Often the most beautiful aspect of traveling is to be welcomed and hosted by a friendly and familiar face in the most unfamiliar places. But once it’s our turn to host, we can easily let the joy of a reunion be overshadowed by unnecessary stress, perfectionism and the like. Therefore, HTD has gathered 9 proven ideas & steps that should help you to make the most out of your precious time with your guest(s).
Step 1: Pros swear by lists and so should you – Even if your friends announce their visit just one or two days ahead, the old-fashioned but tried and tested to-do-lists are the best and easiest way to start off successfully. Arrange your tasks according to their importance, preferably well in advance of the visit: At that time, you won’t relate any stress to the things that should be done and it will be easier to set priorities with a ‘stress-free’ state of mind.
Step 2: Does your guest have food intolerances and any concrete plans and wishes for their stay? Unfortunately, food and other allergies are nowadays quite a widespread phenomenon and such inquiries are never out of place. And as far as sightseeing and similar activities are concerned – start planning your program by asking in advance about any special wishes your guest may have. But in case you have just started to wonder which dishes you should actually prepare for guests from abroad then this task is truthfully an easy one: Why not just introduce your country’s most typical dishes to your friend!
Step 3: Accept help – When we offer help to family and friends, isn’t it because we really like to do so? Therefore, accept offers of help and turn it into quality, fun time together!
Step 4: “A little portion a day” – This will keep the greatest stress away: Your flat always looks neat and clean, but for some reason you still don’t feel comfortable hosting somebody? Also, you have precious little time to get your apartment ready for a guest? Then try to split up diverse domestic tasks into “little portions” for any day until the arrival of your friend and before you can say “knife”, your flat will have turned into a welcoming 5 star apartment that you as well as your guest will enjoy! Moreover, you’ll be glad to have had an incentive to do so!
Step 5: Accept that challenges and unforeseen things will always turn up – as well as solutions! – especially since there will be the two of you to resolve any possible trouble.
Step 6: Do not plan every minute of the visit – If you have other obligations during your guest’s stopover, talk frankly about it and raise alternative ideas. And maybe your guest will even be happy to have some unscheduled hours to browse a tourist guide, meet other friends in town, check mails or simply to relax.
Step 7: Try to schedule at least (!) one hour for relaxing before your friend’s arrival – to be truly able to focus joyfully and exclusively on your guest!
Step 8: And again – accept help; Of course, our guests should feel comfortable and relaxed. But sometimes it is easier for them to feel that way when they can, for instance, give you a hand in the kitchen.
Step 9: Enjoy having your guest(s) around – as much as you can! So let’s really just forget the perfectionism before and during your friend’s visit – except when it comes to enjoying the time with your friend. A great way to get in the mood? Pick up at your last time together, for example by finding common vacation pictures and compiling then in a surprise slide show. Or let the anticipation grow by preparing a little gift that allows you both to reminisce about moments and adventures you have lived together, such as a personalized welcome card or a tasty welcome dish that brings back memories of your last trip. Simply savor your precious time together and enjoy that your dears came to spend time with you and not because of your homemaker’s talent – as
“The art of hospitality is to make guests feel at home when you wish they were.” Donald Coggan