I definitely inherited the hospitality gene from my grandmother and I LOVE to have guests come stay at our home. Whether you can’t wait for your guests to arrive or breakout in hives at the thought, here are a couple of tips & ideas to make guests feel welcome in your home.
Having guests over doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little planning and prep work you can actually look forward to their visit. We recently visited my sister-in-law in Kansas and I thought she did an outstanding job of making us feel welcome and at home. I’ve since implemented some of the things she did when I prep for guests.
- Have a Plan- I’m not talking about a strict itinerary with every minute of every day being planned out, but having some sort of idea of what the plan is during your guest’s visit will make both you and your guests feel more at ease. Not knowing what to do with people when they come over can make things awkward for everyone. You don’t have to make elaborate plans. Sometimes it’s fun for visitors just to see what you do on a regular basis. Where you shop, your favorite hole in the wall restaurants, etc. When we visited my sister-in-law we went to one of her son’s baseball games and it was so much fun. You’ll also want to know when your guests plan to arrive and leave so you can plan meals.
- Ask About Favorite Foods & Drinks – Before our trip out to Kansas my sister-in-law called to ask what our (& especially B’s) favorite foods, snacks and drinks were. As someone who finds food and snacks very important I loved that she thought to stock the house with our favorites. It can be awkward sometimes to ask for a snack, believe me, so having your guest’s favorites accessible can help them feel comfortable helping themselves. Kids who are picky eaters will appreciate the gesture as well, or at least their parents will. It’s also a good idea to ask about food allergies since they’ve become so prevalent. When guests arrive we always show them where they can find snacks, drinks, cups, etc., so they can feel free to get what they want when they want.
- Toiletry Basket- I usually have extra toiletries tucked away for guests but I really liked how my sister-in-law had them all in a little basket on the counter. It made it feel more like everything was set out just for us to use if we needed to. I’ve since created my own basket in the guest bathroom. Here’s a printable with items you should stock in your guest basket. Remember that airlines now limit the amount of liquids that can be carried on. You may want to ask guests if there are any special supplies you can pick up for them at the store like shampoo, hairspray or lotions. You can always finish what they don’t use or leave it for your next guest.
- Wifi– Make it easy for your guests to access your wifi by displaying your network name and password. Connected guests, especially kids will thank you! And it saves you the hassle of fumbling for the password when guests arrive. You can find the printable I used from Life Love Lauren here.
- Stock Up- What is the line from Christmas Vacation, “We’ve got plenty of towels, plenty of everything!” I use two towels to dry-off after a shower, one for my hair and one for my body. It’s quite difficult to dry off when there aren’t enough towels and my hair continues to drip while I try to dry off. I’ve even tried using a hand towel for my head but it just doesn’t work. So having plenty of towels, wash rags, hand towels and other toiletries allows guests to feel more comfortable getting ready in your home. I have towels hanging up, rolled up in a basket and folded under the bathroom sink. Also, be sure to stock up on and show guests where to find extra toilet paper so they don’t get stuck staring at an empty toilet paper roll desperately searching for a spare. If you’ve been there you understand the importance.
Knowing what to expect and having their favorite things can make guests feel right at home and help you feel like an amazing host. I like to add a few special touches like fresh flowers in the bathroom and a warm plate of cookies upon arrival.
How do you prepare for guests? What special touches do you appreciate when visiting someone?