The No. 1 leisure travel activity for U.S. travelers is visiting family and friends, according to USTravel.org. Having family and friends stay in your home, instead of a hotel, helps guests save money and allows for a chance to spend some casual quality time together. Before guests arrive, keep in mind six tips for creating an enjoyable, stress-free experience for everyone.
Select a Space
Guest preparation begins by selecting a space for your guests to sleep and reside during their visit. If you have a guest room, there’s no need to create an additional space. However, homes without a specific guest room need to determine where the guests will sleep. This may include moving one child into a room with another.
Temporary guest rooms also may be created in a family room or in a home office. Your home office futon couch can become the perfect bed for visiting kids, while their parents can settle down in a private spot you've created in the family room.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Your guests deserve a good night’s sleep. Well-rested guests mean more energy during the visit for fun activities and good times. Before guests arrive, inspect every element of the room, in particular the bed. Take a nap on the guest bed or even spend a full night sleeping on it to determine if the mattress is comfortable. If it’s too worn and leaves you with a sore back, consider replacing it with a new one. Keep to a budget by shopping mattress closeouts for high-quality mattresses at deal-of-the-century prices.
Air Mattress Pros and Cons
A quality air mattress can offer a solid night’s sleep if inflated sufficiently. An air mattress can be added to any room to create additional sleeping areas, and most have room for two adults. One drawback to an air mattress is it sits on floor, potentially making it difficult for some adults to climb in and out of this temporary bed.
Set the Stage
Take a few hours to prepare the room. Set up bed with clean linens and at least two pillows per guest. Provide an extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the bed or draped over a chair. Place two clean bath towels, a hand towel and two wash cloths per guest, in the bathroom. If possible, prepare space in the closet or in a dresser drawer so your guests do not need to live out of their suitcases.
Small Touches Mean a lot
One of the biggest differences between staying in someone’s home versus a hotel are the little personal touches. Prepare a basket full of necessities and place it on the bed to await the guests. The basket may contain travel-size toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand lotion and tissues. Treat your guests to special spa-quality lotions and body wash. If your guests have allergies, be sure to provide hypoallergenic products.
Provide a selection of books and magazines if you know your guests enjoy reading before bed. The room’s television should have a working remote with fresh batteries as well. Many people use the alarm on their cell phones, however, it’s nice to provide an alarm clock in a guest room (make sure the time has been set correctly.) For a final touch, place a vase with fresh flowers and a picture frame with a picture of you and them together on the nightstand or dresser to offer warmth and cheer.
Guests should be shown to their room or space shortly after arriving — ask if they’d like a few minutes to settle in after traveling. Your guests should feel welcome and comfortable asking for help if they discover anything additional they may need.