2011-12-22 / Features

How To Accommodate Overnight Holiday Guests

Thousands of people travel far and wide to visit family and friends for the holidays. Chances are many holiday hosts and hostesses will open their homes to overnight guests.

Although visions of Cousin Eddy from “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation” and his band of misfit family members come to mind, most holiday guests are more of a pleasure to have around. It might be mildly inconvenient to host guests for a day or two, but preparation can help alleviate such inconveniences.

There are a number of ways to get ready for holiday guests. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare your home.

Set aside space. Not every household has a spare guest room available, but there are ways to make guests feel like they have their own private area. There's the possibility of giving up your own room for the night or set up a space in an out-of-the-way den or a child's bedroom for the time being. People who live in the house may be more comfortable bunking with another than an outside guest.

Offer individual linens. A fresh set of sheets and towels contributes to a hotel's comfort level. Welcome guests with a set of fresh sheets and soft towels.

Stock extra toiletries. The holiday season is a busy time, and it's easy for travelers to forget a thing or two. Keep an extra toothbrush and some spare mouthwash at the ready. Travel-sized soaps and shampoos may be more convenient for guests and might help them feel more comfortable and less burdensome staying in your home.

Accommodate guests' needs. Some guests may be allergic to certain foods, while others may prefer to watch the late-night news before bed. Find out their preferences beforehand so you can do your best to make them feel comfortable.

Have laundry services available. Give guests their own laundry bag so they can wash clothes if they'll be staying for an extended period of time. Fresh clothes make anyone feel better.

Invest in an air mattress. Having extra places for guests to sleep often comes in handy. Air mattresses are easy to inflate at a moment's notice for an unexpected guest and can be quickly deflated and stored in a closet or under a bed.

Bend house rules. While certain rules may be set in stone, bed times or meal times may have to be changed to accommodate guests who aren't used to the goings-on of the household.

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