How to Prepare For Out of Town Guests

HOW TO PREPARE FOR OUT OF TOWN GUESTSWe like to think we’ve gotten pretty good at giving our readers advice on decorating their homes using country decor and on entertaining guests.

But one area that we haven’t really touched on is the nuts and bolts of preparing for guests, especially ones who’ll be staying for more than just a few hours. With that in mind, we scoured the best resources for hospitality and entertaining for some guidance on preparing for out of town guests, and came away with these tips:

Clean up

Straighten up before the guests arrive. Do the dishes, clean the bathroom, run the vacuum. If you don’t think you have time for a top-to-bottom clean, skip areas you know guests won’t see and concentrate on common areas.

Stock up on guest room essentials

17990.jpgCheck your guest rooms for things no overnight stay should be without: fresh sheets and blankets, curtains on the window, towels, a wastebasket, functional lights or lamps and drawer or shelf space.

If you’re feeling generous, you can leave your guests some snacks and bottled water, soap and shampoo and a surge protector to allow them to charge their phones and other electronic devices. But don’t go overboard on decorating. As Martha Stewart puts it, guests in an unfamiliar room will value comfort and space over clutter.

Have spare keys on hand

You and your guests may not keep the same schedule during their visit. Give them a spare key so they can let themselves in without having to wait around for you.

Buy some breakfast food

If your guests will be staying for a few days, they may end up fending for themselves when it comes to lunch and dinner. Make things easier for them by adding some extra breakfast food to your kitchen. It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate. Having some bread, jelly, fruit, eggs and coffee will give them one less thing to worry about.

Give them somewhere to park

If you live in a neighborhood where parking is scarce, give your spot to your guests. Having to drive around for an hour looking for a place to park isn’t a great way for them to start their visit.

Put together an appliance guide

Your guests may not know how to work your TV remotes or burglar alarm, so put together an instruction manual. You may also want to include your wi-fi password as well as any important phone numbers.

Get menu tips in advance

Is one of your guests on the paleo diet? Was your nephew just diagnosed with a new food allergy? Answering these questions ahead of time can help you make sure everyone who visits has something to eat.

We hope at least some of these tips prove useful as you prepare for guests this season. If you’re still feeling flustered by holiday preparation, be sure to download our 2016 Country Christmas Décor & Entertaining Guide. You’ll find advice on decorating, gift giving, and entertaining, along with some recipes you can whip up before your guests arrive.