Traveling around the holidays is stressful especially for those that are traveling long distances or staying with people they don’t know very well. Whether it’s your son’s new girlfriend, your best friend from college, or your in-laws spending their first Christmas with you, as the host it’s up to you to make their stay enjoyable.

Here are 9 simple things to make guests feel right at home.

Make your home smell nice.
It’s proven that your sense of smell is connected to your mood. Not only can a certain scent bring up an old memory, but just by smelling pleasant scents, you can feel more at ease and relaxed. Find plugins or candles in scents like earthy frasier fir, sweet peppermint or warm apple pie. It’s sure to help your guests unwind after a long trip.

Remember the necessities.
There’s nothing worse than finding yourself on the hunt for toilet paper in someone else’s home. Don’t leave your guests hanging. Have plenty of the necessities like toilet paper, handsoap, toothpaste, etc. available. Consider using a cart or pretty basket to keep these items in plain sight. Also handy to have in your basket: pain reliever, extra toothbrushes and toiletries.

Have extra clean towels and sheets.
Speaking of necessities, be sure to have plenty of clean towels and an extra set of sheets available for your guests. You can leave them on top of the bed or in a drawer in your guest room. Just leave the drawer open a bit so your guests know fresh linens are inside.

Snacks and beverages.
There’s nothing worse than feeling that rumble in your stomach all while knowing your next meal is still a couple of hours away. Have plenty of snacks and beverages available for your guests. Put granola bars, nuts, fruit and a few holiday goodies in a bowl or basket on the counter. Nobody likes a hangry guest.

Clear away clutter.
You’re about to have more people and more “stuff” in your home. Clear away clutter not only from the guest room but also kitchen counters, tables and the sofa. Your guest doesn’t want to move a stack of mail in order to eat their breakfast.

Don’t leave your guests feeling bored during down time. Put magazines and games (crosswords, wordfind, etc.) on your coffee table. Also have out instructions on how to operate your home entertainment system as well as your wifi password.

Essential Information.
No one wants the police to show up on Christmas Eve. Brief your guests on how to operate your home security system, where they can find spare keys and how to operate the garage door. Other essential information? How to use the coffee maker! Nobody wants to start their day without their cup of joe.

Have a few activities planned. Take your guests to places where they can enjoy the local cuisine or local festivals so they experience your city. Plan in advance though. Many businesses have different hours during the holidays. You don’t want to drive across town for dinner only to find out your favorite restaurant is closed.  

Give your home a thorough cleaning.
There’s nothing more embarrassing than your guest finding a ring in the toilet or dust on the guest room dresser. Be sure to leave yourself time to give your home a good cleaning. Consider doing it a few days in advance of your guests arrival, then the day before you can do touch ups. Don’t have time? Hire a cleaning service. Many do one time cleanings.

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