’Tis the season for visitors and guests galore! Traveling during the holidays can be a stressful event. Here’s how to help make your houseguests feel right at home for the holidays.

Create a Comfy, Cozy Guest Area

Whether you offer up an actual guest room, a kids’ room, an office area, or a pull-out couch, it’s important that your guests feel comfortable during their stay. Make the bed as cozy and inviting as possible, ensuring all linens are in good shape and freshly laundered. Offer plenty of extra pillows and blankets. If you typically use your spare room for storage, make sure there’s enough space for your guests’ belongings and room for them to move around and be comfortable. 

Go the Extra Mile: Provide plush robes and slippers for your guests to use during their stay and take home with them when they leave.

Make Space in the Closet or Dresser

Be sure to leave some hangers and drawer space free so your guests don’t have to live out of their suitcases during their stay. It’s also a good idea to place a hamper or laundry basket in the room so they have a spot for their dirty clothes and towels.

Go the Extra Mile: Line drawers with beautiful paper and toss in a scented sachet.

Set Up a Nightstand

We don’t typically realize just how inconvenient nightstands are until we don’t have one. If you don’t have a nightstand in your guest room or area, think about getting one. Any small table or shelf will do, really. 

Go the Extra Mile: Stock the nightstand with a lamp, a box of tissues, some bottles of water, a small clock, and even a phone charging cord.

Stock the Guest Bathroom

First and foremost, make sure the guest bath is spotlessly clean and organized. Few things will make you feel out of sorts when away from home than a dingy or cluttered bathroom. Put out clean, fluffy towels and washcloths, a full bottle of hand soap, and any other toiletries you want to provide. Make extra toilet paper and other necessities readily available. Add a nightlight so guests can find their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  

Go the Extra Mile: Create a personalized basket filled with items like shampoo and conditioner, soap, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, razors, etc.

Ready the Kitchen

Clean out and organize the fridge and pantry so guests can find whatever they need quickly and easily. No one wants to go rifling through someone else’s refrigerator or cabinets to find whatever they need. Make sure to show guests where the coffee maker, kettle, toaster, and other small appliances are in case they want to use them.

Go the Extra Mile: Contact guests ahead of time and find out what their favorite foods and drinks are. Have them ready before guests arrive. Organize a basket of their favorite snacks, coffee, tea, wine, or other sundries as a welcome gift.

Make Your Home Accessible

Give guests a key, alarm code, garage door opener, and whatever else they need to have easy access at all hours. Show them how the thermostat works, and make sure to have a fan or space heater available if necessary. Put out a tray or point out a specific area where remote controls, chargers, and headphones/earbuds live. Write down the WiFi password and show them how the television or other electronics turn on.

Go the Extra Mile: Provide a written list of the WiFi password, directions for using any remote controls, and a listing of available channels.

Help Them Feel Included

Offer to include your guests in conversation and activities during their stay. Don't assume that they'll entertain themselves. They might not be the type to just make themselves at home. For example, go out and tour your town's Christmas lights; host a neighborhood party; or just have a night in with movies and games, complete with hot cocoa, popcorn, and other snacks. 

Go the Extra Mile: Get personalized stockings for your guests and hang them right alongside your own family's stockings. 

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