As it is holiday season many people are traveling and that means lots of guests for many of you. Hosting can be really stressful for a lot of people and others really love and shine at it. Today I wanted to share with you some tried and tested tips for hosting holiday guests.
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Almost all of these tips are things to prep before your guests arrive. A few are little pieces of things that are good to know when your guests are actually there.
What to do before your guests arrive…
- Clean your house – This one is pretty obvious. If you are having guests your home should be clean and inviting to those guests. So get your gloves out and get to work. If you don’t have time to clean then hire someone to clean for you. Groupon and LivingSocial also have great deals.
- Plan events/Pre-Purchase Tickets – Get out your calendar and take a look at the dates your guests will be in town. Send an email to see if there is anything they really want to do while they are visiting. If so then schedule a day to make that happen. It’s okay to stay home and visit for some of the days too, so don’t feel like you have to be on the go non-stop. To break up the other days it can be fun to get everyone out to an event or two. Seasonal events, festival, show, concert, local attraction or visiting with other family and friends in the area. If you are hosting don’t feel like you have to pay for everything. It is a kind gesture to pay for maybe one outing if your budget will allow. There are also plenty of free outings that you can choose if money is tight. Try to schedule, make reservations, buy tickets or plan ahead for any of these events to make things flow more smoothly when your guests are in town. This is also helpful if you need to stick to a budget and are worried your will overspend when your guests arrive.
- Meal Plan/Grocery Shop – When you are hosting guests you are expected to at the very least feed them. Plan out meals for the days your guests will be there. Throw in eating out here and there when you are going to be out and about. I like to stick to recipes that are tried and tested for when I have guests that way I don’t have a meal that doesn’t quite turn out the way I hoped. If you know your guests love something in particular then try to throw that recipe in your meal plan. Don’t forget extra coffee,tea, beer, wine, and spirits! If you don’t have time to do it then ask someone else to help or hire someone(errands and odd jobs sections) to help you out!
- Meal prep – Now that you have these amazing meals planned it is a great idea to prep as much as you can. Trim the meat, cut the veggies, mix the marinade, make baked goods ahead of time and freeze them. Whatever you can do now will allow you to enjoy more time with your guests.
- Get everything ready – Get out the air mattress now, blow it up, put bedding on it. Lay out extra towels in the guest bathroom, stock extra toilet paper. Prepare a room to be used by guests by clearing the clutter or moving furniture. Whatever it is you need to do to have your guest accommodations set up do it now instead of later! You will have plenty of last minute things to do or you’ll get stuck in traffic(murphy’s law) and have to rush around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to get ready. Save the stress and have it ready ahead of time!
- Toiletries/ Treats – Having a little basket full of toiletries is great for guests if they have forgotten something. Deodorant, contact solution, extra toothbrush, toothpaste, small sewing kit, shaving cream, razor, q-tips, cotton balls, makeup remover towels. I like to head to the travel section and grab a bunch of the mini ones and fill up a nice basket for under the bathroom sink or on the bathroom countertop. It is a kind gesture that will be much appreciated. Another sweet gesture is to put a little welcome treat on the bed. It can be a book, candy, nuts or anything you think your guest will love. It can be something so simple and even something from the dollar store. Your guests will feel very welcome when they see it!
- Plan transportation – Will you be picking up your guests? Will they rent a car? Will they take a cab? Planning ahead for these logistics will make life easier. Can everyone fit in your car for an event? Suggest the right options to your guest ahead of time so that your not worrying about it at the last minute.
What to do when your guests arrive…
- Tray of snacks – Everyone is always hungry when they have been traveling! So have a nice little plate of pastries or cheese and crackers or fruit out for your guests to snack on upon arrival. Be sure to offer a beverage as well!
- Let them help – When you are a guest in someone else’s home you will get to relax but some guests love to help. If a guest offers to help you in the kitchen with cooking or dishes and you think they genuinely want to help then let them. They will feel good about returning some of the favor or you hosting. If you think they are saying it just to be nice then give them a pass to go do something else. Keep it to something they are helping you with, don’t let them go do your laundry by themselves!
Hopefully, these tips will help you be better prepared for your guests. Enjoy your time with your guests and try to be in the moment! They will soon be gone and your chance to bond and create memories will too. Even if your guests are not your favorite people remember why they are there to visit and that it may be important to someone else even if it isn’t to you.
As always, please share! What tips worked really well for you and your guests? What are some things that you do to prepare for guests and make them feel welcome?