Make your out-of-town guest feel right at home

Editor’s Note: Content provided exclusively by AdvantiPro, publisher of The Citizen and Military in Germany. No Federal endorsement implied.

By Megan Finley
Contributing writer

I have been talking to quite a few friends over the past few weeks that will soon have guests rolling in this summer for a visit. I, too, have my in-laws coming to stay with us. Yes, having houseguests can mean more work, but hosting guests does not need to be stressful. Here are 10 ways you can help your visitors feel more comfortable in your home.

Prepare the sleeping arrangements.
Make sure to prepare your guests’ sleeping arrangements well ahead of their arrival. If you have a small home, do not feel obliged to give up your own bed. However, ensure your guests have a clean, comfortable place to sleep, such as a sofa, airbed or mattress on the floor. Ensure you tell them of the sleeping arrangements ahead of time so there are no surprises. Fresh sheets or a new pillow are always a nice touch.

Ensure a place for their belongings.
If your home is small and your guests will not have their own room, ensure they are given a place to unpack and keep their suitcases or bags during their stay. Clearing a dresser drawer, closet space with hangers or a shelf in the bathroom is especially helpful.

Provide extra toiletries.
Although many guests bring their own toiletries, oftentimes traveling with bulky shampoo bottles or contact solution are not an option. Providing travel size toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, soap and unopened toothbrushes are an exceptional gesture.

Offer reading material.
Most guests appreciate a reading a book or perusing a magazine in their downtime. Some might even be interested in learning more about the local area. Pick up brochures from local attractions you enjoy or magazines your guests might be interested in. Go ahead and put them on their bedside table or in an area where they can enjoy at their leisure.

Pick your guests up.
Sometimes life happens. However, if at all possible, picking your guests up from the airport or train station is really a great gesture of hospitality. When travelers are exhausted from an overseas flight or have heavy bags to carry, having a little help and a familiar face there waiting can make all the difference in the world.

Provide towels and linens.
Consider how many towels you would appreciate, and provide your guest with a plentiful pile. Ensure the towels are freshly washed and in good shape. No one wants to dry off after a shower with a ratty towel.

Consider technology.
Most people have a phone, tablet or other devices that require recharging. Make sure your guests can charge their devices and have access to your internet.

Do not forget food and drinks.
Stock your kitchen with a selection of beverages. One great tip is to make simple recipes in advance to save you time in the kitchen that can be spent visiting with your guests. Stocking up on simple breakfast foods such as bagels, pastries, cold cereal and milk are always appreciated. Make sure you offer your guests something to eat or drink, and remind them they are welcome to something any time they are hungry or thirsty.

Make plans.
If you have obligations while your guests are in town, make sure they know ahead of time about your plans. Discuss possible activities you and your guest can do together during their visit to ensure their stay is as enjoyable as possible.

Be yourself.
Many of us feel like we are in an inspection or on an audition when we have guests. Is the house clean enough? Are there any glasses in the sink? It is always nice to have a clean house when guests arrive, but do not forget to be yourself. Most guests know this is where you live and do not expect your place to be perfect. Do not forget to relax and enjoy the time together.