Kit Steinkellner
June 10, 2014 2:18 pm

It’s the greatest of fun to host a friend from out of town (because then you get to SEE that out of town friend, hip hip hooray!) but it can also be a stressful and overwhelming experience. You have your daily routine all set and adding the “We have a guest” variable shakes up that order (and can shake up your nerves). But having a guest should be like, 90% “This is the BEST TIME EVER” and like only 10% “Wait, what do you mean you need me to drive you to the airport at 5 AM?” Below, some advice on how to be an A+ Hostess (and how to do everything in your power to ensure that your guest is an A+  Guest).

Make Sure You Ask All The Right Questions Ahead of Time

“What time do you go to bed/wake up? Does light/sound bother you at night?” is a subject you’re going to want to touch on. As is “Do you have any allergies?” As is “What are your plans when you’re in town/do you have a schedule yet?” You want to get the big stuff communicated ahead of time, it’s way more pleasant and way less awkward then figuring things out on the go.

Make Sure Your Roommates Are Taken Care Of Too

If you live alone, whatever. If not, ask as much in advance as possible if having a guest is cool (and remind your roomies a few days out). The thing about having a guest, is you’re taking care of both your guest and roommates and making sure the living situation ecosystem stays functioning during your guest’s stay. Give both your guest and roomies a heads up about each others’ needs (“My roommate gets up at the butt crack of dawn for work” or “My guest is a hardcore vegan and basically vomits if she’s in the same room as meat.” You get the drill.)

Pretty Up Your Place

You have to clean up (or hire someone off of Craigslist to clean up for you if you are a busy/lazy bum like me). It’s super nice to bring fresh flowers into the house if this isn’t something you do regularly (and if your guest isn’t allergic, see above point). You don’t have to turn your house into a Vegas high-roller’s suite. But putting in a little effort is going to make your guest feel like such a queen. And kill-two-birds-with-one-stone, your place is also super pretty for YOU now.

Don’t Hover

Oh God, I’m so guilty of doing this. You’re totally allowed to ask “How did you sleep?/Is the temperature in here okay?/ I’m going to make a grocery run is there anything you need?” But once the question is answered, don’t keep asking if everything’s okay/is there anything they need like the most broken of records. I’m always checking in because I want to make sure I’m taking care of my guest 110% but I sometimes check in TOO much and veer into hovering territory. Do not helicopter parent your friend unless the friend in question is, like, the most needy person alive and needs all that hovering.

Set Boundaries It’s so easy to let your guest’s needs dictate your life for the duration of their stay, and that can cause issues if their needs become a burden. You have to be upfront with what you can/cannot do. If driving them to/from the airport is going to be really hard for you, tell them they have to cab it. If there are one or two days you can’t hang out, be upfront about that and make suggestions for what they can do on their own OR even set them up on a friend date with someone you think your guest will click with. If your guest oversteps boundaries you have not made clear, that’s really on you.

Take The Opportunity To Be A Tourist In Your Hometown

Sometimes it takes a guest for us to look at our hometown through an outsider’s eyes. Entertaining your out-of-towner friend is a great excuse to either engage in straight-up touristy shenanigans or to step off the beaten track and explore a part of your neighborhood that’s new to you.

What’s your best advice for being an A+ hostess?

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