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5 Tips for Hosting Out-of-Town Guests

Make sure your out-of-town guests-- whether they're long-distance relatives or old friends-- feel like they are welcomed in your home. Clean sheets and hot water are a given for your house guests, but there are many other things you can do be the perfect host.
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When you live in a cool apartment or hip neighborhood in the city, it happens: People want to come visit. House guests are a fun part of becoming an adult and having your own place.

However, make sure your out-of-town guests-- whether they're long-distance relatives or old friends-- feel like they are welcomed in your home.

Clean sheets and hot water are a given for your house guests, but there are many other things you can do be the perfect host. Here's some great ideas to get you started:

1. Make a Guest Checklist

Checklists aren't the most exciting thing to create, but they do allow you to get important stuff done, and this includes getting the room ready for your guests. Some of the must-haves include sheets, blankets, a working lamp or light source, curtains or blinds for privacy, bath towels, a trash can and room to store their luggage and belongings.

Your list should also include your guest's travel itinerary. This way, there is no confusion as to when you need to head to the airport or train station to pick them up. Better yet-- create a reminder on your smartphone. Life's busy and it's not out of the question to forget even the most important details.

2. Outline All the Tech Details

We live in a world where Wi-Fi passwords, plug-ins and other tech-friendly know-how is simply part of life. When your guests arrive, they will likely want to avoid using any more of their mobile data, so be a good host and leave a note on the fridge or in the guest room that indicates what the Wi-Fi password is, useful apps they may want to try, as well as access to emergency numbers and instructions on how to use your home theater or stereo.

Call it the modern, 21st century version of the welcome wagon -- but it's always good to have all of these little instructions laid out for your guests, as it's one less thing for them to worry about during their stay.

3. Make Sure Things Are Easy to Find

Whether it's extra toiletries in the bathroom, fluffy towels in the linen closet or soft drinks in the fridge, things should be easy for your guests to locate. One easy way to do this is to designate a counter in the bathroom closet or set aside a shelf specifically for guests in various rooms so that they feel welcome.

The same goes for your kitchen cabinets and pantry. If a guest wants to get up in the morning and make toast or pour a bowl of cereal, they should be able to find what they need swiftly (after all, breakfast is important).

4. Create a Homey Vibe

If you are allowing your guests to stay in their own room, make it as warm and welcoming as possible. Traveling can really zap your energy, as you likely know from your own trips. Having a nice, comfortable mattress with fresh sheets and a soft pillow is usually heavenly after a long day spent in transit or on the plane.

There's much more you can do besides simply changing the sheets. For instance, you could purchase some flowers or place some candles on the nightstand so that the entire room smells fresh and feels a bit more homey. Be sure that outlets are easy to find in the room as well-- after all, cell phones usually need a bit of recharging after a long trip.

All rooms should also have an alarm clock too, just in case your guests don't have time settings included on their smartphones. A few magazines and books could also be a thoughtful addition to the space, and clearing out closet and dresser space is also a must.

Also, once your guest asks to stay at your place, ask them if there is anything you can do to make their stay more comfortable. For instance, they might have dietary restrictions or allergies that you need to be aware of. You might also want to see if there is something in particular they would like to do, such as dining out at a favorite restaurant or visiting a museum.

5. Make Them Feel Included

You might feel like pampering your guests, which is totally normal. However, if they offer a helping hand, whether they want to take out the trash, set the table for dinner or walk the dog, allow them to do so.

Most people want to let their hosts know that they appreciate them opening up their home to them. That said, they are still your guests, so don't overload them with too many chores or tasks.