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9 Tips for Hosting Overnight Guests for the Holidays

Nov 12, 2018 4:04:00 PM

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Don't wait until last minute! With the holiday season comes the holiday guests—last year, 40% of Americans traveled over the holiday season. If your home will be a destination for travelers, then you will need to prepare so it's warm and welcoming. You can begin readying your house now with these tips.

1. Clean and Organize Your Home in Advance

Cleaning and organizing over a lengthier period of time is always less stressful than trying to do it the night before. A week before your guest arrive, start to improve the order of your home and clean as you go. A few things you may want to pay attention to is:

  • Whether the plates and utensils are properly organized in the kitchen.
  • Whether there are clean linens and towels available in an accessible place.
  • Whether it's easy to find things like napkins, paper towels, and soaps.

2. Treat the Guest Room Like a Hotel Room

Test everything in the guest room before your guests arrive to make sure it works and leave everything they're going to need for their stay in the room. If you want to be an extra good host, consider leaving some soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and other necessary items as well. Being away from home during the holidays can be stressful, so making your home as cozy as possible will go a long way in your guests' happiness.

3. Stock Up on Food, Drinks, and Snacks

A variety of soda, juice, and snacks is essential to making people comfortable, as they won't have access to their own pantry items in your own home. Ask your guests if they have any special requests before they arrive. Stocking up in advance will also avoid any future frustration, such as discovering that you don't have something you needed last minute. 

4. Refresh the Exterior and Make Sure It's Clearly Marked

Clean up the exterior of your property with some basic yard maintenance and make sure it's easy to find your home. If some guests have never been to your property, you should make sure that your property number is clearly marked—and you may want to put something visible outside, such as a decoration or a wreath.

5. Make a List of Activities, Dining Options, and Attractions

What are your guests going to do when they aren't engaging in holiday festivities? Make a short list of activities, dining options, and attractions that you can give them, so they can do some exploring on their own when they want to. This will also make it easier on you, as you won't need to come up with things on-the-fly.

6. Take Care of Any Necessary Repairs

Are there doors that are a little loose? Are there windows that shake a little in the wind? Take care of necessary repairs now; you may have learned to live with it, but it's a good time to fix anything broken. Some things, like loose cabinet doors, can become dangerous if your guests don't know about them!

7. Consider Any Kids or Pets

Some travelers may come with children or pets. If your home isn't pet-proofed or child-proofed, keep this in mind. You may want to get everything that could be dangerous (or that is important to you!) out of reach. Keeping some doors closed and some areas blocked off may also help.

8. Don't Forget About Allergies

Some guests may have strict allergies, such as being desperately allergic to peanuts. Check in with your guests to make sure they aren't coming into your cat-filled home with cat allergies. You may need to make some modifications to your home or your pantry contents in order to make it more hospitable to them.

9. Give Them Their Privacy

Above all else, don't hover! If you have overnight guests, chances are they are going to be tired from traveling and they will want some privacy. Let them rest in the guest room when they want to and give them a lot of options for exploring the area on their own. That will let them rest and recharge without feeling pressured to socialize.

By following the above tips, you can improve your standing as a host and make your place "the place to stay" when family members and friends are in town.