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What to Do When Hosting Out of Town Guests, Family or Friends at Your House: Ideas and Tips for a Party or Company

Updated on May 9, 2013

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Preparing for Visitors and House Guests

Having house guests and visitors can be scary, but here are some ways to make the process a little more fun. Once you get past the pre-visit cleaning spree, try out some of these ideas to have your guests saying that you are the most awesome host/hostess ever!

Tips for The Guest Bathroom

Assemble a small bin or basket with all of the every day toiletry items that your guest may have forgotten. This is also a great trick for parties. It adds a very nice touch and keeps all of your guests feeling comfortable. What's even better is that I assemble my baskets solely with items that I get for free! Some items I've gotten from hotel stays, while others have been free samples that I've gotten online. I get a lot of my samples from Walmart, but here is a great article by another hubber on Freebie Sites (that actually work!)

Here are some ideas of items to include:

  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Aspirin
  • Perfume
  • Face wash
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Mouth Wash
  • Antacids
  • Feminine Products
  • Shower Cap
  • Sew Kit

Tips for Your Guest Room

There are a couple of great tricks for the guest bedroom.

For the nightstand or side table beside the bed, make sure to include these couple of items:

  • Lamp
  • Water glass and carafe
  • Books or Magazines

Additionally, it is somewhat of an expectation to have wifi available these days. Consider leaving the wifi password on a note card beside the bed so that your guests can easily find it.

The Perfect Guest Room Closet

Also in the guest room, I like to prepare the closet for my guests. After travel, it is nice to provide a space for them to hang up their clothing. Try to clear out at least a space in the closet for them and provide empty hangers for their use (you can always fill the closet back up once they've left). Here is my checklist for the perfect guest closet:

  • Free space and empty hangers
  • Iron and Ironing board
  • Blankets (in case guests are cold)
  • Fan (in case guests are warm)
  • Luggage rack

Also, remember to keep the closet door of the guest room open so that your guests can see that you've made it available for them!

Tips for Hosting Out of Town Guests/ Newbies to the City/ On-the-go Traveler

For guests coming from out of town or people making the trip to your city for the first time, it is nice to provide incite on what your city has to offer. This is especially important if you won't be available to take your guests around yourself. I like to provide some items in a welcome basket or on a dresser in the guest room to enhance the traveling experience. Here are some ideas:

  • Street Maps for your city
  • Brochures for local attractions
  • Restaurant Guide - This can be as simple as you typing or writing out your favorite restaurants. It is a nice personal touch.
  • Bottled Water
  • On-the-go snacks - granola bars, chips, etc

Note: If you are planning a wedding, these welcome baskets are a perfect addition to the guest rooms in your hotel block.

Tips for Your Kitchen

If you have the time, it is always nice to bake some breakfast options ahead of time. I like to make a variety of muffins, coffee cake, and banana bread. Of course these items can also be bought and nobody needs to be the wiser. However, even if you are rushed, there are a couple of quick things you can do to make a guest feel at ease:

  • If cereal is on the menu, leave out a bowl, spoon, napkin, and cereal box setup on a tray.
  • Beside the coffee pot, arrange a variety of sugar, sweetener, and creamer options on a small plate. Don't forget to add a spoon!
  • Label commonly used cupboards to help guests find their way around (Plates, Glasses, Silverware)

How to be the Best Host or Hostess

I hope that these tips can help you become the "hostess with the mostess". I'm sure that you've noticed when staying at other people's homes that even the smallest efforts go a long way in making a favorable and lasting impression. If you've got any additional tips and ideas for guests, I'd love to hear them and possibly add them to this article.

Thanks for stopping by!


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    • Thrifty Lady profile image

      Thrifty Lady 5 years ago

      Thanks so much Chelsea!

    • chelseacharleston profile image

      chelseacharleston 5 years ago

      Such nice ideas!