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RACE WEEK- How to Be the Perfect Host For Overnight Guests

29 Sep 2014 bathurst 0 Comment

If you have ever had a bad experience as a weekend guest, you know just how awful it can be. Dog hair in the sheets, bare windows, nothing for dinner, missed rides at the airport. When you have friends or relatives coming to stay from out of town, make their visit a pleasure by thinking ahead and offering the same courtesies you would like to be shown. Elaborate fruit baskets and floral arrangements are not necessary, just a bit of common sense and good planning. The following 13 steps will walk you through what you need to know to make your next hosting experience a great one for everyone.

STEP 1: Check off guest room essentials
You don’t need to be outfitted like a four-star hotel, but certain basics should be in place to make your visitor comfortable. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget something fundamental (like curtains!), so peruse the lists below before your guests arrive.
The essentials: fresh sheets and blankets on the bed, coverings on the windows, a working light, bath towels, a wastebasket, an extra blanket and a cleared shelf or drawer.
Bonus items: A fan, clock, snacks, mini-toiletries and a surge protector for charging devices.

STEP 2: Double check dates
Again, so simple, but … just do it. Miscommunication about when your guests are arriving or leaving can start their visit off on the wrong foot. If you are picking them up at the airport or train station, make sure you have all of their travel info, and agree on a place to meet.

STEP 3: Ask ahead of time about key issues

If your guests have food allergies or follow a specific diet, knowing in advance will give you time to prepare. If you are not sure what to get, ask them to list a few favourite foods that you can pick up before they arrive. That said, don’t drive yourself nuts tracking down esoteric ingredients you would never normally buy. The important thing is to make an effort and have something in the fridge your guests can eat.

If your guests have kids, it is kind to see if they would like you to track down any baby gear to borrow for their stay, and ask about any favourite foods to have on hand for the little ones.

STEP 4: Let your guests know what you have planned
If you have activities in mind, be sure to tell your guests in advance so they can pack appropriately. This would also be a good time to check in and see if there is anything they would like to do or see while they are in town.

STEP 5: Save your best parking spot
If parking in your neighbourhood is limited, be sure to reserve your off-street spot for your guests, if they are driving. Go out ahead of time and track down an elusive street spot if you need to – just don’t make your guests spend their first hour at your place looking for a spot.

STEP 6: Offer a warm welcome
Even if a guest is coming in on a late-night flight, providing a cosy, well-lit space to come home to is the least you can do. Make sure lamps are turned on, candles are lit and a place for plopping down and relaxing is at the ready.
STEP 7: Offer a snack and beverage
Again, this advice applies no matter the time of day or night. Travelling makes you hungry! Folks travelling from a different time zone may be feeling way off – a pot of hot water for tea or coffee, plus a selection of chilled wine and beer and a few little nibbles, should cover all the bases.
STEP 8: Show them to their room and help carry bags
Bring your guests to their room and give a little tour of the space. Point out where the extra blankets and pillows are kept, which shelf or drawer they can use to put their things, and where extra toiletries are in case they have forgotten something.
STEP 9: Explain any of your home’s quirks beforethey need to ask!
After living in your place for years, you may have forgotten how difficult it was to work the shower that first time or flush the toilet so it doesn’t run all night – save your guests the agony and show them clearly how everything works.
STEP 10: Take extra care if your guests will be sleeping in the living room
There is nothing wrong with having guests sleep over in your living room, den or office – just so long as you make them comfortable there. Help set up their bed in the evening, show them where they can change and stow their stuff, and let them know what time you typically wake up, so they won’t be surprised. Just as in a guest room, make sure that all of the essentials are at hand (see step number one for a list), including windows with shades.
STEP 11: Empower guests to help themselves
Guests can feel awkward having to ask every time they need something. Make things easier – on you and them – by giving a little self-help tour early on in their stay.
At the minimum show your guest where the coffee- and tea-making supplies, snacks, drinks and dishes are kept. Show them where your garbage and recycling cans are, and where to put what. If they will be staying longer, provide a small laundry basket and show them how to work things in the laundry room.
STEP 12: Make guests feel like a part of the household … to a point
Asking your guest to wash salad greens, chop veggies or dry dishes can help make them feel included and useful. Taking out the trash, scrubbing greasy pans and other dirty jobs are best left to family members.
STEP 13: Allow for downtime
Cushion your scheduled events and outings with unplanned time so that everyone has a chance to relax. Be open to suggestions from your guests, but don’t panic if there is a morning or afternoon spent just hanging out at home; we all need a break once in a while!

 

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