Whether you have relatives gathering for a special celebration, an old friend from school coming from interstate to spend the weekend, or have decided to earn a few extra dollars on Airbnb by renting out your spare room, there are a few universal rules to being a host that you need to know about. Being a great host isn’t about giving up your life to tend to your guests every need, or feeling like an intruder in your own home and creeping around for fear of bothering your visitors; it’s about providing them with all of the resources they need to be comfortable and enjoy themselves. Here are four guidelines to make sure having houseguests is a positive experience for everyone involved.
Rule #1: Make sure they’re comfortable
Make sure your guests have towels, fresh linen, and a comfortable place to sleep. Even if you don’t have a spare bed, setting your visitors up on a good quality air mattress or sofa bed with crisp linens and plenty of blankets will ensure they sleep soundly.
Rule #2: Give them the local guide to your city
If you’re a guest in a foreign city, it can be really nice to have a local guide so you get to experience the best of what a city has to offer without feeling too much like a tourist. Take the time to jot down a few of your favourite suggestions for sites, events, and restaurants that your guests might like to visit while they’re staying with you.
Rule #3: Make sure they have all the important information
Put together a simple guest information packet which contains all of the essential contact information, phone numbers, maps and internet access instructions. It can be a good idea to take your visitors on a brief tour of the house to help them orient themselves and make sure they know where the dishes, condiments, beverages and snacks are in the kitchen so they don’t feel like they need to ask.
Rule #4: Give a warm welcome
The tradition of providing your guests with a warm welcome still holds true in the 21st century. If you can’t be at home or they’re arriving late at night, you can still make your home feel welcoming by leaving a small welcome note and making sure the lights and heating are on when they arrive.