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Your Guide to Holiday House Guests

Preparing for the season of overnight guests.

November 11, 2019

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Charles Dickens wasn’t talking about the holiday season when he wrote that, but he certainly could have been. November and December are often full of joyful celebrations with friends and family, but they are definitely not stress free.

Especially if your home is doubling as a hotel.
But the right preparation can make these visits more about quality time, and less about worrying your way through the holidays.

Here are some tips to help you prep for overnight guests:

1. The first priority (after the obligatory cleaning, that is) is to dedicate space that is just for your guests. Depending on how many are staying with you, and the layout of your home, this might be easier said than done. If you have guest rooms to accommodate everyone, wonderful; but even if you are breaking out the air mattress, it is important to make visitors feel as if they have their own space. Make sure you offer a degree of privacy no matter your home's setup.

2. Include a snack/hydration station for them. Nobody is their best self when they are hungry, so help make sure your guests remain as pleasant as possible by stocking some basic snacks and water bottles in their room or space. Go with something easy and packaged, like granola bars or trail mix, to prevent non-mealtime hunger pangs from leading to someone rummaging in your pantry, or worse, getting grumpy.

3. Also, over-provide on the linens. Have a few extra blankets of various weights set out for them from the get-go. Yes, some family members will never hesitate to bluntly tell you they are too hot or cold, but you don’t want to risk less-forthcoming guests not having what they need. Additionally, make sure you have ample towels and washcloths set out too. Everyone’s routine is different. Having everything already in their designated space will make it easier for them to keep to their own schedule, and minimize disruption for you.
4. Another important thing to remember: house guests don’t know your home like you do. Consider adding night lights in hallways or bathrooms to keep out-of-town loved ones from stumbling in the dark. Not a fan of the bulky plug-in options? You can opt for a more sophisticated version with outlets featuring built-in night lights that have various brightness settings.

5. And speaking of outlets, it’s a given that your guests will be bringing their beloved phones and tablets, possibly even laptops, with them for their stay. Make sure your house is equipped to keep your guests fully charged throughout the holiday with USB outlet options. With various versions available, ranging from faster charging models to those with Qi wireless charging capabilities, these are a great upgrade that will keep things running smoothly with all the extra devices visitors might bring, and continue to help provide you with power and easier USB charging even after the guests are gone.

6. Lastly, don’t forget to create a welcoming cheat sheet or kit with the Wi-Fi info, keys or entry codes for the house, a schedule of any events that are a part of their stay, and maybe even some local highlights for them to check out on their own if there is time. Depending on the length of their stay some of these might go from nice-to-haves, to absolute necessities. While part of the reason for holiday visitors is spending time with each other, too much without a break can lead to unnecessary stress. A welcome kit can be a great way to give guests a little more autonomy, easing their stay and your hosting responsibilities.

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