Hosting House Guests: Your Survival Guide

It’s bound to happen eventually: You’ll have house guests. And if you happen to live in a dreamy travel destination like New York, London, Paris or Hawaii, you’re likely to get more than the average influx. This isn’t a bad thing. After all, it’s a way to spend time with close friends and family you otherwise don’t get to see very often. It’s your chance to pamper them a little and play host.

But let’s be real: It can also be bloody stressful. To keep yourself sane, check out these tips for hosting house guests overnight.

Check In Beforehand

Get a sense of how your guests plan to spend the visit. Are they wildly independent with their own plans? Do they need some guidance? How much time do they expect to spend with you? Friends might want a little more solo time than family members, so get a sense of their plans while giving them a feel for your own availability.

The Welcome Package

Want to feel like the ultimate guide to your city? Consider putting together an informational welcome packet for your guests, per LifeHacker’s suggestion. You can include things like nearby restaurants and cafes, local recommendations, tips and all the things they need to know about staying in your home.

The Food

It’s always a good idea to figure out what dietary restrictions, allergies or preferences your guests might have and stock your fridge accordingly. Include quick breakfast snacks they can grab as they dash out to explore for the day, and give them access to coffee and tea. Come dinner-time, offer guests the option of a night out in a restaurant or a home-cooked meal.

The Wi-Fi

Everyone wants to know the Wi-Fi password — it seems no one can survive without it. Don’t wait for your guests to ask; have it printed out on a card for them. Bonus points if you also point them to some power outlets that they can use during their stay and decipher your home entertainment system to them.

The Sleeping Arrangements

There are few things as important as ensuring your guests have comfortable bedding. If you don’t have a spare bed or a sofa bed, invest in a high-quality inflatable mattress, and do your best to make their sleeping area as private as possible. Make sure they have clean sheets, and leave them a warmer blanket that they can use in case they get cold at night.

The Amenities

Sure, you’re not running a hotel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer your guests some amenities. You know all those shampoo and conditioner bottles you grab from hotels? Now’s the time to put them to good use. Having some disposable toothbrushes and toothpaste is also a good idea. Even painkillers. Just put it all in a little basket. Don’t forget some clean body and face towels, and point them to a hair dryer before they have to ask. Anticipating your guests’ needs is what makes the difference between a humdrum host and an outstanding one, and it’ll relieve your guests from the anxiety of feeling like they’re pestering you. If you want to go the extra mile, try sprucing up your home with some fresh flowers for guests to enjoy on their stay.

Give Them Space

No doubt you want to spend some time with your guests, but there’s a fine line between hosting and mothering. You want to leave your guests well-cared for without being an overbearing host who monopolizes all their time. Give your guests some room to breath and independence to explore on their own.

After They’re Gone

The physical part of their visit may be over, but at least according to Design Sponge’s Grace Bonney, you might want to follow up with an email or text to see how your guests arrived at their next destination, and let them know that you enjoyed hosting them.

And as one bonus tip: Only invite guests you know — and tolerate — well. Trust us.

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