There is nothing more pleasant when you go to visit a family member or friend in another city or country and the reception is welcoming, but the same practical time. Making your guests feel comfortable without ending up exhausted is not something very obvious, so when I read this article on Apartment Therapy it made a lot of sense and I found it super useful, so I wanted to share it with you.
The genius of this list is in understanding that the guests do not need or do not want to be entertained, is that being a guest is in itself uncomfortable, and being a good host is in eliminating these discomforts so that your guest can relax and both can enjoy sharing the house together. Also, if you want to have guests frequently and end up exhausted, the more you can structure the experience, the better everyone will be. Guests, like children, appreciate clear guidance along with some good options, as opposed to a completely open situation.
And finally, there are two types of guests in the world: those who have come to see you as well as meet, and those who just need a place to stay. While in general it is a mixture of the two, it is in this second category that the guest / host relationship usually falls. It is important to remember this and pay attention to tip number 4!
1. Eat or wash.
Upon arrival, always ask your guest if they would like to eat something or wash first. This takes care of their most immediate needs, eliminates the hassle, and gives them something to do right away.
2. Disassemble the suitcases.
Then show them their piece and let them set up. Then meet them again after they clean up or eat something. Having a little alone time right after you arrive is comforting and helpful.
After they are installed it is important to sit there and talk, have a drink, connect and see what they are going to do in the afternoon and the next few days. This is the true and proper way to say hello, and it works best AFTER the previous two steps. If you do this too early it may be too much information.
Take about fifteen to thirty minutes to find out where your guest is coming from, and what they expect to do during their stay, and share with them what your plans are too, even if they are your parents. This is not necessarily the time to talk for hours (unless both of you are ready for that), but it is the minute to land, guide your visitors and get an idea of what their stay will be like.
4. Start with the end.
Ironically this is the most uncomfortable part for hosts and guests. Make sure to discuss this immediately so that both of you can feel comfortable about how long the visit will last, and you can offer your guest some help with the departure. Many people get complicated about how to get to the airport or train station as soon as they arrive at a place so it is good to bring up the subject at the beginning.
5. Be consistent.
If you always offer your visitors the same treatment and the same guidance, it will be very comforting for them, especially after a disorganized day of travel. I have some friends who live in the south and every time I go they offer me the same piece and the same warm greeting and I love it because I always know what to expect.
6. My home is your home.
The best feeling you can convey to a guest is that your home is their home. So be sure to tell them everything they need to know about your home. The following tips talk a bit about that.
7. Towel, water, room, bath.
These are the basics that every guest needs. Make sure they have a towel on their bed, water on the nightstand, and easy access to the bathroom you want them to use.
8. Tour through the kitchen.
It is good to tell your guests that they can take whatever they want out of the refrigerator and, at the same time, tell them how to leave the dishes after using them!
It is an extra touch, but putting fresh flowers in the room or on the bed of your visitors is super nice and shows them that you are very happy to host them. You also send them the message to take care of your house while they are there.
This can be a real problem for some people, so if you have a pet let them know in advance and make sure to vacuum the room well where you are going to stay. Extra cleaning can help, but you also have to take into account that you may need an anti-allergy.
11. Privacy and inflatable mattress.
Even if you don’t have an extra room or bed, it is important that you worry about giving your guests privacy, or a good inflatable mattress or sofa bed.
12. Know your personal goal.
With each guest you have, be clear about what you want to do with them before they leave and schedule it. Visits are usually rushed and busy, so it is super important to have moments where you can really share with your friends or family who are staying at your house. They will both be happy!
13. Integrate them into your life.
With everything you do while with guests, try to manage your routine as normal and integrate them into it. It is a great sign of confidence that you can do this with them, and you will make visits more pleasant and more likely to repeat them later. It is very different if, having guests, you do extra things in your day to day that change everything completely and you are exhausted.
Source: Apartment Therapy