The season of travel is upon us. Many of us will be visiting family and friends or will be hosting them ourselves. Besides a warm welcome, smiles, and a generous heart there are a few extra things you can do to provide a home sweet home away from home experience.
There are the basics: fresh clean linens, a comfortable chair, nice decorations to suit your taste and style. But there are a few less-discussed elements that will add that extra touch of hospitality that will make your friends want to come back soon.
Nothing says “welcome” quite so well as fresh flowers, particularly if they were plucked from your own yard. Make a point to arrange a floral centerpiece on a table near the window or the top of a dresser as a way of greeting your guest.
Toys and Games for Children
If your guests are traveling with children they’ll be looking for a way to engage their interest and keep them from getting bored or frustrated. Traveling can be hard on kids. Their routine is disrupted, they may miss their friends or just be uncomfortable around strangers. Providing them with toys and games, in their own space, can help them have a better experience as your guest.
One of the most uncomfortable situations for a guest to find himself in is to wake up hungry at 1 a.m and feel like he really can’t go raid the refrigerator. You can help prevent this worry by placing a snack basket with small, individual sized portions of crackers, cookies, chips, granola bars, or fancy chocolates inside. Add a few bottles of water or other drink and you have a very nice welcome basket for your guests.
Extra Pillows and Blankets
Everyone has their own idea of what “comfortable” is when they sleep. You can have the best mattress in the world, but still have your guests feel uncomfortable if their pillow or their body temperature isn’t the way they are accustomed to keeping it. Keep more pillows than necessary piled on the bed and an extra blanket or two tucked in the closet so that your guests can cozy up just the way they want to.
Travel Size Necessities in the Bathroom
Everyone leaves something important behind when they are traveling, it’s got to be one of Murphy’s Laws. You can make a guest feel at home by providing a small basket with new toothbrushes, soaps, lotions, and a razor for your guests.
Make Room in the Closet for Clothes
If your guest room has been made out of an existing bedroom, then you’ll have a closet to work with. Storage is always a premium in a home, so you’ll want to use the space for your own storage, but leaving a foot or so of space in your closet can make them feel welcomed in a subtle way. You’ve made room for them in your home. That small action can have them feeling important and cared for.
Books or Music by a Favorite Author or Musician
A very thoughtful touch, particularly for a musical or reader friend, is to leave a book by their favorite author on the nightstand. Or have a cd of their favorite artist cued up and ready to play on a nightstand cd player. This personal touch can give your guest something relaxing to do in the evening after everyone has gone to bed.
A warm welcome and personal touches can make your guests stay at your home the best experience of their life. It’s the little touches that can have the biggest impact and have your friends and family ready to come again just as soon as they’ve said goodbye.