Being a Good Host: The Overnight Edition

If you have ever had a bad experience as an overnight guest then you know just how uncomfortable the experience can be. Allergy attacks due to the pets you were unaware of, sore muscles from lumpy spare beds…You know the drill!

So how can you learn from the mistakes of a not-so-in-the-know host when having friends or relatives staying over for a few nights? Make their visit memorable in the good way by simply thinking ahead! Here, we have highlighted some of the best tips for hosting an overnight guest by Real Simple, Southern Living and Apartment Therapy.


When arranging an overnight or extended stay, be sure to ask your guest well in advance if they have an allergies to an specific foods (who isn’t claiming to have celiac disease these days?) or to pets if you have them. This will help you to pre-plan any meals or restaurant outings and may actually save your guest a painful stay if they are deathly allergic to your three indoor cats!

If your guest does have a bad animal allergy and simply keeping your pets away from their sleeping area won’t do much good, volunteer to help them seek other accommodations. AirBnB allows other hosts to offer nightly private and shared rentals at a fraction of the price of a hotel.

Test the Rest(ing) Experience

Whether your guest will be staying on your couch or in a private bedroom, there are a few rules of thumb in making sure that they have a comfortable sleeping experience.

First off, test out the mattress or couch they will be sleeping on. Are there springs poking out? Does the air mattress deflate after a few hours? Is there a hard metal bar that causes back pain in that pull out sofa? Is your guest too tall or too wide to fit on your couch?

By testing out your guests sleeping space, you can nip a bad sleeping experience in the bud. Uncomfortable mattresses can easily be remedied by purchasing an inexpensive mattress topper or “egg crate” for it. An easily deflate-able air mattress can be patched or replaced. Alternative sleeping accommodations can be prepared in advance for a guest that won’t fit on your couch.

It’s in the Details

You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to turn your guest room or other sleeping area into a comfort zone! Here is a simple checklist for ensuring a thoughtful stay.

* Are the sheets and other bedding clean and smell good?

* Is the guests sleeping area or room dust free?

* Is there a space where the guest can unpack or at least store their suitcase or clothes?

* Is there extra bedding available for a guest who runs cold and/or a fan for a guest who may run hot?

* Have you put out a few magazines for your guest to enjoy during their down or relaxation time?

* Have you made clean towels and other toiletries easily accessible?

* Will internet be accessible and have you written down the information to access it?

Last but not least, enjoy your guests company! Kick back, relax and don’t over plan too many activities without consulting your guest first.

Happy hosting!