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14 Little Secrets for Hosting a Houseguest

by Lauren Sovisky on

two toothbrushes, two rolled up towels, three small soap pumps

In truth, there isn’t a special secret to being the perfect host. Your generous hospitality and kind heart are what make your home welcoming – and make your guests excited to visit. Still, a few simple comforts go a long way.

Whether you’re inviting some old friends, family or (deep breath!) the in-laws, here are a few thoughtful touches to help your guests feel extra special.

  1. Learn their food allergies and preferences. Before your guests arrive, check to see if they have any food allergies or sensitivity to meat, dairy or gluten. Ask about any dietary restrictions and favorite snacks. Don’t forget to ask about any coffee or tea preferences. Some people live for their morning caffeine while others prefer tea and honey. With so many variations, it’s not a bad idea to check for morning beverage necessities like sugar and creamer, too.
  2. Make a meal plan. Are you making breakfast, or is it self-serve cereal? Check in with your guests about when it makes sense to eat together, and when they’d prefer to grab something on their own. A plan can help each meal go by smoother – and limit the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question.
  3. Help plan activities. In case you get called into the office or have to make a stop to the grocery store, make sure your guests aren’t just sitting around. Help out by having board games, town maps, or brochures on must-see local attractions handy to keep your guests busy.

    Related: I want to be an AirBnB host. How does that affect my homeowners insurance?

  4. Make everything easily accessible. If your guests aren’t frequent visitors, they probably won’t know which drawer the silverware is or where you keep the toilet paper. Keep all the basics (like towels, extra blankets and snacks) where they can be easily found.
  5. Provide extra toiletries. It’s inevitable your guest will forget to pack something! Keep a basket of common items handy like deodorant, lotion, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, floss, cotton swabs, a hairbrush, pain relievers and antacids. You can even find travel-sized items at most convenience stores.
  6. Display the Wi-Fi password. Write down your Wi-Fi username and password and post it in a visible place, like on the fridge or in their guest room. This will save you time from having to tell each new guest that arrives (and helps your guests prevent any data overages).

    If you’re sharing devices, be sure to clear your cache, cookies and browsing history. That way, your guests can’t see or share private data like logins, credit card numbers or bank account information. Learn more about protecting yourself against identity theft and cyber crimes.

  7. Add a night light. You may be an expert at navigating from your bedroom to the kitchen in the dark, but your guests are probably still getting used to the new environment. Add a nightlight to the hallway and bathrooms for guests to easily navigate spaces.
  8. Keep water handy. No guest wants to wake up to a parched mouth. Place small paper cups by the bathroom sink or stock up on water bottles in the fridge or spare bedroom so your guests are refreshed their entire stay.
  9. Make room for luggage. Empty out the spare bedroom dresser and closet; place a chair or suitcase holder in the corner; or just clear off some space on the floor.
  10. Be mindful of how much hot water you’re using. Some people love taking long, hot relaxing showers… but when you’re a family of four inviting your aunt, uncle and cousin, that’s three extra to plan for. Monitor how much hot water you’re using so your guests aren’t left shivering. (But if the water does run cold, check out these 6 reasons why your water heater might not be pulling its weight.)
  11. Free up outlets for charging. From phones to tablets, you’re bound to have a few extra pieces of technology when guests arrive. Keep outlets free for chargers or invest in a power strip or multi-socket plug with USB ports. Also, consider providing extra charging cables too – in case your guest forgot theirs.
  12. Clear some space for your working guest. Some guests may need to make a work call or check emails. Stage a mini-office by clearing a table by an outlet (for laptop use) and adding a pen and paper.
  13. Add your personal touch. Bring your own creative flair. Put flowers on the nightstand or leave some magazines, books or an extra pair of slippers out for your guests.
  14. Provide some help for the drive home. Just because they are heading out the door doesn’t mean your hosting duties have to end. Offer up your washer and dryer to lighten their laundry load and give some leftovers or snacks for the road. If your guests have kids, share these tips for keeping them occupied on long road trips.

Home is where you (and your guests!) can rest easy and enjoy the good life. At Erie Insurance, we get how important home is and we’re here to protect it with insurance you can trust. We want to thoroughly understand your home insurance needs so we can provide practical help, reliable solutions and service that exceeds your expectations.

Learn more about homeowners insurance from ERIE or find a local agent in your neighborhood.

From extra snacks to a spare phone charger… these thoughtful touches go a long way. /blog/host-overnight-guests-etiquette Erie Insurance Popular In Blog man looks in window of new car at dealership

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