Being over 50 and living in a resort town, we get a lot of requests from friends and family for weekend visits, especially during the summer. Children, grandchildren, cousins, old co-workers, high school and college friends, along with their friends and family trek to our house, usually for a nice weekend getaway. When we do have company, the number one rule is that they should make themselves at home. Here are the best secrets to making overnight guests feel at home:
- Prior to their arrival, let them know that they are not obligated to you during the visit.
- Show them the kitchen cupboards, the refrigerator, the bathroom, their bedroom, get them their first beverage, then tell them they are one their own.
- Give them space to go out on their own and explore the towns. You don’t have to be with them every moment of their visit. You can do things together. But, you don’t have to do everything together.
- No question is embarrassing, such as Where is there more toilet paper? They should know where everything is and free to get it on their own (stock the bathroom with toilet paper, extra toothbrushes and other sundries before they arrive). Even the washer and dryer are not off limits if someone needs to use it.
- Let them do the dishes and straighten up the house if they want. Usually, guests like to do something to show appreciation, and one way is by letting them do things around the house to make them feel like they are contributing.
These simple secrets have ensured many happy first and return visits for both guests and hosts alike.