It’s summer, and chances are you either will have guests or will be a guest in someone’s home. I’m focusing on how to organize yourself and your space to be the perfect host. I’ve been generously offered home-stay hospitality a few times recently. Here is a list of niceties that make the modern traveler feel right at home.
1. Charging station. If your guests will be staying overnight, chances are they’ll need to charge their phone and other mobile gear. Make it easy to get to the wall plugs in their room. You could also pull out a tray on the dresser or night stand with an extension cord and screen wipes (aka alcohol pads) ready to go.
2. Water stop. Offer a bottle of water in your guest room, especially if there is a shared bath situation or you have filtered water in the kitchen. Have you ever been a guest and realized after the lights went out that you forgot to take your meds or vitamins? Who wants to traipse down an unfamiliar hall for just a little swig? We don’t buy bottled water at our house and our water is great, so I’m more likely to offer a small pitcher and cup in the bedroom.
3. Make space. Whenever a host has thought to clear a little space in their closet for me, I really feel special. It’s a subconscious thing that shows me they were expecting me and are the kind of generous souls who will accommodate my needs. Yes, empty hangers at the ready says a lot about a person. I recommend offering 1.5 hangers per day per person to your guest. The same goes for empty drawers in the dresser. Just one clear drawer in the dresser gets me out of my suitcase, and I really love not having to live out of a suitcase.
4. Make a new plan, Stan. In the Internet age, it’s easy to forget this one, but attraction brochures (or Internet printouts) are really nice to share with your guests, especially if you’ll be deciding what activities to take on during their stay. It’s a lot easier for a guest to vote for Activity A or B if they have a rough idea or visual for each activity. Remember, your guest doesn’t know as much about the local options as you do. The same goes for a map, which is a nice item to stock in the guest room.
5. Yummies and Goodies. There was a time when a guest ate what you ate and said thank you. There is a lot more food awareness now, so it’s nice to ask your guest ahead of time if you can stock any special pantry items or if they avoid certain foods. This is especially true if your guest is bringing kids. I felt bad when a friend used to show up and want milk for her kids; we don’t ever keep cow’s milk in the house. My parents are nice enough to buy soy milk and coffee creamer when we visit. Since I don’t eat red meat, they also switched to chicken sausage and salmon burgers during our stay. You don’t have to change your own household’s diet, but having a few guest favorites on hand is true hospitality and can introduce some new options to your own household menu.
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