When your friends and family come to town for a visit, it’s always a gracious and welcome gift to have them stay with you instead of spending exorbitant amounts of money on a hotel room. However, in many cases, having added people in your home can make for awkward situations, leaving you eager to have the place to yourself again in a hurry. From waiting on your guests to finish up their morning routines before you can shower to finding strange groceries in your fridge, it can be a little jarring, if not entirely inconvenient, to have house guests staying with you. The good news? The whole situation can be made easier, keeping you and your guests happy for the duration of their stay. Just follow these creative ideas for extra house guests and your guests will feel at home in no time.
Want to make your guests feel like they’re staying in a fancy hotel without the price tag? Try leaving them a welcome basket in the guest room. Include a bottle of wine, some local snacks, a guidebook, a key to your place, and a list of instructions about how things work in the house, from your alarm code to where to put their dirty laundry. Giving this information ahead of time will make it easier for our guests not to feel like nuisances when they’re in your space. Better yet, it means that you don’t have to nag them to keep the house in order during their stay.
Whether your guests are coming from a few towns over or half a world away, there’s probably nothing they’d like more when they arrive than to take a hot shower and get into bed. If you want to make your guests feel welcome, leave out some fancy bath products, like some Molton Brown shower gel, a Lush bath bomb, or some cute soap from a local boutique. Leave them some freshly-washed towels as well and they’ll feel right at home in no time.
Guidebooks are great, but there’s a whole lot of insider information your average travel writer misses. Whether you’re living in a small town or in the center of a major city, like the residents of Los Angeles’s Grand Hope Park, there’s always going to be a few local hotspots your friends won’t find on Yelp or in a book. When your guests arrive, give them a list of your favorite local bars, concert venues, salons, clothing shops, coffee shops, pizza places, and diners, as well as some information on great walks they can take to see the local sights. Doing so will make it easy for them to enjoy your neighborhood like a local without forcing you to give them a guided tour of places you’ve been to a million times.
If you live in a house or an apartment with two separate entrances, designate one for your guests so they can feel free to come and go as they please. Giving your guests their own entrance to use means they can come in and leave the house without feeling like they’re getting in your way, and, better yet, if they happen to stay out late one night or have an early plane to catch at the end of their trip, it might just mean they won’t wake you up, either.
One of the most difficult areas of the house to navigate when you have house guests is the kitchen. People can be very particular about how they like their kitchens to be organized, and things can get contentious quickly when it’s suddenly impossible to find the cooking tools you need to make your meals. The good news? There’s a simple solution that will make things easier on both you and your guests. Putting labels—even Post-It Notes—on your cabinets to identify where everything goes will make it easy for your guests to find the tools they’re looking for and put them back in the right place every single time. If you want to make things even easier on everyone, clear out a shelf in your fridge so your guests can have room for their own groceries. And if you’re feeling especially ambitious, leave your house guests a cabinet with a few plates, cups, a pan, and a colander just for them so they can make their own meals without interfering with your own preparations.
Having friends stay in your home is often a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Creating a warm, welcoming space for your guests is easy with just a few small changes to your usual home routine. From providing them information on your neighborhood to giving them their own set-up in the kitchen, these tiny additions to your routine will make your house guests’ trip more enjoyable for them—and you.