There's an art to welcoming people into your home. If you are one who enjoys travel and visiting distant friends and relatives you'll discover that in order to gain access to a person's home you either need to be a blood relative where your host feels obligated to open their home to you. Or you need to be the type of person who people love to be around. If you are the host, however, you need to consider if you want to keep people coming back because you love to entertain for a longer period of time than, say a dinner party.
Here the top five ways to be a great host:
First be grateful. One of the easiest ways to do this is to smile. And smile often. Upon the arrival of your guests, make sure they know how happy you are to have them and how grateful you are that they have taken time out of their already busy schedule to come and visit you.
Next you want to be prepared. Make sure the bathroom your guests are using is tidy and picked up. Towels and washcloths should be plentiful and readily available. Allow space on the counters or under the sink/inside the cabinets for personal items. If there's no room to store your guests personal items in the bathroom, just let them know and suggest they keep them in the room they are staying in. The same applies to the bedroom. Make sure the sheets are clean and the bedding is neat, tidy and free of pet fur. Give your guests a place to store their suitcases and space in the closet. The kitchen is another area where you need to allow for your guests. Show them where to coffee is, in case they awake before you. Let them know where breakfast items are, where they can find glasses and water if they need them.
With guests in your home, you can figure they are guests in the surrounding area as well. You can offer to be a tour guide and take them to the local sights. Even so, don't expect your guests to want to see everything you might want to see. It's best to have few expectations. Just make suggestions, offer to assist and then let them decide what they want to do.
You will want to allow your guests to have some downtime and not be entertained by you 24/7. Also, if you are gone first thing in the morning for work and returning after 10:00 at night, a call to let them know is most considerate. You also might want to invite them to join you at some point. Don't expect them to - especially since they are on vacation and you are continuing to work during the day - but do ask them if they want to meet you for dinner when your workday is over. You can also pre-make a meal or two and let them know how easy it will be to heat one up for their dinner.
Finally think big. You'll need bigger meals. You are going to have bigger amounts of laundry. You are going to need to make bigger plans with respect to dining numbers and cooking/meal prep times. Bigger may equate with longer but many times it means everything has the potential to be better. As your guests stay, the main thing is to be considerate. Don't parade around in your underwear. Don't get upset if your guests drink all their booze and eat all their food. Do plan to do lots of shopping.
While this is not a complete list of considerations for being a great host, it is a great start to being a host where people want to return in the future. Happy Holidays.