This post was sponsored by Sleep Advisor. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s no secret that our apartment has been officially renamed “The Watkins B&B.” We have guests usually about every 2-4 weeks that stay with us for 2-6 nights at a time. We truly had no idea we even had friends until we moved to a cool city and they all wanted to see us… lolol. Kidding. Kinda.
But for real, we have a lot of loved ones that live outside of the city and are more than happy to provide them a free place to stay to ensure that we get to see their faces. It’s been a whirlwind two years of cleaning the apartment, washing sheets and pulling out our couch bed for these faces.
I’ve learned a lot of things about hosting and even more about being a good guest. I have lots of tips, but my most important, over-arching tip is: make them so comfortable that they wouldn’t even want to stay in a hotel, because your place has better service.
Below are a list of some of the top tips I’ve learned along the way, including a link to the best air mattresses!
1. Clean your place! People will say it doesn’t matter and they “don’t mind.” They do. We all do. Just clean it.
2. Offer them food and drink. Offer them water, coffee, whatever you’ve got whenever they’re just hanging around at your place. Often, they’ll want a snack or a cup of water, but don’t want to take from your stash. Also, tell them after handing them their first drink how to do it themselves and that they can help themselves to whatever whenever. Don’t feel obligated to give away your expensive steak, but chips and crackers and stuff… hopefully we can all afford to share.
3. Make sure you have a good place for them to sleep. If you don’t have a pull-out coach or additional bedroom, but know you’ll be having a lot of guests, invest in a good air mattress. It’ll feel good to know you can have stay over and that they’ll be comfortable. Sleep Advisor was the perfect partner on this post, because they made a round up of the best air mattresses! Definitely get one, because I don’t really think there’s an adult out there that likes to sleep on couches or floors…
4. Give them ample bedding and pillows. Again, hosting is all about anticipating your guests needs and making sure they’re comfortable, even if they don’t share anything with you. I would just make sure you provide good sheets, ample pillows and additional blankets. It helps them choose something closer to their normal sleeping arrangements and keeps them cozy.
5. Lay out they’re towels and washcloths in advance. Because we only have one bathroom and you have to go through our bedroom to use it, we always have to repeat our bathroom policy over and over again. Our policy is: JUST USE IT. We don’t care. We won’t wake up. We won’t be mad. Just go when you need to go and shower when you need to shower! We lay out towels and washcloths so we all know we didn’t expect them to bring their own and that they’re ready to hop in whenever they want.
6. Just let them use your toiletries or at least offer. It’s a pet peeve of mine to have to bring toiletries, so I just make sure to tell my guests to use whatever the heck they want. I also lay it out for them, so they don’t have to feel weird about rifling through our cabinets.
7. Make sure they know they can help themselves and aren’t a bother. This goes for food and drink, showers, the TV, etc. Just keep repeating it until they’re lounging with their feet on your coffee table with one of your beers and a bag of your chips in hand. Comfort is key!
8. Then, act like they aren’t a bother! For me this means actually hanging out with them. It’s one of the hardest parts about hosting, for me, because my schedule and daily routine is so whack. I have to do a lot of work in advance and occasionally, have to excuse myself to work while they’re there, but I try to minimize them. Stephen and I spend as much time as they want us to spend with them. We offer them to have alone time, but often people came as much to hang out with us as to explore the city. It would be both crappy of us as friends and as hosts to not indulge that.
9. Offer them tips and suggestions when they explore by themselves.
10. If possible, give them a key so they can come and go as they please. We have two keys and both get off work at different times, so it’s easy for us to give one to our guests and then buzz the other spouse in the apartment when the time comes. This makes it easier and less stressful for the guests, because they don’t have to freak out if they accidentally lock their phone in the apartment or if they want to rest or change in the middle of the day while we’re working.