Some people are a delight to have as house guests. For old friends, your company will be reward enough for them. Others are such laid-back people that they will enjoy absolutely anything. But then there are those guests who keep you awake at night with anxious thoughts about whether your hospitality will match their expectations. For these, you need to plan a little.
The Basics and Beyond
Make sure that the whole house is clean, especially the bedroom and bathroom that your guests will be using, and the kitchen. Use sheets and towels that are not only clean but smell clean.
Ask ahead about any allergies, doing an extra clean if necessary. Prepare your food menu accordingly and be cautious about being too adventurous unless you know they really will eat anything.
If you have arranged to meet your guests somewhere, be at the right place at the right time.
Help your guests to be confident about which parts of the house they should consider as theirs. Make it clear where they can put their things and which shelves in the bathroom are for them.
Your guests will want to experience some of the best things about your neighborhood, so make sure that they get the chance. It may be your opportunity to do fun things that you otherwise would never get around to.
You’ll need to have some idea about their interests and physical capabilities. Not everyone thrills to an art gallery, and an arthritis sufferer may balk at a five-mile walk.
Make sure that you have the equipment to make the most of whatever you do. If you live by the ocean and want to take outdoor types fishing, check with a local fisherman what sort of fish you might catch and what is needed; for instance, Blue Water Candy lures are what you need for tuna. If you have a sporty type to entertain, there may be a nearby tournament that would make their day.
Feeling at Home
You want your guests to relax and feel at home. This is not easy if you are not relaxed yourself.
Remember that they are not royalty. People like to feel that they can make themselves useful, and if they offer to help, accept gracefully by offering a job they can do alongside you while you chat.
Try not to barrage them with lots of decisions. Generally, a visit is an opportunity to let the hosts decide what to do, provided that the guests have the opportunity to say no.
Getting the Balance
Your guests will want to feel that you have gone to some trouble to make their visit special—it assures them that they are important to you, and builds your friendship. On the other hand, they don’t want to feel that their visit has been an almost unbearable burden for you. Getting that balance right is the key to a happy visit.
Hayden Nicholls is a family man and loves entertaining guests at home. He is always on the lookout for innovative ways to entertain on a budget. His articles mainly appear on home and lifestyle blogs.