Saturday, December 27, 2014

How to Survive Hosting Out of Town Guests


The holiday season is a time of festivity - time to share with family and friends either at cocktail parties, meals or volunteering. During the holidays you may have to host guests from out of town. Look for easy inexpensive ways to host guests without hurting your wallet while still enjoying the holidays. 

Find ways to minimize stress and make your holiday guests feel more at home. Do whatever you can to make your home inviting while ensuring you aren’t working 24/7 to accommodate guests by playing host or hostess. The goal is to make sure everyone has a good time and to make sure you enjoy yourself as well.  These 19 tips will help you manage out of town guests and how to keep them entertained.

  1. Clean your house from top to bottom. You don’t want guests posting pictures of your dirty house on social media or gossiping about it to their friends.
  2. Space. Map out how you will effectively use the space in your home to accommodate guests for sleeping, eating and entertaining.
  3. Rules. Inform all guests on rules for staying in your home to avoid arguments and avoidable accidents.
  4. Valuables. Hide all valuables and items that can be easily be broken. Hide any items that you don’t want anyone touching or viewing. Put away all financial documents, cash, purses, wallets and purses out of sight.
  5. Guest. Make a list of who will be staying with you, for how long and any diet restrictions or allergies. Say no to guests if you can’t afford to host them or will be overwhelmed beyond a certain number of guests.
  6. Extra. Ensure you have enough toiletries, towels, paper products, condiments, first aid supplies and over-the-counter medications such as cold/flu, pepto bismol, aspirin, etc.
  7. Snacks. Stock up on snacks and non-perishable foods or microwavable foods.
  8. Ask. About guests about ideas of what they like to do or what they usually do when going out.
  9. Skip driving. Skip driving if the places you go have limited parking. Consider using a car sharing service like Uber or catch a cab.
  10. Options. Have at least 3 options for each day for guests to choose from.
  11. Prep. Plan what you will do prior to going out, eat dinner, have drinks, play games, and visit people. Then plan what you will do when you are out. Make sure everyone is in agreement. Find out the latest time everyone wants to leave and go back home. This makes it easier in the event someone wants to leave earlier and others don’t.
  12. Sign up. If guests need to be added to a guest list register their names even if they are not sure if they are coming to town. This saves time and hassle when going to a venue.
  13. Tours. Setup sightseeing tours around town during the day including museums, art shows, aquariums, historic sights, etc.
  14. Shows. Schedule a concert show, play or live music event.
  15. Movies.  Check out the latest movies and schedule a movie day.
  16. Dancing. If couples are coming into town schedule a dance night where everyone goes out dancing.
  17. Local. Scan local newspapers, websites of your Chamber of Commerce to find free or low-cost fun events.
  18. Internet. Search social media and membership websites such as AAA for local events.
  19. Set expectations. Find out what everything is thinking to make sure everyone is on the same page. Do they expect you to cook breakfast and other meals every morning, are guests staying at your home, do guests expect you to chauffeur them around town, will everyone leave together or meetup at each event venue.

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