How to host an overnight stay and make your guests feel at home

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1. Prepare long before guests arrive.

It’s important to not make a guest feel like a burden by preparing properly. If someone is waiting around for you to put fresh sheets on the bed, they will feel like an imposition watching you run around and do all this work in front of them. This counts for all the things you can prepare for like having all the food you need, any chores and tasks long before their stay.

2. Offer your guests water first thing.

This is always a hard rule. They probably had a long flight and did not realise they are even dehydrated until you say something about it.

3. Give them a tour of your home, where they are staying and general rules.

Make sure you cover the basics so they do not feel lost or as if they are intruding in your space when they wander around.

modern house interior with wooden floors and furniture
Photo by Martín Rivera on Pexels.com

4. Make sure your guests know where snacks are and are allergy-friendly.

Do not ever let your guests starve. If they have to ask, you have failed as a hostess. No, I’m kidding. But I have done this before and felt awful haha.

elegant bouquets decorating banquet table with snacks and glassware
Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

5. Create an itinerary and fun things to do.

I personally like to create a list of things to do with a simple hand drawn map of what things are close together to see if they want to do more than one thing in a day. 

6. Carve out space for them to take breaks during the day.

Overfilling their schedules with so much fun can be exhausting. Give them a chance to regroup and have some alone time. 

man looking at a map and holding a vintage compass
Photo by ArtHouse Studio on Pexels.com

7. Let them know the wifi password.

Hosting is already a lot of work. When you do not have all the energy, offer them digital entertainment within your home and access to the local shows in your country / region. I love watching Nordic HBO late at night when visiting back in my second home of Copenhagen. Or anything in a different language. It’s always interesting. Even if it’s news.

woman sitting on the floor with her laptop
Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA on Pexels.com

8. Have extra chargers.

You never know. I have portable ones for travel and for my handbag just in case. Their adapters might not work with the voltage in your local area. This has happened to me where it felt like my phone was charging one percent every five hours.

crop employee working on laptop with photo on screen indoors
Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

9. Show them how the coffee machine works.

You never know if an early riser has jet lag, and you do not want to be bothered in your sleep while they try to figure out the machines in the kitchen. I definitely don’t like breaking up my sleep.

shallow focus on white ceramic coffee mug
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

10. Show them how the tech and television works along with recreational things like board games and puzzles.

Make sure they know where they fun is and that’s half the work of entertaining done in case you’re gone all day at work.

women sitting on grey sofa
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

11. Have extra pajamas and toothbrushes and toothpaste, floss and mouth wash just in case.

Sometimes things get lost in a travel bag, and you find them later, but it’s good to have these things on hand. I definitely would appreciate this.

a range of toiletries
Photo by Greta Hoffman on Pexels.com

12. Have fuzzy slippers for them to use.

It’s always an extra comfy touch to have the family’s monogram on some fuzzy slippers. Not only is it an elegant touch, but you can always wash them clean while your guests feel taken care of.

close up of a woman wearing fuzzy socks and cosy slippers
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

13. Have at least one activity together once a day and ask how their day was.

If you’re out at work all day, make sure to spend time with your guest and hear about their adventures. Though you have seen everything that they have, you have not seen it through their eyes. It’s always refreshing to have a new perspective!

photo of women talking to each other
Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA on Pexels.com

14. Have at least one meal a day together.

This is the most important part of seeing any company. A great way to connect! No doubt.

people holding wine glass with red wine
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

15. Give them a post card with postage or small souvenir for them to take home.

I always like to have a little note with a couple sentences written specifying things I loved about having them and seeing them again. I have specialty personalised monogrammed cards for moments like this.

person holding two postcards
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

16. Leave some books, magazines, water bottles and games in their room.

I want my guests’ stay to feel full and like I am taking care of them through and through. One way to add a personal touch is by having fabulous coffee books and chic magazines to get them inspired and dreaming even when I’m not there to do it haha. 😉

green plant on white ceramic pot
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

17. Collect toiletries and samples from travels and beauty purchases to present in their bathroom.

Give them an array of options to make their stay nice. They are probably economising with carry on luggage, so this is a tasteful touch that might brighten their stay.

Visit my outdoor hosting guide here.

18. Have makeup remover, lotion and extra towels in their bathroom.

I remember visiting a hotel where they had makeup remover and felt like an absolute queen! I minimise my packing by bringing a tiny cleanser that I have to use into oblivion, because I do not have makeup remover to make my life easier. Elegance is in the details. These little incremental beauty products make all the difference in the world. 

flat lay of beauty treatment
Photo by Natalia Hawthorne on Pexels.com

19. Have extra blankets and pillows ready for them in their room as a backup plan. 

I remember when I first moved into my house, certain rooms had completely different temperatures and I was freezing at night. There is always one room in the house like that. It never would have crossed my mind until I realised it was a recurring pattern in multiple houses I visited also.

smiling woman sitting in bed with a sleeping mask sitting on top of her head
Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

20. Have fresh flowers in their room or in the communal room you can both enjoy.

I do not like having to take care of fresh flowers. I prefer dried flowers, because I do not have to do anything and they are gorgeous. Fresh flowers are for my guest though. There is nothing more fabulous than a fresh bouquet to put a smile on their face and it smells lovely!

yellow flowers in brown woven basket on bicycle
Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

Find more etiquette posts here. To master hosting and social graces, sign up now to join my modern manners finishing school for ladies and gentlemen. I cannot wait to see you in an etiquette course and see you transform into the polished version of yourself!

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Gia G. Dixon
Gia G. Dixon

I’m Gia G. Dixon, an etiquette consultant certified under Royal Charter of King Charles III. Here is my guide to elegant style, high quality living, and little things that make your daily life glamorous.

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