to get everything in tip-top shape and off your to-do list. Cleaning can include removing clutter, minor house repairs, or that small redecorating project you've been putting off.

Have Plenty of Food and Drinks

Stock the fridge with the types of beverages and snacks your guest enjoys. The idea is to make it easy for your guests to grab a quick snack whenever possible.

Plan For All Guests

Plan Activities

You want to avoid inviting your friends to visit and not having something for them to do—This could include a range of activities from a simple shopping excursion or day at the pool to a cocktail party or day trip to an amusement park. Planning activities doesn't mean you need to pack their itinerary with fun-filled times together. Just be thoughtful about keeping them entertained.

Don't Forget the Kids

If your guests include children, make sure you accommodate them, too. Pick up a game or two to keep them busy or plan an easy craft, especially if you don't have kid's games readily available in your home. If you and the children's parents have a party to attend, find the names of a few babysitters that you can give to the parents. Don't feel like you need to arrange for the babysitter. The parents will probably need to discuss payment and possibly transportation.

Prepare The Bedrooms

Improve the Bed

Make sure you have nice clean sheets, plenty of fluffy pillows, extra blankets, and comforters. Sometimes sheets on guest beds can start smelling stale when they go unused, so wash the sheets before your guests arrive. (Use our guide for How To Shop for the Softest Sheets.)

Provide Current Magazines

A small collection of magazines or even a book of short stories will make your guests feel welcome. Plus, it will give them something to read if they're early risers or night owls.

Leave Snacks and Drinks in the Room

Leaving a few bottles of water and granola bars is an extra special touch. This way, guests can stay in their room for a midnight snack.

Check the Details

Unused guest rooms can go unnoticed in the routine care of the home. You don't want your guests sitting in the dark, so check the light bulbs. Also, remember to set any clocks to the right time and ensure channel changers are in working order.

Equip the Bathrooms

Get New Towels

Don't leave old, dingy towels in the guest bathroom. Instead, add some new ones to make your guests feel comfortable and at home.

Provide Toiletries

Like a hotel bathroom, lay out a few toiletries like soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. You can find travel-size bottles in most grocery stores and pharmacies.

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